How Culture Relates to Marketing

One of the most common job interview questions is, “Why do you want to work here?”

When Your Marketing Co. interviews candidates, some of the people we interview make note that our website says we are “people who give a damn,” and that we work for “credit unions that give a damn about the people and communities they serve.” It’s not every day you apply for a company that is so blunt – not once but twice – on the About Us page.

Other candidates say YMC seems like a great place to work and that it looks like we have lots of fun. For dramatic effect, I once responded, “Who the hell told you that?!” The candidate was a bit stunned, but we had a good laugh. But here’s the kicker: How could she truly know? The answer: She doesn’t know really (although in truth, we are pretty kickass).

Make no mistake, the way our website looks, how it functions and the copy on the pages are all important brand assets regarding our culture and how we market ourselves here at Your Marketing Co. And if you are like many credit unions in desperate need of finding qualified candidates, your website is a good place to start.

But let’s answer this question:  How does your culture relate to marketing?

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said, “Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So, we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”

Your credit union’s value proposition goes both ways, internally and externally. The ease of use of Apple’s sleek, elegant products, for example, is matched by a culture that inspires differentiation and loyalty. Too often we looked at Steve Jobs (and now Tim Cook) as Apple, but there are about 147,000 employees. If the company didn’t have an enduring culture, its marketing would fall flat.

This doesn’t mean you need to slap your core values on your marketing materials. Human behavior, by its very nature, is irrational, and value propositions for consumers versus employees are different. Effective design is not just for your members and prospects either. It should equally be used to persuade, influence, and inspire your leadership, staff, and board. The design message, too, may not be the same for your external brand.

However, while there should be variances in internal and external branding, they still work in tandem. Culture impacts your employees’ work, happiness, and satisfaction, which influences member experience. Your marketing positions your credit union as recognizable and easy to work with.

So, when we look at a company like Apple and say to ourselves, “Now that’s a company I want to work for,” why do we believe that? One word: Authenticity. Albeit perceived authenticity, we make that connection that these devices we love are created by passionate design thinkers.

Now let’s look back at your credit union. What’s your belief in your credit union? Its products? Its services? The team itself? If you and your team do not love what you do, no amount of high-level marketing can cover up mediocrity within your organization.  

Credit Union Branding

Your Marketing Co. offers experts in credit union branding, marketing, and strategic planning. We’re here to answer all your credit union branding questions.

Frank Allgood has more than 20 years of experience in every facet of public information and marketing communications. As Vice President of Relationship Development for Your Marketing Co., he is responsible for strategic brand experiences and marketing initiatives for credit unions across the country. For branding or rebranding projects, call 864.326.8740 or email

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