Brand and Culture aren’t just recruitment tools, or filler for your trifold brochure, they are invaluable engagement tools. Branding can be outward facing defining the experiences of your target audience with your company’s products or services. Culture on the other hand is internal, defining your employees’ relationships with the company, management and coworkers.
“Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.” 1
Pairing your company’s brand and culture can have tremendous benefits externally and internally. Brands projecting a positive corporate culture can capture people’s engagement and enthusiasm before the recruitment shpiel, or sales pitch even begins.
In an interview with Tom Rath, global practice leader at Gallup, he says:
"We know that when an organization starts to invest in the overall well-being of an employee, not only is that good for the bottom line, it's good for employee engagement. You can also see how that improves the workers' physical health, makes them more likely to contribute to the community, helps them understand how to manage their finances, helps them to have better relationships with their spouse, partner, kids, and loved ones. It also helps to get their career on the right track." 2
A Story of Brand, Culture and Employee Engagement
Perks culture is based on four core values: innovation, teamwork, ambition and having good experiences working and playing together. After working here for 10 years, I have to say my coworkers and I are quite the happy bunch. A few years ago we realized our brand was not reaching its full potential reflecting our culture. The faceless icons we were using as brand fixtures just did not convey the energy and experience we had as Perks employees.
The company was rapidly growing, corporate culture was evolving and the branding needed updating. In early 2016 something “magical” happened. Yes, magical. A catalyst thrusting us forward to experience the best culture Perks has ever had. This magic is what we know today as “PerkiesSM”.
(The first three perkies.)
What is a “PerkieSM”? Glad you asked! A Perkie is simply a visual caricature of a Perks employee. In reality Perkies are so much more than drawings. A Perkie represents of who all of us are as people as well as employees.
Perkies would never have developed without high levels of personal engagement within our company. Getting to know each other, communicating, and understanding each other's idiosyncrasies sets perks apart.
One thing i have learned as a designer is that any time you are creating a visual representation of someone, it's going to be personal and must be handled with care. That is why a person doesn't just get a Perkie when hired; we really can’t design a representation of someone until we know them. Those last three words, “we know them” are most important.
We have personal relationships with our peers. We create Perkies based on key aspects of our peers’ personalities. Some are more profound than others but they all they all represent our quirks. Everyone, regardless of department, has had their Perkie included in some form of outward facing Perks collateral, digital or print. These visual representations reinforce that as Perkies we ARE Perks.
While most companies seek buy-in from employees for new branding initiatives, incorporating our employees into our branding gave each of us our own little “piece” of Perks. Taking the time to get to know an employee then designing their Perkie is one of the most flattering forms of recognition and requires engagement from everyone involved. Applying Perkies to our branding consistently reinforces our culture and is regular topic for discussion.
At Perks we want to engage both our employees and our customers, and projecting our personality into our materials helps us keep their attention. Our Perkies bring smiles to our faces and we want them to bring a smile to our customers’ faces too.
About the Author
Chris Spann is a Senior Marketing Manager, brand expert, and content contributor at PerksMore Content by Chris Spann