Organizational Culture – The Foundation for Great Branding

Organizational Culture - The Foundation for Great Branding

A Solid Foundation

It seems like discussions surrounding organizational culture are all the rage these days with the business kids. As an ED of a local non-profit, I often share with our rm2g clients that a strong organizational culture is the foundation for great branding. Spend time working on the inside, and it becomes much easier to communicate who you are to those on the outside. If your organizational culture or health is weak and your focus is on external branding, you are building a house of cards.

What is Organizational Culture?

Business writers Ravasi and Schultz state that organizational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations. A definition I like even more comes from Gary Kelly, President of South West Airlines. He simply says organizational culture is “WHO you are.”

Leadership and Organizational Culture

As a leader, it is your responsibility to spend time studying, observing and fostering healthy culture. It’s where your brand starts. At Family Life Services we are going through a great book by Patrick Lencioni called the Advantage. In it, Lencioni says the best companies—the ones with the true advantage have a healthy culture and spend time nurturing it.

Non-profit leaders, listen up. If you don’t spend time building this foundation, your clients, staff, board of directors and other stakeholders will sense that your brand is off. And that means you aren’t going to get total buy-in for your mission.

The Advantage of A Great Organizational Culture

Here’s a great video in which Michael Hyatt interviews Lencioni about his new book and this “advantage”. At Rocky Mountain Media Group, we know you can’t have a great brand without first building a strong internal culture .We hope this post gets you thinking about how your organizational culture is shaping your brand.

Patrick Lencioni talks about core values versus aspirational values in the video. What is a core value that shapes your organizational culture, and what is one aspirational value you are striving for?



NFL Branding Takes A Blow

NFL Branding Takes A Blow

NFL Branding Takes a Self-Inflicted Blow

I watched one of America’s most beloved brands take a blow to the gut last night. And the worst part, it did it to itself. In case you missed the game, and weren’t anywhere near Twitter (there is some inappropriate language in this post), there was a bit of controversy last night. The game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was filled with missed calls, bad calls and more than its share of chaos. The last few minutes of the game felt like a slow motion scene as the train wreck you felt coming actually happened as the time ran out. A hail-mary pass to win the game, a missed offensive pass-interference call, two refs making contradictory calls on the winning touchdown, a blown review, and a victory handed to a team that should have lost the game.

This is the worst nightmare for the NFL. Games being decided not by the play on the field, but by the referees. And not just referees, but replacement referees. There is a labor dispute between the regular officials and the NFL. So the NFL has brought in replacements this season. And after three weeks of questionable calls, the unthinkable finally happened. They made a bad call and changed the outcome of the game.

Don’t Blame the Officials

I don’t blame the officials. No one thinks they are purposefully making the bad calls. They are doing their best. But they just aren’t qualified. The blame rests on the league for putting them in the position with no chance of success. [Read more…]

A Very Cool Opportunity From Jeep


Jeep at Yankee Boy Basin

Yankee Boy Basin in our Jeep

A Very Cool Opportunity

A couple of weeks ago I received a tweet about a very cool opportunity from Jeep that involves two of my passions. At first I was a little skeptical, but after a follow-up tweet it was clear that this wasn’t a friend messing with me, it was for real.

That’s right, Jeep invited me to attend the Laurel Highlands Jeep Jamobree in Pensylvania, all expenses covered, because they consider me a brand advocate. I quickly called Julie to tell her and when she logged in to Twitter she had received the same message.

Jeeps ‘R Us

If you know Julie and me, you know we love our Jeep, it’s part of our personal brand. We tweet about it, post pics on Facebook and Instagram and I even have a YouTube channel dedicated to our Jeeping adventures. I guess you could call us brand advocates, fanatics, cult members, whatever you prefer. Jeep was pretty excited when they found out we were married, they got two for the price of one. As we began to tell our friends, the typical response was “of course Jeep wants you to do this.” [Read more…]

Keeping It Real – Exposing Those Who Purchase Fake Twitter Followers

Fake Twitter Followers

Buying Fake Twitter Followers Isn’t Just for Politicians

Perhaps you seen in the news lately mention of political figures who have been questioned about purchasing fake Twitter followers to boost their numbers. This is a practice that has been growing in popularity for those who simply don’t want to do the work of social media or who apparently just need an ego boost. And if you think it is something only happening on the big brand and national political stage, think again. I ran a few of the popular local Twitter users through the app and was surprised by the findings.

Sure, buying fake followers is a quick way to boost your follower count on the surface, but the damage to your reputation when you are found out can be devastating. Clearly,this is something we would discourage any of our readers from even considering.

Finding the Fakes Just Got Easier

This week finding out who is purchasing fake accounts got a whole lot easier thanks to Status People’s new Fakers App. This app lets you type in your, or anyone else’s, twitter username and it evaluates the quality of their followers. While the app isn’t perfect in that it only evaluates a portion of your followers, it does a pretty good job of giving you a snapshot of your or someone else’s account. Here’s a snapshot of my results.

Fakers Score

The Dark World of Paid Followers

Here’s an example of how blogger Zach Bussey dove into “the dark world of paid followers” and was able to set up a new account and get over 26,000 followers overnight. What’s interesting is with a few clicks you can also find out who else has purchased those same fake accounts.

It’s Not About The Numbers

Sure, having a large follower number is attractive, but that’s not the goal of social media. Large numbers don’t necessarily translate into increased interaction and more business. Especially if those followers aren’t real. What good does 20,000 or 2,000,000 followers do if none of them are talking with you, buying your products or giving to your cause. Absolutely none!

Social media has always, and will always be about connecting with your customers and donors in real ways that draw them to your brand and deepen their relationship with you. Purchasing fake followers not only doesn’t help you connect with current or potential customers, it can wreck your brand image and credibility when you are found out. And you will be found out.

How would your impression of a brand or individual change if you find out they have been purchasing fake Twitter followers?



Moms Like Brands on Social Media (Infographic)

It should come as no surprise that moms like brands on social media. In fact, moms as a group are the most likely demographic to connect with brands in the social space. A recent report by Burst Media revealed some interesting statistics about how people interact with brands on social meda. For example:

  • 76 % of those surveyed said they visit social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Foursquare.
  • Women are more active than men.  Almost 1/2 of the women report visiting a social site multiple times a day versus just over 1/3 of men.
  • Nearly 1/2 of people follow brands online
  • 2/3 said they were influenced by a brand mention from a blogger. That number is higher for 18-34 year olds and moms.
  • 1/4 are more likely to follow a brand because of a socially enabled online ad.
  • Brands have long known the importance of reaching moms, and it is even more important in todays connected world. [Read more…]

Dutch Bros. – It’s Not About The Coffee, It’s About The Brand

If you’ve ever been to Dutch Bros. you know it’s not about the coffee, it’s about the brand experience. The coffee is fine, but that ins’t what makes thousands of people loyal, raving fans of the drive through coffee stands. Dutch Bros. knows who they are, why they exists and is committed to living out those values. And it is this commitment that quickly turns first time visitors into repeat customers and brand advocates.


[Read more…]

Social Media for Small Business – Interview with Rob Pieper from Poppy’s Pizza

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing my friend Rob Pieper about how he is using social media for small business. Rob is the owner of Poppy’s Pizza and Grill in the beautiful Colorado mountain town of Estes Park. I feel like I can’t post this without also giving a shout out to his wife Julie, who runs Mama Rose’s right next door. In addition to running two of the best restaurants in Estes Park, both Rob and Julie are highly involved in giving back to the community. They use social media to not only connect with their customers, but to share the story of Estes Park, encouraging  their followers and friends to make the pilgrimage back up the mountain to one of the loveliest places on earth. [Read more…]

Social Media is a Magnifying Glass

Flicker image via user kapungo

Social media is a magnifying glass. It takes what your audience is looking at and makes it bigger, clearer, and easier to see. So what is your audience seeing? If customer service is part of your brand’s DNA, it will be magnified in the social space. Your digital audience will feel cared for, listened to, and taken care of. If it isn’t, well, that will be magnified too. [Read more…]

What You Need To Know About Pinterest

By now you’ve at least heard about Pinterest, even if you are’t one of the raving fans of the fast growing site. And by fast growing, I’m referring to the fact that Pinterest has reached 10 million unique monthly visitors faster than any other site — ever. So what does that mean for you, as a user, and as a brand? As a user it means a great way to share or “pin” basically anything you find on the web that interests you. As a brand, it potentially means not only increased traffic to your site, but a chance to deepen your relationship with those who share your products or services on their boards, anda way to showcase those products and service as well as your best customers on your boards.

Here are some interesting tid-bits about the newest platform to rock the social world.


Are you on Pinterest yet? If so, what is your impression so far? If not, why?


Branding in the Social Media Age

The Friday Infographic (can we use TFIG as an acronym for our Friday tradition?) takes a look at branding in the social media age.


Key takeaways:

  • Most people who talk about brands do so in a positive manner
  • People who connect with brands tend to have more online connections and are more influential
  • Rewarding your online community with special discounts or products will give them a reason to talk about you