CREATING CULTURE – 3 BADASS BRANDS TO LEARN FROM
CREATING CULTURE – 3 BADASS BRANDS TO LEARN FROM
Now, more than ever, your brand’s culture is just influential as your brand itself. When employees are happy with their work and their environment, they are more likely to be successful in their roles. A happy, successful employee is the best form of marketing you can have. In addition, because of the rise of social media, when you invest in them, they are likely to publicize their experience, which drives brand awareness. With this strategy, you can quickly get more out of your employees and make your accountant, your front desk receptionist, and your office intern into a whole-hearted brand ambassador.
When so much positivity is shared publicly, others want to take part. Leading by example attracts similar candidates and sets an expectation to adapt to that environment upon being hired. When your brand has a strong reputation as a “Best Place to Work,” your recruiting efforts and costs plummet because less outbound marketing needs to take place to find a quality candidate.
Not only does a good culture lead to more productive employees, but it also saves you money. According to the American Institute of Stress, stress in the workplace can cause 50% more voluntary turnover. Keep in mind with each lost employee, training, recruiting, loss of expertise, and lower productivity can cost approximately 20% of the overall employee’s salary (Harvard Business Review, 2015). When putting money aside, if a significant amount of turnover occurs, it’s a challenge to keep consistent brand values, dedication, and loyalty alive.
How can you achieve the ever-elusive title of “good culture” in your business? Take note. These three badass brands have managed to not only provide a better culture for their employees but their customers as well.
1. DUTCH BROS COFFEE
“Coffee is the medium, but we’re in the relationship business.” —Dane Boersma
If you’ve ever gone to Dutch Bros. Coffee, you not only have had a good cup o’ joe, but you likely have experienced their persistent positivity. When you drive up to the window, you suddenly have made one, two, or ten new friends—or at least it feels that way.
While many things are different about Dutch Bros. Coffee from competitors like Starbucks and Caribou, the Dutch Bros. service-first experience is their true brand differentiator. Their employees’ are trained to invest in both customers and each other, get to know them and positively impact their day. Don’t get me wrong, their coffee is delicious, but coffee is coffee. What keeps me coming back is the brand experience.
I’ve never seen a brand live up to its core values as effectively and consistently across dozens of branches throughout multiple states. How are they able to provide such a consistent brand experience? Because of the fun, positive environment. Moreover, the company culture creates an environment that is attractive to young professionals, which allows a multitude of applicants and the ability to pick the top employees that match their brand standards.
“People want direction on where they are going, not micro-direction on how to get there.” —Simon Sinek
There is a human need to be a part of something bigger than oneself—to work towards a goal, to make a difference. The problem is, most people fall into the trap of having too much or too little freedom to make a long-term impact when working alone. People need direction; people need community.
Hubspot believes that they need to serve their employees, give them the tools to be successful, and let them drive their own future. For Hubspot, as long as their employees drive positive results and delight customers, everything else is optional. With an unlimited vacation policy, Hubspot employees are allowed to work whenever and wherever. Even with a perk that most companies deem a risk factor, this policy makes sense for Hubspot. Hubspot has employees worldwide; everyone is expected to stay connected via their online community. Hubspot and its employees’ trust and transparency are appreciated and build employee loyalty, thus propelling Hubspot’s mission further, faster.
3. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
“You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher
Bags flying free is not the best thing about Southwest Airlines; it’s their employees. While the experience of actually flying on an airplane is relatively similar between brands, the Southwest personal experience is not. Southwest actively celebrates its employees, serves employee’s families, asks for regular feedback, and rewards employees regularly. Because their employees feel appreciated, this translates to better customer care in all areas like customer service, ticketing, boarding, in-flight, and online. Customers who are handled consistently with care throughout the entire process are likely to become repeat customers, which alleviates some marketing costs and helps keep prices low and boost profitability. In addition, the money invested in creating a happy team of employees is replenished by the profits made by their increased productivity.
Creating a company with a good culture is challenging—however, a good culture is achievable for any brand with dedication and the right mindset. As you’ve seen from the three badass brands above, when you serve your employees, encourage a persistently positive environment, invite your employees to be a part of your mission, give them a goal to work towards, and celebrate them regularly, you are likely to develop, grow, and sustain a productive culture.