Culture Chat

And other musings on humanizing the workplace
The Culture Chat Podcast: The Concept of the Unshakable Brand

The Culture Chat Podcast: The Concept of the Unshakable Brand

May 3, 2017
Maddie Grant

In this episode, we chat with Benjamin Warsinske of Branded World, about the concept of the "unshakable brand" and how culture plays a part in not just being unshakeable, but also flexible and evolving.

Check out this excerpt!

Jamie: What does it really mean to have an unshakable culture and how does that connect to the unshakable brand concept?
Benjamin: Yeah. This is a great question. And I've been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. And really, I think, to start-off, brands are much more than marketing fluff, the statements like a vision and your mission, your brand promise, those are...those things that should be taken as measurable and quantifiable statements to really kind of track and kind of check on how the brand is actually performing, not just financially, but culturally and within the company, and how their...more importantly their customers perceive the brand as well.
So, when I talk about brand, I just like to start with the foundation of what I call the groundwork, and that consists of five elements, which are your vision, your brand promise, your mission, your core values, and your guiding principles. And that really kind of sets the tone and the direction for how a brand will evolve and grow and be shaped.
And so where culture comes into play is, it can feel exclusive. Sometimes when you don't define your culture, when start-ups come to me and they have small teams of maybe three to five people and they've kind of just been doing their thing and growing, they don't really bother to stop and write-down what they're doing or what their culture is or how they define their brand, or just kind of doing the work and seeing some results. But when they try to go to scale that's where they have problems. When they bring people in and the people don't really fit in with the culture, they can't really stop and see, okay, what's working, what's not working.
And so, I think it's more of a lack of communication from what the brand stands for and what its purpose is and what it's trying to achieve versus being kind of an exclusive thing. And so that's why I really try to do, as I try to work with entrepreneurs and start-ups to get clear on who they are and build out this brand foundation, so that they have a kind of a road map and directions for how the brands should grow into the future.

Jamie: I hear you on that one. This notion that there's a start-up with maybe, I don't know, three people, maybe named into Maddie, Charlie and Jamie, just like totally hypothetical, that we're sort of doing our thing and we're not clear, I get that concept. One of my concerns though is that if you raise that question with the leaders in the organization, I think their mind immediately goes to, then what should our culture be, and we need core values about innovation and being cutting edge, or they define it in terms of what they want, and not in terms of what they ARE. Like there is no fundamental acceptance, that you know what, our superpower actually is THIS. So do you help you make that distinction between what should we be and versus who we are?...
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