Updated: Jul 28, 2019
Yesterday, I talked about branding in a physical sense: what the sign on the building looks like, what the logo on the hat/shirt/website looks like.
On an interpersonal level, the brand is the culture created by the leadership of an organization.
Buzzword? Sure. If you don't want to use culture, call it an environment.
Culture is real. It is tangible. The environment you, as a leader, create is important...but only if you want your organization to thrive.
Culture is based on the people. In collegiate baseball, the people change on a yearly basis as seniors (or sophomores in my case) graduate, and freshman are recruited to take their place. Because of this built in turnover, the methods used to create the desired culture have to be constantly reevaluated and adjusted based on the personnel if you want to achieve the desired environmental objectives.
When it comes to developing a culture, you must answer these questions:
What do you want it to look like?
What do you want it to feel like?
What do you want it to sound like?
Finally, and most importantly, the action plan.
How are you going to get there?
What steps do you need to take to get your current group to look, feel, and sound the way you know that they need to in order to succeed within your organization?
Responses to the first three questions will likely remain largely unchanged overtime, but your action plan must be fluid and specifically address the needs of the group that you are currently charged with leading.
Your standards and expectations must not waiver, lest your credibility be called under scrutiny. Though your means of achieving them may change, those standards and expectations are what make your cultural brand recognizable.
If you create an environment where people feel safe, they belong, and they can thrive (another Phil Boyteism), the sight of the physical brand/logo will elicit an emotional response that people can't ignore.
...and in searching for a picture to attach, I came across this logo, which definitely stirred up some emotions...maybe it will for you too...