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Word on the Street — May 3rd thru May 7th

May 9th, 2010 COMMENTS

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

What’s Your Corporate Culture?

Do your customers and stakeholders share your perception of your corporate culture? Too often, the answer is an emphatic “NO!”

I read an interesting blog post this week regarding American Airlines. Let me start out by saying that I am an “American Guy” when it comes to flying. I fly American Airlines almost exclusively. Having said that, this blog posting really made me reflect on my recent AA flights and realize a few things.

The blog posting, Becoming a Bus Company, is by Seth Godin. He mentions American as an example of a company that has let its standards and culture erode. It’s a symptom of companies (and cultures) under long-term stress. And certainly, no one would deny that the airline industry has faced repeated crises over the past 10 years beginning with 9/11.

When I think about recent flights I’ve had on other airlines, I realize that there was a more positive energy on those airlines.

In the end, it is a Corporate Culture problem. You have to shed your visions of the pretty ad campaigns on TV and print. Culture is not created there, rather it is created in the actually environment. What do people feel and see when they are in your workplace?

Don’t get me wrong, we all put on a little extra lipstick when we’re out in public talking about our businesses, but once someone walks through our doors, it becomes much more difficult to “hide” any product, people, and culture issues.

Ironically, someone sent me a video clip from Tony Robbins this week that talks about building Brand Culture.

What’s your Brand Culture and is it a key competitive advantage in the marketplace? As he mentions, you have to create a culture where others want to do business with you. Once they do, they stick with you. Its the Coke vs Pepsi argument. You either like one or the other right?

So, my beloved American Airlines, after this week and some reflection, you have a lot of work to do I am sorry to say. I will still probably keep flying with you, but with so many other options out there, I am not sure for how long.

What are some good and bad examples of Corporate Culture or Corporate Branding you have seen recently?

Please share your comments here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! And a very special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom.

Be well and have a safe and restful weekend.

–Kevin Carty

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