The Houston Chronicle featured an article last year titled How to Identify and Fix Your Company’s Vibe. It’s a short, well-written article with some good advice for how to correct non-aligning perceptions and engage employees. It’ll take about 3 minutes to read it so what the heck, right? I’ll wait…
I want to take the concept of your company’s vibe a little further. Why? Because understanding your company’s vibe and being true to it will determine whether your company succeeds or fails. Or at least the degree to which you will succeed.
Back in 1977, one of Apple’s earliest investors, Mike Markulla composed what for me is probably the most elegant expression of a marketing and operating philosophy (a vibe!) I have ever seen…
Pay special attention to the term “impute” and its context. This is where your company’s vibe is born and raised. It means that every part of your organization and every customer interaction should be imbued with the same high sense of purpose.
In other words, if you’re proud of your core competencies (and you sure should be) then everything else you do should reflect that excellence.
According to this principle, it’s not OK to say “We’re good at managing money. We don’t need to worry about our website.” Or “people come here to work out, not to feel like they’re visiting a resort.”
Your customers and future customers want to experience you at your best – everywhere. All the time. Regardless of where that experience takes place.
Think of a vibe, a vibration, as the rapid movement of a guitar string. Then imagine everyone and everything in your organization operating on the same frequency.
- You’ve identified and corrected points of friction.
- Your products, people and customer interactions are consistently great.
- You solve problems quickly and gladly.
- And you look, sound and behave in ways your customers expect and admire.
Now imagine how empowering this concept could be for running your business.
If you’re contemplating entering new markets or launching new products, you have to ask the questions, can we do this without losing our vibe? Can we have an even better vibe? What can we do to make sure our people are also experiencing the vibe?
Having a great vibe doesn’t necessarily mean you’re edgy or hip. It means there’s no dissonance, no disconnect between what you say, what you do and how you do it.
You’ve probably heard someone describe a shop or restaurant saying “that place has a great vibe”. These days, that’s a pretty profound recommendation. It implies a great product, great people and a great experience all coming together. It’s a place people talk about and return to. It could, and should, be your business.
The exact same principle applies to financial services and other professional services firms. Think about your vibe. Change it if you need to. Keep making it better. And most of all, make sure everyone in the organization is true to your vibe.
Would you say your company has a vibe? How relevant is this concept to your business? Do you think the terms “vibe” and “brand” are interchangeable in this context? What companies or businesses do you think have a great vibe?