Companies must match their internal culture with their brand to succeed in today’s market. It’s crucial to link how a company works and how it portrays itself to establish a strong identity, attract loyal customers, and recruit the best talent.

This article, inspired by Ben Horowitz’s book “What You Do Is Who You Are,” offers a guide for businesses to connect their actions and brand identity. It emphasizes the significance of organizational culture in shaping a brand’s image.

Understanding company culture

Company culture is more than just a trendy term – it’s the living essence of your business. It encompasses all aspects that shape your company’s character, extending well beyond office perks such as casual Fridays or holiday parties.

At its peak, company culture is the invisible force that unites your team, shaping the daily narratives of your employees and playing a pivotal role in your business. The critical components of company culture include values and beliefs, behaviors and norms, and mission and vision.

Values and beliefs

These are the fundamental principles or standards that guide the decision-making and actions of individuals within the organization. Values represent what the company stands for and what is important to its success.

These are the convictions or accepted truths that individuals in the organization hold. Beliefs shape the attitudes and perspectives of employees. 

Behaviors and norms

People’s actions in a company are their behaviors. The company culture shapes employees’ interactions, decisions, and jobs. 

Unwritten rules and expectations are called norms, like how to communicate, dress, and work hours. These norms affect the general work environment and how well everyone works together.

Mission and vision

The mission states why the organization exists and what it aims to achieve. It outlines the core objectives and values, giving the company a clear direction.

Vision describes the organization’s future goals and aspirations to achieve long-term. It sets the strategic direction for the company, guiding its path toward success.

The benefits of aligning company culture and branding

Consistent brand messaging

When a company’s culture aligns with its brand, everything it does, from actions to communication and decisions, stays consistent with its values and promises. 

Consistency builds customer trust and loyalty because they can predict what to expect. It also helps the company stand out from competitors, creating a distinctive and memorable brand experience.

Better brand authenticity

When a company’s culture matches its brand, it shows that it is genuine and keeps its promises. Being in sync boosts the company’s reputation, keeps customers loyal, and helps the business grow.

In a post-pandemic study by Stackla, 88% of customers say authenticity heavily impacts brand choices. So, connecting your company’s culture with its brand identity can make customers see your brand more positively. 

Builds employee engagement

A company’s culture should mirror its brand, making it easy for employees to understand its mission, values, and vision. This alignment creates a strong sense of purpose and belonging, boosting productivity and creating a positive workplace atmosphere.

Employees who embrace a brand’s values are more motivated to contribute to its success. Engaged workforces in companies lead to significantly higher profitability, specifically a 21% increase.

Improved recruitment and retention

Consistent and authentic alignment between culture and branding attracts like-minded individuals who identify with the company’s values. The recruitment process can highlight the organization’s unique culture and values, making it more likely to attract candidates who are a good fit. 

Additionally, employees who genuinely connect with the brand are likelier to stick around, improving retention rates. In companies with a hostile culture, 90% of employees have considered quitting, while only 32% have in those with a positive culture.

How you can implement company culture into your branding

Flowchart showcasing the steps on how to harmonize company culture into your branding.

1. Set guidelines that enforce culture

Create straightforward guidelines that clearly express your company’s culture, including its values, beliefs, and norms. These guidelines will act as a compass for all employees.

Consistently communicate these guidelines throughout the organization, from top management to new hires. Use channels like handbooks, orientation sessions, and regular updates to reinforce these principles.

2. Develop virtues

Define virtues or behaviors that reflect your company’s culture based on the guidelines provided. These should shape how employees, customers, and stakeholders engage with each other. 

For instance, if prioritizing customers is critical, focus on fostering empathy among staff. Encourage employees to practice these virtues regularly and acknowledge and incentivize actions demonstrating them. 

3. Include employees and empower them

Your employees play a vital role in shaping your company’s culture and branding. Encourage them to represent your culture inside and outside the organization by giving them the tools, resources, and training they need to understand and embrace your company’s values.

Using employee stories and testimonials in your branding makes your company more relatable and strengthens its bond with customers. Also, involve employees in decision-making and ask for their input on culture and branding matters.

4. Never stop improving

Culture changes, and so should your branding. Ensure your branding keeps up with shifts in your company culture and the wider business environment. 

Ask for employee, customer, and stakeholder feedback to see if your branding matches your culture and connects with your audience. Keep refining your branding strategies to stay faithful, current, and impactful in communicating your company’s culture.

Challenges and solutions of aligning culture and branding

Maintaining consistency

Maintaining a consistent brand culture across different platforms and throughout time is challenging but vital. Every aspect of a business should consistently reflect the brand’s culture.

ERP software can help keep brand culture consistent as they are flexible, allowing organizations to adjust them to fit their unique cultural needs. With customizable interfaces, workflows, and terminology, companies can ensure their brand’s culture is embedded in every aspect of their operations.

Scaling culture

Preserving a company’s culture as it grows can be challenging. Rapid expansion and changes can water down the values that initially made the brand unique. 

To address this, develop scalable strategies that can evolve with the company. Invest in comprehensive onboarding and training, establish clear cultural guidelines for new hires, and empower employees to embody the company’s values.

Maintaining internal and external perceptions

Employees might see the company one way, while customers see it differently. This difference can make the brand seem less genuine and reliable. 

To fix this, encourage open communication among employees and make sure they understand the company’s culture. Also, talk to customers to see how they view the brand and adjust as needed to match internal and external perspectives.

Leadership commitment 

It’s essential for leaders to fully understand the significance of integrating culture into branding to overcome hurdles. Without their commitment, efforts to establish a cohesive organizational culture may fail, leaving employees feeling disconnected.

Leaders must set an example, invest in initiatives, hold themselves and others accountable, and be adaptable. Strong leadership is crucial to a culture that reinforces the brand, engages employees, and secures long-term success.


Your company’s culture shines through in every brand interaction with customers. Integrating culture into branding is essential for building a unique and genuine brand identity that stands out from competitors.

One effective way to maintain consistency is by using tools like ERP software. By setting up the ERP system to reflect your organization’s values, you can embed those values into all aspects of operations, from finance and HR to supply chain and customer management.


Horowitz, B. (2019). What you do is who you are: How to Create Your Business Culture. HarperBusiness.

Impact Insight Team

Impact Insights Team is a group of professionals comprising individuals with expertise and experience in various aspects of business. Together, we are committed to providing in-depth insights and valuable understanding on a variety of business-related topics & industry trends to help companies achieve their goals.

WhatsApp Us