Culture shock: Driving brand loyalty with value-led leadership

Retail Financial Services

06 October 2022

AuthenticityBank and Brand Distribution of Retail Financial ServicesCulture shockCustomerleadershipRetail Financial ServicesValues

Expert: Sanna Jordansson Facilitator: Lucian Camp


  1. Values-led leadership has to achieve a high level of consistency between the internal (employer) and external (consumer) brand
  2. If it doesn’t, there will be a damaging disconnect. This is particularly true in people businesses


Particular challenges arise with stakeholders who are one step removed from the business, such as outsource partners and providers who may be on the front line of projecting your brand to your customers.

Equally, in a slightly different way, it’s extremely difficult to reflect your culture and values in your digital presence. Beyond the secondary issues of look and feel, most firms look and sound the same on the internet.

Ideally, although these different groups may need to hear some specific targeted messages, a single big idea can pull everything together. One big, complex firm taking part in the session asks all its stakeholders to constantly question themselves by asking: “Is this activity purposeful?”

Authenticity is the most important thing. Everyone – internally and externally – must see that the firm and its people behave in a way that’s true to its culture and values. It’s better to be true to an unappealing culture and values (Brewdog, Ryanair) than to be seen to be faking something more engaging.

Key takeaway:

  • Perhaps most importantly at this moment in time, all this stuff is so much easier to do and maintain in good times than in bad
  • As we go into a period of near-certain economic and societal gloom, immense pressure will come onto positive cultures and values of all kinds, and authenticity will be tested as never before. Firms need to remember that their own people are suffering the same stresses and strains as their customers
  • While a few firms have put various kinds of counselling services in place to help their own people get through the current crisis, most have not – and it’s time they did