Every brand has a distinct corporate brand culture which, at its core, differentiates itself from one another. A unique brand identity should be reflected from the inside out to ensure a synchronised narrative. The communication of a brand has to reach both consumers and staff. When done right, employees can understand how they must behave to embody the brand.
More organisations today are investing in their brand cultural assets. Corporate culture is more than just the tangibles; from an office space to a well-stocked pantry. It is the root of a brand’s beliefs and when harnessed well, it is a force that aligns an employee’s understanding with that of a brand. Therefore, the company needs to communicate its corporate culture to every employee to empower them to take ownership of their role.
Defining the purpose
A company with a defined purpose binds the workforce and attracts like-minded individuals. Robust brand purpose and well-defined narratives result in pride and a sense of belonging, which can reinforce employee loyalty. Companies that value dynamism would appeal to young millennials, while an appreciation for the older workforce will put senior employees at ease as they would feel that their advice matters. Hence, this would motivate the workforce to share their experiences and encourage innovation.
HarriAnns Nonya Table, a third-generation kueh manufacturer and cafe chain, exemplifies its brand value as a purveyor of tradition through its staff members. At HarriAnns, they believe in preserving the Peranakan heritage. Through a deliberate succession process, the older and experienced kueh-makers teach and pass down traditional kueh-making to the younger staff to ensure that the art of kueh survives in this modern world. From there, the younger generation of employees introduced new ingredients into traditional kueh to innovate and keep the brand relevant. Due to this strong cultural fabric within the company, employees of all ages work towards a common purpose of preserving the Peranakan cuisine.
Resonating with personality
Brand personality is commonly known as how a brand comes across to its audience. Not only that, it can also be a powerful motivator to a brand’s employees if they identify and resonate with the brand personality. A brand’s personality is often noticeable from the attitudes its employees inhabit in their work.
For instance, the Academy of Rock is a local music school that exudes a youthful brand personality. The school encourages music enthusiast of all ages and abilities to pursue their passion for music. The Academy of Rock has cultivated this eagerness for learning music and synergised it with their workforce by creating an inclusive culture of music and fun-loving people. The music instructors are all passionate about imparting musical skills but more importantly, they are nurturing and patient to all their students regardless of learning capabilities.
Positive working experience
How a brand’s workforce works and interacts with one another is paramount to building positive long-term working experience. It is important for an organisation to embrace openness and be receptive of ideas across the hierarchy. Take the example of a creative agency; in crafting the best effective solutions for its clients, employees can agree to disagree while remaining respectful to each other. Such positive work environments will encourage staff to think beyond the box and work for the common good. The organisation should also celebrate successes and motivate the team towards a champion mindset.
An employee’s experience in an organisation is also affected by continual education and training. By investing in the knowledge of its employees through courses or leadership programmes, a brand can build a loyal, effective and productive workforce. Equipping staff with new skills minimises employee attrition rates, which saves time and resources.
In conclusion, the way a brand engages its employees is equally essential with how it interacts with its audience. After all, it is the employees who are the face of a brand. As such, before a brand starts thinking about its target audiences or customers, it is first important to look within.
Nafe Tong | Brand Advocate and Creative Partner | Adwright Communications
In his role at Adwright Communications, Nafe guides and partners clients along their respective brand journey, giving them valuable recommendations and working with them to elevate brand equity. He enjoys going the extra mile to help clients understand the process of creation and ensures that everything is done with their interests in mind.