You see a lot of companies talk about culture and talk about brand. Some companies act like they are the same thing, and some companies don’t know the difference. As we watch companies such as Yahoo! try to reinvent “culture”, we watch companies like Coca-Cola who drive “brand” to new heights. So, what is the real difference, and why is it important to your HR department?

Culture and brand are important because as a HR department, whose number one task is to find new talent, you have to be able to communicate what your culture and brand stand for, and show a potential employee how they fit into your company within your culture and your brand. But first, you must understand the difference and be able to differentiate the two when describing and giving examples of what your brand and your culture stand for.

Culture is how you take care of your internal customers, your employees. Your culture is your workplace, both physical (office layout, telecommute, etc.) and personal (how your employees take care of each other). Office space, layout, lighting, parking, perks of being in the office (Taco Tuesday) are all part of the culture. Still have a cube farm? That could drive potential employees away. Have a pitch in once a month? (Don’t ever do this…stomach disaster waiting to happen!) Common areas for employees to gather and collaborate? All part of the culture. CEO of the company not in an office, but surrounded by talent…culture. If you think that your current culture will drive away potential candidates, then it is time for an office makeover.

Brand is how you service your external customers. It is your values, products and services. It is how you treat your customers. Not once in a while, but all the time. Your brand is your reputation. You cannot say what your brand is, your customers say what your brand is. You must cultivate it all of the time. You treat your customers the same way all the time. Your brand is what it is, and you can effect it and develop it, and change it, and you do that one customer at a time.

Managepoint does HR. It does it better and less expensively than you can do it for yourself. We have hundreds of companies that we help with payroll, benefits and training. We administer HR so you can work on your culture and brand, and become the best company you can be. Call us today, and we will show you what we can do!

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