Culture Is a Selling Point Among Younger Generations
Young people today don't have much patience for companies that are stuck in the past. These are folks who grew up using the internet, learning the basics of HTML and other minor computer wizardry, and generally expecting faster results in life. Some call it "impatience" — but we call it hunger for change, and it impacts how they interact with brands and take part in the economy.
Social media is home base for many consumers today, and especially young people. So consider the impact a brand can make by sharing details about how their employees live and work, how their factory operates, whether (and, more appropriately, how) the company gives time or money to charity, and how they engage in cultural movements and social change. When you compare this with a brand that uses social channels only as a kind of latter-day QVC, you can be certain which brand will have more sway.
Culture Builds Trust and Personality
Zig Ziglar coined a phrase that lots of brands seem to have forgotten over the years: "Sales is the transference of feelings."
How many feelings out there are more potent than trust? Your company can cultivate trust simply by throwing your doors open wide and inviting the public inside. Nothing happens in a vacuum — not research and development, not picking orders from warehouse racking, and not bookkeeping.
Customers understand this better than you think, which is why they appear far more willing to give their business to brands who, among other things, give their employees a fair deal, have a sense of style, who know how to have fun, and who show an interest in culture and the larger world beyond their walls.
Culture Builds Dynamic and Durable Companies
Much has been written about what it takes to retain employees over a longer period. Some say the cost of replacing a team member is as high as two times that employee's yearly salary. Other studies claim that keeping a member of your sales team for two years instead of three may leave as much as $1.3 million on the table.
Employees depart their jobs for all kinds of reasons, but culture clash doesn't have to be one of them. In addition to showing off your commitment to employee contentment to your customers, featuring your company's personality and distinct culture in your marketing also means you stand a better chance at attracting and keeping the right kind of talent and having strong skill continuity.
How to Market With Culture
To be clear, having a culture worth bragging about is the essential first step here.
The aforementioned problem of employee turnover and disengagement is one of the surest signs there's something about your modus operandi that's causing your employees — and your customers — to lose faith in you. If you're not regularly soliciting feedback from your teams and keeping an open mind about what needs to change, you might as well tune the rest of this out.
But step two is much more fun, because it's all about finding compelling ways to inject your culture, personality and vitality into your marketing materials. You're going to find your own way, but here are some ideas:
From showing what life is like at your company behind the scenes to bragging about zero-waste production to simply imbuing your brand with more of your employees' personalities and sense of style, culture remains an under-utilized addition to the marketer's toolkit. How will you use it?
Nathan Sykes writes about business and technology in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the editor of Finding an Outlet, where he writes about the latest in business technology trends.
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