As we traverse our path of Marketing Apartments to Marketing a Hot Sauce Company, there are Marketing and Branding similarities and opportunities between the two diversely different businesses. Doing Things Differently Than Everybody Else and Leveraging Content Marketing to extend our Brand and Reach is and has proven successful. Both worked well with our Boutique Apartment Business, Urbane Apartments, and they are starting to gain some traction with our Food Business, Street Eatzz. I had an email exchange with a Multifamily Executive this week who extended a us nice compliment regarding our Social Marketing at The Urbane Life and that she may be looking for a marketing person with a similar “Vibe”. My response was that I think Social Outreach and Social Marketing is more of a Trained and Managed Process than a trait that a marketing hire may or may not have. That said, the Vibe” is more about culture, which can be more challenging to effect change.
A Visit to Urbane Underground Sets the Tone of our Brand
The Urbane Leasing staff have no ensembles and there is no “Dress Code” We are in jeans most days and wear flip flops all summer. We do not go on tours with potential residents. We send prospects out on their own to tour our apartments. In our trek to enhance the concept of a Centralized Leasing Center at Urbane, we developed a new way to tour apartments and we have coined it “GO SOLO”. It works like this; The prospect meets at Urbane Underground first to go over their living space needs. For folks who have never experienced the Urbane Underground it is pretty “Interesting and Entertaining” and sets the tone for a fun encounter. We LOVE pets at Urbane. There are No Pet Fees, No Size Restriction and No Breed Restriction.
The point here is that our “Culture”at Urbane, the way in which we conduct business, the way in which we behave each day is anything but industry norm, and I love that. It IS who we are, and it isn’t for everyone. Social Outreach and Social Marketing are just an extension of our day and what we do.
Company culture is important because it can make or break your company. Companies with an adaptive culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors. Some studies report the difference at 200% or more. To achieve results like this for your organization, you have to figure out what your culture is, decide what it should be, and move everyone toward the desired culture.
Company cultures evolve and they change over time. As employees leave the company and replacements are hired the company culture will change. If it is a strong culture, it may not change much. However, since each new employee brings their own values and practices to the group the culture will change, at least a little. As the company matures from a startup to a more established company, the company culture will change. As the environment in which the company operates (the laws, regulations, business climate, etc.) changes, the company culture will also change.
These changes may be positive, or they may not. The changes in company culture may be intended, but often they are unintended. They may be major changes or minor ones. The company culture will change and it is important to be aware of the changes.
Assess The Company Culture
There are many ways to assess your company culture. There are consultants who will do it for you, for a fee. The easiest way to assess your company’s culture is to look around. How do the employees act; what do they do? Look for common behaviors and visible symbols.
Listen. Listen to your employees, your suppliers, and your customers. Pay attention to what is written about your company, in print and online. These will also give you clues as to what your company’s culture really is.
Determine The Desired Company Culture
Before you can change the company culture, you have to decide what you want the company culture to look like in the future. Different companies in different industries will have different cultures. Look at what kind of a culture will work best for your organization in its desired future state. Review your mission, vision and values and make sure the company culture you are designing supports them.
Align The Company Culture
You need to align your company culture with your strategic goals if it isn’t already.
- Develop a specific action plan that can leverage the good things in your current culture and correct the unaligned areas.
- Brainstorm improvements in your formal policies and daily practices.
- Develop models of the desired actions and behaviors.
- Communicate the new culture to all employees and then
- over-communicate the new culture and its actions to everyone.
Only a company culture that is aligned with your goals, one that helps you anticipate and adapt to change, will help you achieve superior performance over the long run.