Culture, code and creativity: forces for the next branding era

“Technology is empowering all of us, and people seem to be doing what companies used to do and companies seem to be doing what governments used to do” said Amain Toufani, from Singularity University during his speech at the Singularity University’s Exponential Finance Summit in June 2017.
If it’s true that there is a credibility crisis in governments and media all over the world, then companies have a unique opportunity to do it better than them: building, maintaining and growing their own credibility through their brands.

If their leaders can align business, brand and staff´s behaviours, they would be in the best position to face whatever the future holds. The alignment process creates customer focus, provides strategic traction, generates a self-sustaining competitive advantage and improves company assets in intellectual, emotional and action-based social capital. They will be able to deliver and sustain both performance and employee satisfaction over time.

Allegro 234 is convinced that sustainable branding is built upon beliefs and behaviour. So, if brands have to reimagine themselves to inspire growth and innovation, how can they build upon other intangibles such as: culture, employees, customers, reputation and technology? All these intangibles together, can add up to something that is very, very hard to copy. Let´s see…

3Cs to keep brands human

If a company focuses on purpose and align its brand, business and behaviours behind it, it will be agile to respond to a rapidly changing marketplace.

  • Culture: Aligned employees, embracing the brand and understanding its impact on their behaviours, create a culture which delivers on brand promise. As a culture has to be built, it pays to think about cultural practices critically and rigorously. It’s an organizational answer, and it has real impact
  • Code: focusing on how to apply the technology helps bringing culture to life, improving processes and creating new experiences
  • Creativity in products, services and experiences surprise stakeholders building strong and long-term relationships with them
What can we learn about great cultures and how code can help brands?

1. Show me the culture

Great cultures such us R/GA, Patagonia or Mars:

  • Have a clear brand’s WHY and care begins at the top
  • Focus first on the internal audience, on those who will make the brand most successful: the team
    • Because employees are the first to live the brand experience, they have to be committed, energized, proud and happy recommending others to live the same experience
    • Identify people’s needs and adapt to their expectations
    • Their actions are aligned with the values and they live the company’s purpose, day in, day out
  • Craft a powerful Employer Value Proposition –EVP, based on purpose, values and behaviours which will facilitate the action
  • Look, find and reward employees excelling in relational skills such as communication, problem solving, collaboration and empathy; skills where trust-based exchanges are key
  • Provide clarity to the employees in regard to the goals, messages and corresponding actions of the company, guiding them in adhering to the company’s values and objectives.Value is created by the effort of people.  This is fundamental because people (we) must want to offer extraordinary service. We choose to share ideas and work together, we can’t be forced to innovate

2. Code can help brands  

As the digital revolution has gained momentum, it has become widely understood that the “digital customer experience” is key. Brands can use code to bring culture to life and to connect with customers holding their attention in an entertaining way.
In what other things code can help?

  • To improve or rewrite business processes
  • As markets follow behaviours, technology is very relevant in predicting people’s needs before they are articulated. Technology allows translating the data into actionable business insights. Examine events and observe behaviours and habits, sense and discern patterns to find new insights.
  • Facilitate the anticipation and connections between brands and audiences. As codes have the power to process faster, deeper and better, they dramatically reduce the cost of communication, transaction, coordination, and pattern detection
  • Strengthen the relational side of the customer experience: Codes facilitate the design of digital models of commitment and participation. They create complete, connected, unmediated and transparent customer experiences
  • Perfect the transactional side of the customer experience: Codes improve to the extreme of perfection the commercial and contractual part of the experience. Advances in big data, analytics, processing power, and artificial intelligence are already making real time coordination: whenever and wherever is needed

3. Creativity to captivate attention

The truth behind a branded business is the experience it delivers. Brands can amplify culture and code to engage with, delight, build reputation and monetize customers in the modern world while they remain efficient, easy and adaptable over time.
Creativity translates into team genius to combine culture and technology in three key processes:

  • New product development
  • New product launch
  • Intellectual property protection

The power of a brand and the emotions it can inspire though products, services and connected experiences are the strongest link to sustain long term relationships and remain human.

Brand Culture or Behavioural Branding

Allegro 234 helps to build great cultures: Designs strategies and engagement programs allowing employees to deliver on a brand’s promise and create authentic experiences for customers.

Our process includes two types of tools:

  1. Those that define values in behavioural terms (Values to behaviours)
  2. Those that help to spread culture and its content

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<a href="" target="_self">Roberta Larocca</a>

Roberta Larocca

About the author

Founding Partner | Allegro 234

Sep 8, 2017

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