How NOT To Let Blind Spots Break Your Brand
Every organisation – regardless of size – lives and breathes its own culture.
Your culture defines how your team interacts with each other and the outside world. This includes your customers, partners, collaborators, and suppliers. These interactions are made through all your marketing and communications. Every touch point. And that creates your brand.
Brand = your audiences’ expectations of you.
These expectations are influenced by their experiences with every aspect of your business. And these experiences are driven by your culture. Every decision, action, or behaviour of your people, is driven by values.
See how culture and brand are one and the same?
It is necessary to understand what your existing culture is, what it ought to be, and deliberately shape it to that. Because it has the potential to be an electromagnet culture, one that is positively energized and pulls awesome people to it. Customers and top talent alike.
Creating an electromagnetic culture
At The Sponge, we want to make sure that everyone in our team feels that their voices are being heard. We all work towards a common goal. We are purpose-driven, so much so that we keep our team health in check to ensure we don’t digress from our core purpose.
As a purposeful branding agency that is led by values, we regularly take stock of our values so we can identify gaps. By doing so, we unlock the energy we desire from the people we interact with on a daily basis.
Each year, we conduct our team values assessment. This is where we reflect on our current values. And this helps us diagnose blind spots for our organisation.
The year’s assessment brought two values to our attention: profitability and financial stability. After workshopping as a team, this showed us that our giving was proportionally too high.
We shaped the definition of the value together. Our values are a consensus, not a direction to conform to. Everyone has a voice. Everyone’s contribution is acknowledged and considered.
Our newest Value is:
Our financial vitality enables us to comfortably work in our geniuses and be the greatest possible benefit for our families, clients, communities and the world.
It is now part of our daily considerations for decisions and directs our behavior.
Here are snippets from some of our team about our new value.
What appeals to me in this new value is the two parts it contains. One is working “in our geniuses”. Because we can be profitable, but if it doesn’t inspire us and let us work in a way that we love and are good at, then profitability becomes meaningless. The other part is the “benefit for our families, clients, communities and the world”. I feel this is the real purpose of profits and abundance. The reason we strive for this is to be the better versions of ourselves and thus positively impact the people around us. In the end, it’s not really about the money.
I think this value is essential in the sense that it enhances our ability to give. One of our key missions is to help other businesses to create more impact on the community. This will only be possible if we have enough financial resources to keep the cycle. I think it’s about keeping the balance to set things constantly in motion.
Abundantly Profitability is very important because it unifies two special concepts – one can’t exist without the other. When we live in abundancy (spiritual, mental, creative) we instantly create the profit we want to see in our endeavours. It’s about putting the right energy in our creations and being open and grateful for the income, whatever it is.
Abundant Profitability is appealing because it signals stability for my family to continue to live life without worry. Our financial stability as workers come from great profit, and great profit comes from good projects. We have to be positive and look for clients in the right places. The right way to make profit is looking for the right relationships with the right people.
Abundant profitability helps us shape our behaviour as a team, the decisions we make, and the way we move forward to fulfill our purpose. The full set of our values can be seen on our website.
Aligning Your Culture
We encourage you to do a values assessment periodically. Invite your team members to contribute their thoughts about your existing and desired values. Facilitate a soulful discussion out of these.
It is crucial that your leadership team are fully invested in the values and live and breathe them. Otherwise, it will fail. Your values are modeled by your leaders. Not what you display on your wall.
An aligned and electrified culture creates exceptional experiences for the team, customers, and prospects. It is how rave-worthy expectations are created for your brand.
If you want a brand worth raving about, you need a culture worth raving about.