4 Reasons Why Culture Matters to Business: Part 2

Welcome back!

In Part 1, we learned that culture can help organizations to conquer the attrition challenge, and that it can also be utilized in powerful ways to drive and motivate employees.

Here, in Part 2, culture reveals itself to be connected powerfully to brands and financials.

3. Culture Helps Consumers to Understand Brand

Take a moment to think of your favorite brand.  What are the first words that pop into your head when you consider that brand?

Now dig deeper.

Chances are that you might also be thinking of that brand's employees and how you feel about them in relation to the brand.

As I write this, my workspace could double for an Apple annex.  I'm typing on a MacBook Pro, while a smaller MacBook Air is open next to me for research purposes.  To my right, chirping and beeping every few minutes, is my hilariously large iPhone 6S Plus.  Next to that is my iPad Air.

I probably shouldn't mention the 160gig iPod resting in my briefcase at my feet that I keep around just in case my iPhone's battery fizzles out.

I'm an Apple guy.

More importantly, I'm an Apple customer who associates words such as "cool," "safe," "reliable," and "simple" to the brand.  The Apple Store is my Toys-R-us.  I believe the employees working there are "knowledgeable," "friendly," "nerdy," and "hip".

I evangelize the brand to the point where I should probably be charging Apple a CPM rate moving forward.

Apple has done such a great job communicating their marketing mix that their culture has become my culture.  I identify with it.  I understand the brand.

I identify with Apple.

As Entrepreneur revealed in a May 2014 article, "A company's brand is not just what appears on a label. It's the philosophy shared with customers." (1)

Communicate your organization's culture to your customers.  Help them to understand you better, because brand is culture... and culture is brand.

4. Culture Impacts Financial Performance

There's no need to sugarcoat the final reason on this list why culture should matter to your business.  It's very straightforward.

Having a positive culture that employees connect with has a corresponding positive impact on financial performance.

It's that simple.

A study published by Forbes in 2011 compared companies that had performance-enhancing cultures (AKA strong culture) vs. companies that did not have such cultures (AKA weak culture).  The comparison wasn't even close between the two over the study's 11-year period.

Revenue Growth:  Strong cultures beat weak cultures by an average of 516% growth. (2)

Employment Growth:  Strong cultures won again, by an average increase of 246%. (2)

Stock Price Growth:  Strong culture led weak cultures on this metric with an average increase differential of 827%. (2)

Net Income Growth:  Once again, strong culture won - this time by an average increase of 755% over its weak culture competition. (2)

If you're an executive tasked with growth quotas, you simply cannot risk ignoring the importance of culture. (2)

Let's recap why culture matters to business.  Culture:

  1. Helps to conquer the attrition challenge
  2. Drives and motivates employees
  3. Helps consumers to understand brand, and
  4. Impacts financial performance

Get the point?  Great!  Get to work on your culture and find out for yourself what an impactful difference it makes to your business too.

 Citations:

  1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233751
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/02/10/does-corporate-culture-drive-financial-performance/#1c36ce22672d

Michael Buenaventura

June 30, 2016