The Impact of Organizational Culture on Your Brand
When people ask you about your organization, what do you tell them about? Is it the people you work with? Do you describe your office space? Or maybe you talk about the weekly status meetings you attend? All of these aspects are components of your organization’s culture.
When building a brand, it is critical that all components of your organization’s culture align with that brand. All of the elements of your brand should communicate the same message, and the culture of your organization plays a large role in communicating and relating that message to your employees. An organization’s culture is reflected throughout various elements including organizational space, attire, rituals, and symbols.
Organizational space describes your physical office space. Is your office space large or small? Open or divided up into rooms or cubicles? Is it decorated with art and bright colored walls, or is it plain colored? All of these factors play into the “vibe” that your organizational space gives off, which can have a large impact on your employee’s perception and feelings about your organization.
For example, at Werkshop Branding, our organizational space is very unique. Our space is divided into rooms, but also features a large, open meeting area. This area allows for open communication and the free flow of ideas and communication among employees. The office is covered in bright colors and…some may say unusual…artwork. These components of our space reflect the creative nature of our culture.
Does your organization have a dress code? Do you have casual fridays? What is considered casual? Are there certain articles of clothing or equipment that are required in order to keep employees safe?
Your attire can largely influence the perception that your clients and employees have of your organization. If you want to be seen as professional, you wouldn’t go into a client meeting wearing a ratty old t-shirt and sweats. At the same time, dress can have an impact on employees mood throughout the day, which is turn, can influence their work. There is a saying “Dress well, test well”…does the same saying apply to completing projects or sales calls in the office?
At Werkshop, our attire could be described as “casual professional”. We like to look professional and make a good impression on our clients, however, jeans and untucked shirts are not frowned upon in our office. Our attire reflects the laid-back or relaxed environment that can be felt throughout our office.
Does your organization hold daily or weekly staff meetings? Do you host group outings? Do you have certain processes that you repeat regularly in order to accomplish tasks? All of the things that your organization does or processes you go through on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis could be considered rituals.
At Werkshop, we have a several rituals that make up our culture. Some, such as weekly status meetings, allow us to put our heads together to come up with creative solutions that best fit our clients needs. Events such as a monthly “Fun Friday” lunch at a local taco shop, is a time for us to get out of the office and have fun while not talking about only work for a little while.
Does your logo appropriately convey a message about your brand? Is your logo plain, or is it eye-catching? Do your brand colors align with the personality of your brand?
Symbols of your organization can include your logo, brand icons, colors, etc. It is important that these symbols align with your desired message of your brand. A logo is a visual that could be the first thing that someone remembers when they think about your brand. For example, when you think about Nike, you most likely envision their logo, the Nike swoosh. Logos are extremely important because a logo that looks unprofessional or does not accurately reflect what your organization is about can be a turnoff to potential clients. It’s important to spend a lot of time and put a lot of thought into your brand symbols in order to ensure that they convey accurate messages about your brand.
At Werkshop Branding, our creative mindset can be seen through our name, logo, and brand colors. The name Werkshop was chosen to reflect our approach of custom building, managing and growing brands for our clients. When you think of custom building, you think of your grandfather’s woodworking shop and how material is carefully selected to build a one-of-one masterpiece, thus the name Werkshop. The use of “e” is reflective of the fact that our CEO was born in a Swiss-German speaking area of Switzerland. The colors of our brand, green and steel gray were chosen because they represent growth and strength, respectively. The symbol on our logo, the 6-sided nut and screw head also goes along with the theme of building and a woodworking shop. All components of our logo and symbols were carefully selected to represent the culture of our organization and the way that we wanted our brand to be perceived.
How do these elements relate to your organization’s values?
What does your organization value or believe is important? Creativity? Encouraging each other? Fun? Open communication? A relaxed environment?
Your organization’s culture should reflect the things that you value. All elements of your culture, including space, attire, rituals, and symbols should coincide with the desired feel of your brand. If all elements of your culture align with your brand, it will be easier for your employees to relate to your brand. If employees can relate to the brand, they can better represent that brand and sell it to others- thus your organization and brand will be more successful.
We are fanatics about our culture and our brand, and if your employees see the value in your organizational culture as it relates to your brand- they will be fanatics too!
Written by: Hannah Snyder/ Brand Manager