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Glossary Brand Culture

Brand Culture / Company Culture

A brand culture is a type of company culture that is completely aligned with a brand (organization culture). It shapes the actions and decisions of all members of an organization. Thus, the brand culture impacts the entire management and employee leadership cycle. When a company uses the brand culture as its central management system, it benefits from long-term advantages.

What is a brand culture based on? The foundations

A brand culture is a brand-centric company or organization culture. It is rooted in the brand identity, which consists of shared values and a Vision.

The brand core values also play a crucial part: They are the very heart of every brand—and therefore the core of every strong company culture. These values define the right action framework for relationships, communication and employee performances.

But we don't mean social or ethical values.Nor are we talking about wishful thinking about how a company would like to be perceived. Also, these values are not instruments for solving problems with the way people work together and make decisions.

Brand core values are what defines, characterizes and specifies a company. They arise from peak performances the company has delivered over a long period of time. These are performances the company is proud of and identifies with. Such performances stir emotions and are not questioned—they are simply believed. This firm belief is the foundation of a company's brand identity.

So we see, every company culture is rooted in condensed peak performances, whether consciously or subconsciously. However, it is essential for the company to know its own special performances and align its actions accordingly. They shape its characteristics, specifics and success factors.

Apart from the peak performances, a company's vision also provides orientation and clarity, as long as that vision differentiates the company from the competition and is attractive to all relevant stakeholders.

Brand Culture is a management system

All these foundations give rise to a brand culture. Correctly understood, it is a management system that tells all those involved who they are and how to act. In short: how to behave in line with the brand.

What that means in detail:

  • All involved know the company's values and strategic direction and align their decisions with them.
  • People identify with the values and/or the vision of the company. Brand-conform behavior is ranked above the functional and the individual.
  • The management staff live by the values and expect the same of their employees.
  • Employees and potential applicants are compelled and inspired; they stay with the company long-term.

Brand core values are more than just empty phrases to print on posters and brochures for effect. They are a central control element for the entire management and employee leadership cycle: from strategy development to company processes, from innovation design to sales, from onboarding to offboarding, from analog to digital.

The result is brand-conform behavior that is lived and expressed subconsciously. All involved have the necessary understanding of their company's vision and identify with it.

Because the company culture has a profound impact on all areas of a business, it should never be considered separately from strategic developments. Otherwise, what Peter Drucker warned about will happen: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast."

The benefits of a brand culture

In such a culture, it is not monetary but value-based incentives that count.

A company benefits permanently from a brand culture that reflects its brand one hundred percent: It remains stable through management changes, attracts the right employees and retains them. Its competitive edge improves, customers become fans. In addition, the brand culture ensures that the company does not pursue every new trend that comes along.

Such a culture is the result of learning together (Edgar Schein, 2018). It makes management decisions more transparent, makes relationships between employees more stable, increases the trust of all stakeholders and makes the company more attractive to the desired target groups. It makes family businesses inheritable.

A brand culture makes an organization successful long-term.


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