People love to talk trash and find fault with the world. It is easy to do and on some level it makes us feel better about ourselves. (“They aren’t perfect either!”) The Brand or Culture project is not about finding fault or lamenting all that is wrong in the business world. Instead, its purpose is to spotlight companies that are doing it right! They understand and utilize the power of their company’s culture to create a successful brand.
This series started off as a one book project with a goal of interviewing 100 companies. That book’s focus (Contagious Cultures) was to show – across a variety of industries—common traits of companies that have made pride and respect for their employees an integral part of their brand and marketing efforts. Shortly after the interviews began, Energy Swing Windows was interviewed and they were able to provide an introduction to a hidden world of contractors that defied all of the typical stereotypes of that industry. After interviewing almost eight contractors, the industry neutral book was going to be skewed because there were still another 20 plus contractors waiting in the wings. Instead of ignoring an industry that was ready, willing and deserved to be highlighted, a second book was added, CONTRACTORS: Doing it Right Not Just Getting it Done.
As the interviews for both books continued, I noticed companies with a strong culture put a HEAVY emphasis on interviewing and training the new employee, and the concept for a third book All Interviewing Sucks was born.
The concept for the last book, as a result of following up with the companies. Comments about how much of an eye opening experience the interview process and employee survey had been for them are common. It opened their eyes to what their strengths and weaknesses really are opposed to what they thought they were, and the companies realized they needed to communicate those strengths to the market. The challenge is How do we do that?