Posted on 09/04/2019 at 09:25 AM
(Note: This post is part one of a weekly five-part series on forming an overall digital marketing and sales strategy. Make sure to subscribe to the blog to see the next four parts!)
First and foremost, (and I promise this will make sense later,) thank you for investing time in yourself and your brand by reading this blog. Your future self will thank you!
Sales, marketing, and branding are all part of the same machine. Historically, Sales and Marketing are competitive with one another because they vie for the same limited resources. It shouldn't be that way. Marketers can't market what they don't understand. Sales become much easier when people know about your product or service because marketing has had your back! It's a team effort all wrapped up in Brand. Branding starts with culture.
Consider this: you can’t spell “Culture” without the word Cult.
Cult: “an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers” https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cult?s=t
In today’s corporate environment culture has become a hot buzzword. We all say we value culture, but do we really practice what we preach? Can culture be defined? When it comes to culture, as leaders we must consider if the culture of our company is really what we believe it is. Would our employees agree? We’ve all heard (or even said) it a thousand times in the interviewing and hiring process and in orientations and even meetings: “We're unique. We really value culture here. It’s just as important to us that our employees are a cultural fit as a technical one.”
Let's take a closer, honest look at "culture" and why it matters. Here are a few questions to consider, no matter your role in an organization. Ideally, your answers should be the same.
- What is your company’s culture?
- Does it embody your vision and mission statement?
- Could your (fellow) employees tell you what your vision or mission statement is, or at the very least, where to find either of them?
To truly say you value culture and it is a part of your day-to-day, your company’s culture must be something that every member of your team lives and breathes every single day. It must be engrained in the very DNA of your company, and every employee should feel it. When you have a true, pure, authentic culture that matters to your organization and it's organization, you have the foundation of a strong brand.
When culture is put at the forefront and matters to employees, it's hard to explain. It's something that must be experienced to really be understood.
What is your culture? If you had to put it into words, would you say “we believe in putting family first”, "our employees are family", “we foster an environment of accountability & integrity”, or the mentality that “The customer is royalty”? You may aspire to what you want your culture to be, but there is a big difference between aspirations and expectations!
Aspirations are something that would be nice to have, expectations are something you will have.
If you are a true servant leader, you lead by example. Your culture should shine through in everything you do. As the leader, it should be easy for those around you to feel, with every interaction, that the company culture is a way of life. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to inspect what you expect!
Culture matters not just in day-to-day operations, but in how you treat customers (both internal and external). When done right, your culture becomes your brand. People naturally want a piece of it, even if they can't quite put their finger on what "it" is! Your culture will become apparent in your branding efforts, marketing, sales interactions, and in every aspect of your business. As a result, the magnetism of your culture will begin to draw customers to it and to you.
Culture and Brand
Your branding isn't built on a logo, a product, service, or solution. Your brand is built on reputation, and brands endure. The brand always wins.
No, seriously. If you show the Mc Donald's arches to a 3-year-old, they will tell you they want Mc Nuggets. We can recognize the silhouette of the Coca-Cola bottle with only that image. It's not just about logos. Brands, not products, become iconic. The brand wins today, it’ll win tomorrow. Branding matters.
The common mistake that most businesses make is that they refuse to play the long game. They value short-term profit over long-term sustainable profit. Sure, their company may have a reputation around town of being the hometown superstar, but they never actually expand enough to have a truly Global Reach. Branding is what makes the difference. Those who struggle to find consistent growth tend to become so ferociously focused on that next sale or bagging the big fish that they find themselves in what I like to call "the state of the perpetual chase". Sure, some companies love the chase, but wouldn’t you rather your next client come to you? Isn’t that the why we do what we do, is so we don’t have to chase our next big sale?
When a company focuses on sales over the brand, they become stagnant. They can’t ever truly move forward because their value feels tied to being as good as the last sale. Sales are a necessity. Obviously, a company can’t exist unless it is making money so this mentality of branding over sales is not meant to make the word "sale" a naughty four-letter word. Rather, it's an attempt to shift the mindset towards servant sales, personal selling, and strengthening the brand through integrity and relationship building. When we master this mindset, we start playing the long game!
Join us Next Week for Part 2 where we will expose the "Secret Nature of Success in Sales"!
If you can't wait until next week, reach out to start the conversation!
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