If you think of your organisation as a coin: one side of the coin is your culture—the way your organisation is viewed by your employees from the inside, and the other side is your brand-image—how your organisation is viewed by your customers and society from the outside.
For your organisation to be authentic, both perspectives—culture and brand-image—should demonstrate the same values; otherwise you are attempting to live a lie.
Your brand-image should be reflected in your culture, and your culture should be reflected in your brand-image. Who you are on the inside, should look a lot like who you are on the outside.
When organisations employ advertising agencies or branding consultants to develop an image for their organisation which is not in alignment with who they are (their cultural values) they immediately become inauthentic.
Marc Pritchard, who is the Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer at Procter & Gamble, told 1,200 marketing and media professionals at a conference in Moscow that it is time to change from marketing to consumers, to serving consumers. Pritchard underscored how today’s consumers are asking more from brands. He stated:
[Consumers] want to help the world, not just themselves, and as a result will choose those brands that share their values and beliefs. As consumers have unlimited access to information, transparency is becoming a way a life.
Pritchard suggests that it is possible and profitable to achieve the next level in branding:
In order to understand your current brand image and the values you are projecting into the world, you will need to carry out a Customer Values Assessment, similar to the values assessment that you carry out when you map the values of your internal culture.
Chapter 19: Organisational Mastery