By Suzy Rounce, Art Director, Sandbox
"The Method Method book" - Seven Obsessions that Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down, is a book that has become a constant piece of inspiration for me at Sandbox. Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry illustrate how hard work, a great idea and killer culture in any marketplace can go far. Even though they have recently sold their brand to the UK company Ecover they did it with much consideration to matching up with a company that shared similar cultural values. Method and Ecover now represent the largest green cleaning company in the world. Before they sold they had grown themselves from nothing to a $100 million dollar company in 7 years.
If you aren’t familiar with their products the photo of their packaging should help. In the early days they worked with hip, industrial designers to create bottles that represented what they were about and how they wanted to stand out. Ryan and Lowry knew they could take marketshare from the existing product category that screamed “CLEAN” but didn’t stand for anything more than that. Method wanted to change the world for good.
Behind the scenes of Method’s growth is a great company culture. It happened organically at first then after substantial growth they had to sit down to document and put a process behind why it worked. The ‘process’ part being a few of the following: create your own job title (instills ownership, a unique role and a bit of fun), homework assignments for possible new hires including “How will you personally ‘keep Method weird“ (one of their core values). Rookie cookies, homemade treats to be brought in by new hires on their first day as a way for everyone to meet each other. The annual Method Prom, an excuse to dress-up, collaborate and bond over something as magical and silly as Prom. Who wouldn’t love a redo of their Prom as an adult?
Method believes in making your office environment match your values. It’s an opportunity to create something truly unique. Culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage to an organization and the only pure differentiation in a company that drives performance. That has significant results to the bottom-line. Companies with admired corporate cultures have performed 600% times better on the TSX based on 2010 winners, 3 year compound annual growth rates (according to Culture Connection by M. Parker). Culture Connection lists the following as 10 elements to great company culture: core values, celebrations, community, communication, caring, commitment to learning, consistency, connection, and chronicles.
"The Method Method" book speaks about each of these and how it worked for them. What can you do to instill these values in your company? Think big. Think branding. Brand Marketing can launch your company into successful realms from the inside out. Everyone should have the tools internally to be a brand ambassador for you in the best ways possible. What are your culture club quirks?
Book references: "The Method Method" by E. Ryan and A. Lowry, Culture Connection by M. Parker