But that’s just what my friend Denise Lee Yohn did in her exceptional new book, FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Great Companies.
As one of the world’s leading authorities on brand-building, Denise tackles one of the most important and overlooked aspects of a strong brand: company culture.
It’s the FUSION of brand and culture that creates organizational power.
After reading the book, which I also proudly endorsed, I followed up with Denise to talk about her research into brand and culture.
The Importance of Culture
Denise, you are well known for your work on branding. This book takes a different turn as it is as much, if not more, about organizational culture. Tell us about why you decided to address culture.
FUSION actually came out of my work with clients on strengthening and/or repositioning their brands. I found that our efforts were sometimes held back from making as much of an impact as they could have because of cultural issues inside the organization. If the culture of the organization wasn’t aligned with the brand, some leaders wouldn’t want to include culture as part of brand-building, or they didn’t appreciate the need to align and integrate their brand and culture — to create brand-culture fusion — and that prevented them from realizing the full potential of their organization and their brand.
You say that a key leadership responsibility is the integration of culture and brand. Has this always been true? What are the best ways to accomplish this?
Brand-culture fusion has always required strong leadership from the top of the organization, but it has become more important in recent years, given the corporate culture crisis that has arisen. Leaders can no longer assume their organizations will have a healthy culture if they’re nice and decent people — it takes deliberate effort to cultivate a unique, valuable, sustainable culture.
“You must accept the challenge to lead your organization to greatness.” -Denise Lee Yohn