"A culture is made -- or destroyed -- by its articulate voices" - Ayn Rand
Everyone knows what a brand is. Brand logos are some of the most recognised symbols in the world. The brands we choose to invest in are brands that say something about us; they represent our way of thinking, our values and give us an opportunity to present our ideas and opinions in a very concise colourful piece of graphic design - or simply by a name, which can be as innocuous or provoking as the values they represent.
Brands exploded in the 90's, and have continued to change and evolve since then into what we have today. Virtually everything we see, hear, taste, touch or smell is delivered by a brand, and every day we are faced with a sensory overload of corporate colours and values. Our work environment is now no different. I'm not just referring to office products such as the Canon printer, the Hewlett Packard monitors or the Stabilo highlighters.
Today, the branding of company's culture is as big as our favourite brand of jeans (mine being True Religion). Creating a culture that suits your employers and employees and fits in with your business is one of the most important strategies employers today are investing in, in order to attract the best talent to the business. Take for instance Innocent - they are not only known for their smoothies, but for being a desirable employer - their unique employment package includes £1,000 scholarship grants and the opportunity for an extra week's holiday to volunteer on their foundation scheme. As such they have an exceptionally low turnover of staff.
It's human nature to want to feel valued and part of something worthwhile, and there has been a shift in attitudes to work over the last few decades. Whereas our grandparents lived to work, doing mundane and often dangerous occupations in order to get by, these days a work-life balance is more important to the younger generation - companies need to embrace this change in perception and ensure that they are offering employees both a strong brand and a company culture that stands out from the rest.
"People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it." - Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time