At its heart and soul, content marketing is all about building a brand and a company’s culture can and should be utilized in such efforts. Think about it—a brand in some ways has less to do with what products or services a company offers and more to do with who it is.
Is Nordstrom more known for what brands of clothing it sells or for its Cadillac status in the world of customer service? Do people go to Whole Foods to buy Annie’s Mac and Cheese (which they can buy at many “regular” grocery stores) or do they go there because they like the association with a socially responsible company? These are just two companies that have successfully built their brands around their company cultures. In fact, you could argue that the two things are so intertwined that it is hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.
Culture as Free Marketing
OK, so nothing is really free, but a company culture does offer some of the best marketing value. The following five examples provide a unique and outstanding use of a company culture to market a brand.
This company transformed the image of fast food restaurants. In an industry not exactly known for social responsibility, Chipotle showed it can be done. Its slogan, Food with Integrity, headlines on the company home page and is the topic of a video featured on ABC’s Nightline. Take that, Taco Bell.
The list of 10 core values espoused by Zappos covers everything from a focus on customers to personal humility to business efficiency. The company so believes in its values that its latest Zappos family culture blog post announced that it will no longer post open jobs to which random people will submit resumes. Instead, people are invited to become Zappos Insiders and really learn about the company. Through their involvement, they will learn about jobs or be approached with opportunities.
For starters, more than 10 million children have been given shoes thanks to purchases of TOMS shoes around the world. Consumers everywhere happily paid a nice price for their rather simple shoes knowing that they were helping those in need. The company has lived up to its socially conscious image with TOMS Eyewear and TOMS Roasting Company joining the ranks. The volume of content devoted to such efforts on the website alone gives credence to how well this culture has worked as a viable marketing vehicle.
4. Dollar Shave Club
The Dollar Shave Club goes far beyond simply delivering affordable, smooth shaves. Its strong focus on evangelizing the efforts of its employees through the DSC Member spotlights encourages good citizenship and promotes its brand like nothing else could. It also advocates strongly for the Colon Cancer Alliance and even went so far as to put a video of its CEO’s first colonoscopy on its blog for registered users. Now that’s walking the walk.
You knew we had to bring them into it. It would be all too easy for the world to dislike Google and it’s seemingly Big Brother activities. But, try as you might, you just can’t. Who wouldn’t want to work at a company that treats its people so darned well and offers so many opportunities? As for content marketing at its finest, The Internship was a great way for the company to tout itself without really doing so. Nice job big bro.
Cynics may say that brand building can hide many a sin but we prefer to put a positive spin on things and say that a company culture can be used to market what deserves to be marketed. Every company has a culture and it is yours for the taking. Do not be shy about finding ways to incorporate your unique personality into your marketing efforts — it really can pay off —literally.
Matt Secrist is the VP of Business Development and co-founder of BKA Content, an industry-leading SEO content creation services company. Matt is passionate about writing quality content, watching NBA basketball, going backpacking and taking mid-day naps.