A Guide to Establishing Brand Culture

A Guide to Establishing Brand Culture

By Micah Heykoop


I've been thinking a lot recently about the idea of momentum, and how a brand can create it and then keep it. If you think about brands who you find really buzzy right now (think big, like Gucci, Supreme, and Everlane) momentum is what drives them forward. This momentum can be attributed to the culture they create. We aren't talking internal fun, like free lunch for employees or campus bikes, but rather the brand's culture as defined by it's consumer; the clear understanding of what the brand would and would not do. As a brand, having a clear understanding of the culture you create is essential in maintaining momentum and keeping consumers excited about what you get up to. 


This isn't to say you couldn't do something out of the box, like Louis Vuitton x Supreme's unexpected collaboration from earlier this year. At first glance, it seems out of left field. Upon further observation, the collaboration fits your understanding of both brands.


So how do you make this momentum happen for your brand?

Customize the following filters for your own brand:

  1. Brands like us do things like this.
    • Find other like-minded brands and figure out what they are doing out in the world. Then, translate it into momentum for your brand.
  2. People who like our brand do things like this.
    • What do the people who follow us like? Find an intersection or even an unexpected corner (Louis Vuitton x Supreme) and meet your people there, creating a powerful, surprising, but perfectly on-brand juxtaposition. 

Too often, brands see other colossal, mainstream successes and expect to find the same breed of growth. They say, "we want 999 out of every 1000 people to love what we do." But that isn't how cultures works. If you resonate with an authentic group, that means 1 out of 1000 people like you. That has to be okay, that means there are millions of people in this world who will love and believe in what you do. What matters is that you're creating lasting momentum that keeps you top-of-mind and important to the culture you've created. No brand wants to be just one of the hundreds of brand Instagram accounts a consumer follows. 


The above filters can influence all of the products, services, and brand marketing activations you produce, with each being a part of the connective tissue of your brand's culture.  Having a strong brand filter is a signal of your taste and is the key to carrying momentum. Being open to anything is easy, but knowing that your brand stands for a few narrow things is much more interesting. 


One day, your brand might be the brand that fills in the blanks on the above filters for someone else. Or, maybe it already is. Keep the momentum. 


Let us know what you think about brand culture. Tweet us or email us.



Micah speaks more about brand culture and momentum in one of our most recent podcast episodes