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Two buzzwords that people throw around easily are culture and brand. But what do they really boil down to? Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners, bestselling author of Elevate, offers two succinct definitions that help to unlock the power of their relationship.

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Robert Glazer

Meghan Lynch

Ruth Lund

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“Culture” and “brand” have become buzzwords in the business community. However, their meanings remain nebulous to the entrepreneurs who need to understand them best.

For growing companies emerging beyond the start-up phase for the first time (and beginning to invest more heavily in brand and culture), the nuance between the two can be particularly challenging. Brand and culture intersect, and can have a compounding effect on your company, but shouldn’t be treated as interchangeable.

How can we easily differentiate between the two buzzwords? Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners and best-selling author, explains the crux of each in a conversation with Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative, and Ruth Lund, President of The Legacy Center.

What people say about your business when you’re not in the room is your brand. Culture is how the people in your organization behave when you’re not in the room.

Glazer goes on to explain how critical it is for companies to understand how the two are different. He notes, “It’s a kiss of death from a culture standpoint when people are using their core values as marketing slogans.” Therefore, having an understanding of brand and culture as separate entities, second-stage entrepreneurs can improve them in ways that are concrete, practical, and effective.

This conversation with Glazer took place during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a time in which business leaders are stress-tested unlike ever before, and a time in which many companies are finding brand and culture more crucial than ever to thriving in a fast-changing and volatile marketplace. Applying what you know to your brand will form a better relationship between your company and its customers. Executing what you know about organizational culture will augment your efforts to innovate and manage uncertainty.