Strong customer experiences and long-term relationships result when companies successfully establish cultures that are authentic, according to a new global study from the FORTUNE Knowledge Group and gyro, a global ideas shop.
The majority of the 500 executives (director level or above) surveyed said that a strong culture is seen as an important factor in building a successful long-term business relationship, even when that culture is different or unique.
81 percent agree that companies successful at building long-term relationships connect what they believe in to how they conduct business, per the study entitled, “Beyond the Brand: Why Business Decision Makers Buy Into Strong Cultures.”
Somewhat surprisingly, when business relationships come to an end, differences in culture are rarely blamed. Only 14 percent say dissimilar cultures have been the reason why past corporate relationships went bad. More important factors in the breakdown of corporate relationships are a lack of trust (72 percent) and internal policies that make it difficult to collaborate (68 percent).
Indeed, business executives no longer underestimate the importance of sharing company culture with business partners and customers. 85 percent of respondents say they share their company’s purpose and values with key stakeholders more than they used to five years ago.
Much of this sharing is digital – the immediacy and uncontrived nature of social media make it an important tool for communicating corporate culture to an external audience. 86 percent of respondents have increased their use of this medium to reach out to new collaborators.
Companies have long underestimated the degree to which articulating their purpose can build goodwill in the market and strengthen their culture. However, more and more, smart companies are now recognizing that sharing their principles is good for business.