Creating a Culture Around Your Brand

corporate culture

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Creating a Culture Around Your Brand

When people believe in the worldview, and ethos of your brand, your brand becomes a statement about who they are. Thus, creating long-term customer allegiance and attracting talent.

Corporate culture is the only sustainable way to beat out competition.
Given enough time, and money, your competitors can duplicate almost anything you can do.
Hiring talent.
Reverse engineering processes.
Contest intellectual property in court.

The only thing that can’t be replicated is your culture.

Some cultures attract both talent and customers

Tag Line: “Think Different”
Employee expectations:
1.) Come and go as you will
But get 110% of your goals done.
2.) Successful creatives are rewarded

Complete secrecy–
1.) Do everything internally +
2.) Pay attention to marketing +
3.) Control the message +
4.) The little design details add up

A feeling of unparalleled craftsmanship.
Great Hype.
You’re part of the creative cult.

Some cultures attract an overwhelming amount of talent.

Google receives over 2.5 million applicants per year.
6,849 per day
or 5 per minute.

Google’s PI lab (people and innovation) and people operations
work full time on maintaining top notch culture

The PI (People and Innovation) Lab
People Operations (Google’s HR)

Asking questions:
Such as…

How much maternity leave reduces female turnover?
5 months
How many job interviews is most predictive of job success?
4 interviews
Do employees prefer one time bonuses or smaller base pay raises?
Base pay raises
Are middle managers necessary?
How long should lunch lines be?
3-4 minutes encourages interaction without wasting much time.

Google informs culture-crafting decisions with a massive amount of data.

Offering services:
Free breakfast lunch and dinner
Free health and dental
Free haircuts
Free dry cleaning
Subsidized massages
Gyms and swimming polls
Hybrid car subsidies
Nap pods
Video games, foosball, ping pong
On-site physicians
Death benefits

Pushing Innovation:
TGIF’s–weekly all-hands on deck meetings where anyone can ask the company’s leaders questions.
Google Universal Ticketing Systems (“Guts”) file a complaint about anything. Patterns in complaints are later reviewed.
FixIt’s–24 sprints where Googlers focus 100% on one problem.

And giving creative people 20% of their time to pursue what they love.
Leading to programs such as:
Google Maps
Google Books

And Finally, There’s Culture that People Just Want to Buy.

Harley Davidson is one of America’s most emblematic brands.

While the rest of the world’s cycles evolved, Harley stayed true to its roots.

BMW bikes — 400lbs
Harley — 800lbs

The Open Highway


Technical Advances

Only 15% of the marketing budget is spent on traditional media — the rest spent on experiences for bikers.

The “Fan Machine” App on Facebook
= 4.7 million likes
Freedom-loving costumers share their own stories.
Then real riders who follow on twitter are invited on rides for ads.

Even with a tiny marketing budget, Harley is almost too successful.
Sometimes with multi-year long wait lists.
Even with $15,000+ tacked onto bike prices.

#stereotypicalharley shows the range of Harley riders:
Police officers, soccer moms, chefs, grade school teachers, doctors.

You don’t even need a license to join the Harley club.

With revenue for accessories, parts, and apparel at $350 million for one quarter of 2013.

Brand cultures make products necessary to live the life you want to live.

Done correctly, brands are part of who you are. And that’s when a brand truly is indispensable.

corporate culture