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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

7 effective strategies for managing your brand and culture

Today’s leaders must set the tone for a company’s branding and culture, and champion values that are important to their employees.

7 effective strategies for managing your brand and culture
Members of Fast Company Executive Board share their expert insights. [Image: Courtesy of the individual members.]

For modern employees, a competitive salary and benefits package is no longer enough. Today’s workers are looking for authentic branding and supportive, collaborative company culture.

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Business leaders are therefore tasked with the important responsibility of managing their brand’s image and internal culture effectively. To help you do this, seven members of Fast Company Executive Board share their best tactics for effectively managing a brand and company culture. Follow their advice and recommendations to improve your company experience for all employees.

1. ASCEND FROM THE BOTTOM UP.

Brands and cultures aren’t established from the top down. They ascend from the bottom up. Brands and cultures are reflections of the passion, commitment, and values of the everyday people who work in a company. The role of leadership is to amplify what’s there, encourage what’s great, and make room for everyone in the business to play a role in spreading the great news. – Barry Fiske, Merkle

2. REFLECT YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE AND VALUES.

For a brand to be authentic and effective externally, it also must be true internally by accurately reflecting the culture and values of the company. Leaders who set a clear organizational purpose that articulates why the company exists, express it through its brand’s promise, bring it to life through the company’s values, then create the alignment needed to effectively manage both brand and culture. – Danielle Paige, Nixon Peabody

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3. BRAND YOUR CULTURE LIKE YOUR PRODUCTS.

Brand your culture in the same way you brand your products. Start with values. We use the acronym CREATE because acronyms are simple and memorable. CREATE represents the values of Creativity, Respect, Energy, Accountability, Teamwork, and Empathy. Our internal tagline is “CREATE Every Day.” The whole team knows it, understands it, and applies it in their work. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

4. INCLUDE EMPLOYEES IN STRATEGIC PLANNING.

Communication is key to creating a dynamic brand and thriving company culture. It is important to include your employees in the strategic planning process on how you plan to achieve your business goals. By clearly understanding your vision, employees can make smart, informed decisions that will keep you on your path towards success. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing

5. DISCUSS VALUES, MISSION, AND GOALS IN COMPANY LITERATURE.

A starting point is to put down your values, mission statement, and goals in your company literature. When you have new people onboarding, and when you carry out company-wide meetings, your literature will serve as a point of reference. Having your business values in writing will help you make it a permanent fixture in your company culture. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

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6. DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU.

Determine first what a successful company culture looks like, unique to your company. This means taking stock of your team, what drives them, and what they need in an environment to be happy and productive. Hold frequent check-ins or invest in culture analytics tools that assess their sense of achievement, ownership, and growth. These are the factors that will shape positive company culture. – Bilal Aijazi, Polly

7. HAVE BUY-INS FOR EMPLOYEES.

The best way is to get your team invested in both the brand and the company culture. Having this buy-in is crucial to having them create a groundswell of support and reinforcement as time goes on. Make sure that they are “in” on all of the important conversations and that nothing is sprung on them. They need to feel like part of the process. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

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