A few months ago, Janis from GameDuell came to visit our Berlin office. We sometimes meet to talk about company culture. We share the things we do and inspire each other to try out new practices in order to continuously improve. Janis had been reading Jurgen Appelo’s new #Workout book and shared some really interesting ideas that he had learned. After listening to him, I immediately knew that this book was going to the top of my to-read backlog.
As I read the book, I noticed that there were already many parallels to the culture at Futurice. There were also many new things that I picked up, most recent being the excellent Moving Motivators exercise. But one thing that really struck me was Jurgen’s point about brand proudness.
A team… has only really achieved an identity when people are eager to wear the symbols of that team… Creative networkers who gladly associate themselves with the identity of a team or organization feel more engaged, are more willing to improve the shared work, and are more empathic towards the needs of clients and stakeholders.
- Jurgen Appelo
Jurgen then proposes a T-shirt test:
We had recently ordered all of our employees “Futuhoodies,” so for me the obvious question was, how well would we do on the T-shirt test? I started taking a photo of every Berlin employee I saw wearing the company logo and here are some of the results.
These hoodies can be spotted at the office every day, in customer meetings, restaurants, bars, and airplanes. In fact, even our Managing Director and CEO have sported it (although regretfully I have no picture evidence of that). I would call this passing the T-shirt test with flying, green-tinted colors! The importance of the brand proudness that our hoodies represent is well summarized by Nils, who helped us with copywriting for a couple of weeks at our Berlin office:
I came to Futurice as a freelance copywriter and instantly noticed the very unique and positive working culture and atmosphere. You could sense that people were genuinely proud to be working for the company - quite a few were even wearing screaming green branded hoodies.
The hoodie, per se, is nothing special - my past employers would throw all kinds of merchandise at me and expect me to be a company ambassador. But, needless to say, that's something you cannot be forced to become - it's something you have to willingly want to become.
If your employees are running about as living billboards for your brand, you must be running things well and must have earned their trust and made a real difference in their working lives. I take my hat off to you and happily put a Futurice hoodie on instead.
- Nils Tscharnke, Freelance Copywriter
Wow! Seeing my colleagues being proud of our brand makes me even more proud to be working at Futurice!