Skip to content

The Silent Business Killer


I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the full picture for many business brands from behind the curtain. From that position I’ve seen the great, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

I must clarify. When I say brand I refer to the whole business package, visual brand, communications and culture. Many brand owners forget about the last one and in my opinion it is the most important. Having printed values in a drawer somewhere doesn’t count.

When brand culture is lacking, the whole brand fails, like a fine Swiss watch that hasn’t been wound it looks good but can’t tell you the time to save itself.

To create raving fans out of clients, first you must have raving fans within who serve them. It’s not hard to do, but it doesn’t happen by accident, nor can it happen in an environment where it is not nurtured. Cultural brand success and the creation of raving fans within, are only the result of strong and repeated brand value based activities driven by the leaders of the business. It must be lived and breathed by all.

If you have 15mins check out this interview to see how Airbnb founder Brian Chesky talks about it, especially after scaling up.

I’ve come to know businesses where the atmosphere is so toxic, the air is thick and uncomfortable to those who are not crippled by it. How on earth is one to flourish in such an environment?

Some tell tale signs are an absence of long term employees, frequent staff turnover, and of course little or no repeat business. These businesses are typically lead by people who don’t understand why they aren’t achieving their goals.

I’ve also had the pleasure of knowing great business brands that amongst numerous other achievements, every year are celebrating staff anniversaries of 5, 10, 20, and 25 years! This is a clear sign they are doing it right and their culture shows it. It feels good to be there from the moment you walk in the door. Such a contrast!

Today people don’t stick around a toxic environment unless they are locked in for some reason, like a visa. If you’re in one and you can leave, run, life is too short!

If you are a leader of a brand, think about what you want your brand culture to be. Think about who you need to be and how you need to live (no I didn’t say act), to lead your team of raving fans inside your business. It all starts at the top. Your example is the benchmark for your brand and trust me, your people see you differently to how you see yourself.

While I have given a stark contrast here for impact, there are also many good brands that want to be great. The good news is that it’s not rocket science and there are processes to learn and implement to make your brand great, as long as you have a committed leader. I can help you with that. Get in touch with me to learn more.

Have you experienced either a toxic environment or a great one? Share your thoughts with me.

Related Post

Humbling Words From Awesome People

Our brand looks better than we could have dreamed and The Sponge team managed to squeeze so much meaning into it that our prospects really get a sense of how we can help them.
Darren Vardy
Insolvency Options
The Sponge have been outstanding to work with. Their expertise, dedication and outstanding quality of work is second to none. I am grateful for their input into the design of our brand and website.
Matt Malouf
The Fortune Institute
The Sponge truly immersed themselves into our business, our team and our culture to develop a brand that not only captured our essence but more importantly; expressed it to the world.
Mende Seljanovski
Enth° Projects
Love their vision, love their work and mostly love the team!
C. S. Chen
Claytan Australia
Luke and the team at the Sponge are truly artisans of their craft. They're AWARE, they DARE and DELIVER.
Claude Di Ciano
Richardson & Wrench Willoughby
Awesome design. Easy to work with. Jobs are completed quickly. Highly recommended.
Alexander Bont
Great creative proactive company. Could not be happier with the works they both provided and suggested. Now our go to company for branding.
Ross Thompson
JHA Engineers
Awesome company with awesome creativity. After working with them over 2 years, The Sponge has successfully turned me from a happy customer into a raving fan!
Jeremy Chen
Claytan Australia
High level strategic thinking and their creativity makes them stand out. Quick turn around time and reasonable price make them the winner every single time.
Syed Mujtuba
Crescent Wealth
A great vibe and energy brought to every project that The Sponge have led for me. Easy to work with, quick on the uptake of direction and prompt service. Will definitely be using The Sponge again and highly recommend.
Lucette King
NSW Department of Education
The Sponge team are great to work with. They translate your ideas and vision into something real and tangible and they truly want to make an impact to your business strategy with their valuable insights. We have been using them for over 10 years and would highly recommend their expertise.
M Levonian
William, Thyme & Prophet / Report Factory
Luke and the crew at the Sponge helped set up our Corporate image as it stands today. They were extremely helpful and patient. They took the time to understand our business and brainstormed with us some of the essential elements and came up with various images until we were happy with the final one. Can't recommend Luke and his team enough. Thanks again Luke.
Kim Lie Jom
Complete Health Chiropractic
I usually don’t believe in one stop shops, because of the inability to be great across many areas, but The Sponge truly are the one stop shop for brand creation, innovation and lead generation.
Mark Capelin
Tribe Social Fitness
I have had The Sponge involved in several IT based projects over my years working as a Software Developer. Each project has seen results that have exceeded expectations and I highly recommend them.
Shane Wisniewski
Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety
One of Luke’s talents is his ability to move people and organizations from the creative to the innovative, commercializing ideas and inventions.
Rodney Marks
Hoax Speaker
I recommend The Sponge’s services to new and established organizations who are looking to differentiate themselves from the “ordinary” and stand out from the crowd.
Annette Wright
InfoGenesis Pty Limited
The Sponge’s perceptive sensibility guarantees a perfect match between your business and its presentation to the world. They makes your values, ethics, goals, and the 'feel' of your business shine through every aspect of your brand.
Geoff Walker
Sydney Massage Time Pty Ltd
Branding is a familiar concept to comms & marketing professionals like myself. But it’s often a mystery to other staff, and for brand to be authentic, unique and indispensable they all need to be on board. This training helped me clarify branding to everyone in our organisation. Now they’re all part of the brand redevelopment crew, identifying and sharing stories that resonate with our values and purpose. Thanks, Luke, for launching our journey to uncover the brand that ‘comes from within’.
Avril Janks
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
We were in the middle of re-branding and wanted to know how better to market our product including how better to tell our story. This webinar provided practical marketing techniques, and rationale to explain the benefit of this strategy. The 'light bulb' moment for me was making the connection between the power of storytelling and marketing our brand.
Susan Perry
CEO CommunityGro
The Sponge is enabling small business to focus on essential elements of marketing/strategy. I used to go in circles and best guess engagement with customers; I didn’t understand my target market. The Sponge gave me a real wake-up call: To realise how much time and money I was throwing away for no return. The learning was interesting and interactive. Now, I feel in control and focused.
Sue Lea
Timely Business Solutions

We Love Helping Good Brands Grow

When Everything In The Marketplace Has Changed But You, It’s Time To Rebrand.

Working with Us Is Easy.

Step 1:

Book a free consultation

Step 2:

Allow us to craft a plan for you

Step 3:

We’ll implement it together