Posted by: davidsandusky | October 7, 2008

How to Market Your Culture Brand

One person can change the culture of your company for good or bad.  As any brand, your culture brand is an experience and defined by those who experience your company.  As far as culture brand, it is defined by those who work in the organization and there is an immediate perception by those looking in from the out side.  Those outside people may be talent you are recruiting, partners, customers, etc. 

If one person can make such an impact on your culture, how do you attract the right people to represent the vision of your culture? 

How to market your culture brand 

  • First you have to understand your actual culture.  This is harder for leadership and management then you think.  I learned early in my career that many leaders don’t realize a difference between the vision they have for a company culture and the current and actual culture.  This is not about being out of touch (although that too is the case often times).  The difference is living values and who you hire.  Are you hiring for today or the future and changing culture.  Do what you have to in order to understand actual culture and how you lead any change.  Outside influence on your understanding is often required and important.
  • Model a culture you respect.  This too is harder than it looks.  Modeling and doing are different.  If you are a sales organization with personality (culture brand) that attracts sales minded personality, look at a company like jobing.com.  I outlined my experience as an outsider on my forum: Jobing.com Model Culture.
  • When you have identified who you are and where you want to go, identify the personality on your team that would represent that brand.  That personal brand becomes your target market.  Note: you will have sub-cultures and that means different brands.  Your job as a leader is to make sure these teams can play together.  Also difficult yet the mark of a great company! 
  • You have a product (culture brand) and a target market (personal brand).  Start networking and recruiting these people internal and external – always be recruiting. 
  • Job description: stop being lazy with job descriptions when recruiting.  Part of success is awesome job descriptions.  They include a pithy company and culture description and the theme continues through the actual job requirements.  This makes for a nice document to drive interviews where tough questions are asked and even working together through problems and excitement exists. 
  • Interview:  interviews can be stressful for all involved because the recruiter needs a position filled and the candidate might need a job or at least a change.  Common mistakes are only covering the bases from both sides – almost with fear of not closing each other rather than identifying fit.  If you care about culture, be straight with each other in what it is like to work together.  How does it feel.  Trust your gut on fit within culture.  

Smart candidates are conducting due diligence on you and your company.  Be sure online personal brands and company websites are great representation of what it is like to work with you.  The online experience and in person experience should not contradict.  Job descriptions, compensation plans, training and all other human resource activity are features that help represent the culture brand.  

Be the one who makes all the above important and consistent – enjoy the benefit of a healthy and productive environment you lead.  By the way…you don’t need a title to be a leader…learn how to impact company culture and be a leader!

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