I was speaking to a gentleman that I respect last week about branding. During this discussion we touched on many critical things, but none more than the importance of a brand culture within a company. If it is not there, then it is near impossible to create a brand identity.
Why is it critical that you stand for something? Because your brand is not your logo, unless you are a faceless, voiceless, automated commodity , then it is your people and your company culture. Your customers, clients, suppliers, distributors and even your people are immersed in your company culture every day. If you have a misaligned company vision (or no vision at all), or a similarly misaligned, or meaningless set of core values (or no core values at all), then what can you honestly expect the attitude toward your company to be?
An inspiring example of an empowering Vision and Values set comes from Southwest Airlines. It is one of many examples from “The Art of Business – in the footsteps of Giants” by Raymond T.Yeh and Stephanie H.Yeh
Vision: “To provide the best service and lowest fares to the short haul, frequent-flying, point-to-point, non-interlining traveler.”
Which Yeh translate the Tao as: “Liberating people to fly – democratizing the skies”
And the Values as lifted from http://www.southwest.com/careers/culture.html
Desire to be the best
Display a sense of urgency
Follow The Golden Rule
Adhere to the Basic Principles
Treat others with respect
Put others first
Demonstrate proactive Customer Service
Embrace the SWA Family
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Maintain perspective (balance)
Enjoy your work
Be a passionate Teamplayer
These values and the commonly held company vision empower every member of the Southwest Airlines to act for the good of the company within a clear set of guides. This is the culture from top down and they insist on hiring only those people with the right attitude that fit the vision. This ensures that the dream lives in every employee. In fact Southwest Airlines has created an entire committee to nurture the culture called the Culture Committee.
It is this kind of company culture which enables a design team the ideal platform to create a Corporate Identity that is substantial and tells an authentic story. It is this kind of company that is our ideal client. If your Company is lacking in these areas, fear not, it is something that you can develop with the right direction. And the difference in productivity and profitability as a result can be astounding!