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…]

Personal Branding – the Back To School Exercise

Personal Branding - Back To School

“All About Me”

Today was my daughter’s first day of Jr High and just like her first day of kindergarden she had to complete an “All About Me” exercise for her teachers. Her answers to simple questions will be the first impressions her teachers have and will influence their opinions of just who Jessa Abel is as she enters those wonderful, awkward years.

Who Are You?

The “All About Me” form consists of pretty simple and straight-forward questions about who you are. Here are a few of Jessa’s answers.

First and Last Name: Jessa Abel
My sister/brother: is annoying, fun and a friend
My friends: are everywhere
My dad: is super cool (no money was exchanged, I promise)
My greatest worry: is getting lost
I secretly: I have no secrets. Really
I am usually afraid: of nothing
My best sport: rock climbing
I dream: wild and crazy dreams
I would really like to: go to London and visit the Dr. Who museum

These short, honest answers provide an accurate picture of who Jessa is. She loves people, has a challenged sense of direction, isn’t shy, really has no fear about trying anything new and is a dreamer. And the fact that at almost 13, she thinks dad is even a little cool, encourages me that at least I’ve done a few things right.

Your About Me Page

Like it or not, you have produced an about me page that lives all over the internet. From your social media profiles to the photos you post via Instagram, and the things you pin on Pinterest, you are constantly writing and re-writing your about me page. And this page isn’t for your teacher, but for your future employers, landlords, business partners, a potential spouse or anyone else with a computer and internet access.

You Control Your Personal Brand

When it comes to personal branding, unless there are some major skeletons in your closet, you have control of how you are presented online. How you answer “the questions” shapes what others think of you. The key, be honest. Sure, Jessa could have made up answers that made her seem to be something other than what she is. And you can too. But she would have been busted as a fraud as soon as her teachers got to know her in real life. The key to personal branding online it to be yourself. Nothing is worse than meeting someone in real life and realizing they are nothing like who they appeared to be online. Trust lost. Opportunity lost.

Take a few minutes and look at your online presence and see if it is an accurate representation of the real you.

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?

 

 

How To Change Your Facebook Custom URL

Until recently Facebook only allowed you to set a custom URL for your personal profile and a page once, after you selected it there was no way to change your Facebook custom URL. There were stories of some successfully contacting a sympathetic soul at Facebook and getting the URL changed, but it was a long shot.

All that has changed, at least a little. Facebook has allowed you one more chance to get your custom URL right, both for your Facebook Page and for your personal profile. This one-time change can be made right from your account, no need to try to contact the powers that be at Facebook. So if you aren’t happy with your original choice, or if your brand has changed, follow these step-by-step instructions to make the change. [Read more…]

Quit Focusing On Your Competition

When you woke up this morning, had your cup of coffee and started focusing on what you had to do today, did you start by thinking about why you were doing all those things? Or, did you start focusing on your competition? That one organization that seems to always be one step ahead? Or maybe, you feel like your competing with the world. [Read more…]

Personal Branding and Social Media

If you aren’t thinking about personal branding and social media it’s time to start. Social media has the power to connect  you with thousands of people daily, and each interaction is an impression about who you are — what your personal brand is. Knowing how all of your social activity works together, and what your brand message is is important in presenting a clear personal brand to potential clients, partners, employers or employees.

Some of the highlights of today’s infogrpahic on personal branding and social media are:

  • Facebook – Add milestones and experiences that futther enchace your image
  • LinkedIn – Keep your profile current
  • Twitter – Search for your interests and join conversations in real time
  • Google+ – Content shared in Google+ shows up in Google search results, so make sure it is positive
  • Klout – Tells you areas where it thinks you are influential in the social space
  • About.me – Create a personal landing page [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…]

A Marketer’s Guide To Social Media (Infographic)

Each year CMO.com releases a marketer’s guide to social media. This year they reviewed 14 platforms in the areas of customer communication, brand exposure, traffic to your site, and SEO. While some of their findings as just what you would assume, some were surprising, and some were even questionable.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Five new members were added to this years rankings — Pinterest, Google+, SlideShare, Quora, and Instagram. Some of the new kids on the block are doing pretty well.
  • Google+ Ranked highest in Customer Communication, Brand Exposure, and SEO
  • Twitter ranked highest in Traffic To Your Site
  • Instagram ranked last in 3 categories – Customer Communication, Traffic To Your Site, and SEO

You can also visit the CMO.com website for a sortable infographic by category.

Do you agree or disagree with their evaluations? What platforms are driving the most traffic to your site? And where are you communicating most with customers?