Contentions: Culture turned outwards is brand, turned inwards is product

Image by Choo Yut Shing

If you walk into any of the Din Tai Fung branches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, amongst dozens of other places, you’ll see the open kitchen through a big window. (Even the bootleg Din Tai Fung in Canada has a big window.) You know how the food is being made; the process and the experience is part of the product.

This applies to every single line of business; at Presentable, Anna Pickard says (33:20), “Our product is our culture. We’re selling the culture of working better through working in Slack. We have to show our culture through all of our external communications. No matter how brief, whether it’s a ticket to an angry customer, or a marketing piece for an interested party. The culture turned inward creates the product, the culture turned outward creates our brand — our marketing. It’s all two sides of the same coin.”

I really appreciate this perspective, especially as applied to written communications; writing is turning culture outward, opening up a window to the silo that is your organization. 

You’re not just selling your product—which more and more often is a commodity—you’re selling your culture. Your opinions. Your worldview. Your category. Your brand. 

Products and processes are easy to copy; culture is much more difficult to replicate. If you know you’ve got a good culture, and you’re proud to share it, build a window so that people can watch you work. Whether it’s through writing, or another modality, you can make it work for you. 

See also, make a map and How the Slack blog’s content strategy works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *