Branding From the Inside Out: Whole Foods

Whole Foods is a great example of branding from the inside out. They are a $4.7 billion Fortune 500 company and one of the top 12 supermarket companies in America and the world’s largest natural foods retail chain. A couple of weeks ago they were named the National Retail Federation’s Retail Innovator of the Year which is further evidence as to why their efforts of branding from the inside out has worked so well. Whole Foods - Winston Salem location

A simple way to understand what it means to brand from the inside out is to look at it from the perspective of “the employees of the company practice what they preach.” The brand which is the vision, mission, purpose and core values of the company need to be found or built/trained into the DNA of those who are part of the company. From the top down everyone lives and breathes the brand.

Whole Foods brand starts at the top with John P. Mackey the Co-founder and CEO. As noted by the NRF, Mr. Mackey and his wife, Deborah, both practice meditation and yoga, and spend as much time as they can on their 720-acre ranch west of Austin. Mackey is a voracious book reader and participates in two monthly book clubs.

Each time you walk into a Whole Foods you experience a little bit of John Mackey through the employees that follow in his footsteps. But this doesn’t just happen automatically, building the brand from the inside out must be intentional and Whole Foods has a great program for helping instill their brand DNA into everyone. Check out their Declaration of Interdependence and Core Values for some great inspiration.

How do you or your company help develop your brand from the inside out?