Brand culture is the set of symbols, values and behaviors that a specific company or brand reflects. It is the organizational culture of the business. According to numerous marketing studies, consumers of the products prefer to buy brands that possess symbols, values and behaviors that match their own culture, values and behaviors.
In short, brand culture is a marketing concept. Not only is it important for the company brand to reflect cultural beliefs to the external audience, it is also imperative that it reflects in the internal environment as well. In other words, the employees and actions of the company must match the brand culture reflected in the brand itself.
For example, assume there is a company that recycles ink cartridges and cell phones for non-profit organizations. In return for organizations that mail these items in for recycling, the recycling company pays the organization cash. As part of the internal branding, this company also operates on a zero-waste initiative.
This means that not only does the company encourage recycling and eco-friendliness externally, but it also embraces the brand culture internally. In addition to recycling the products, the company also recycles or reuses 100% of the materials that come in the door. The employee cafeteria houses coffee mugs instead of disposable coffee cups. The kitchen and cafeteria also uses metal utensils instead of plastic ones. Employee engagement in the values that the company stands for is strong in this particular business.
Brand culture is how the consumers identify with the brand. The images, visuals, symbols and activities that the business uses and participates in all make up the brand culture. It is important for brands to understand brand culture because it is the basis that consumers are using to make purchase decisions.
For example, finding the best car to drive is no longer solely about the safety features on the vehicle. Now, consumers want to know which brands are building cars using workers that are receiving a fair compensation. In addition, they want to know which car is being built using the most sustainable processes. Finally, they want to know which cars continue to be friendly to the environment by getting good gas mileage or running on alternative fuel sources.
This illustrates that brand culture really comes down to the meaning of the company, product or service over the company, product or service itself. It is all about the values that the brand and company center around. If the brand lacks the core values that consumers identify with, then it lacks the customer experience consumers seek from brands.