March 8, 2023

The Power of Culture and Branding: Guide to Uniting & Motivating Teams

When Yamilca Rodriguez, an artist and fashion enthusiast, discovers the power of individual expression and how to harness it through clothing, she embarks on an ambitious journey to help others unlock their unique identity and liberate their inner artist.

Yamilka Rodriguez is a former brand leader at Proctor and Gamble and the founder of Bespoke Branding, a company that helps the world with branding. She is passionate about helping people express their individuality through fashion and believes that a strong brand identity is essential to building trust.

Yamilca Rodriguez, an individual with a passion for individual expression through fashion, used her experience living between two different cultures to develop an understanding of how culture can shape a company's branding. She has since helped companies to understand how their culture can help build trust and be a distinct differentiator. Through design thinking workshops, story workshops, and shared experiences, she has helped companies to find their culture and understand how to communicate it, allowing them to attract great talent.

In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. How can fashion help express individuality and liberate people to start a new career?
2. How can companies use archetypes to help define their culture and attract the right people?
3. How can workshops and shared experiences help teams work towards the same goal?


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Transcription Tyler Tapp 00:00:00 Welcome everybody to the second in Command podcast . You guys are in for a real treat today. We have Yamilka Rodriguez with us. I am so excited to have her. She is in the branding space , so I'm going to read a little bit about her. So Yamilka is best known as a former brand leader at the most significant brand building company globally , the Proctor and Gamble company . But now she has her own company , Bespoke Branding , right ? Am I correct in that ? Perfect . Bespoke Branding . Just make sure I get that right . And she is out there helping the world with branding . So we're going to get more and more into that . She has some fun tidbits to give towards your teams and what they can do with being synchronicous in your brand and how branding truly helps everyone , even the culture of your team. So Yamoa, I'm going to ask the question that I always do, like I told you, is if your professional career in life got just obliterated and you had to just run out and tell the world one thing , what would it be? Yamilca Rodriguez 00:00:56 Yeah, I think this is weird , but I would say dress like you like an artist . Tyler Tapp 00:01:04 Okay. Yamilca Rodriguez 00:01:05 I don't know if that makes any sense. Tyler Tapp 00:01:07 Let's get some more context on that . I'm really curious where that comes from . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:01:11 Yeah, so I love fashion and so I think people can express their individuality through how they dress and I don't think a lot of people tap into that . And so if everything got them liberated and I got to start a whole new career, I would start in that area of how do we dress you to come out , excludes your personality . Tyler Tapp 00:01:35 I love that . That's awesome. You really feel like that expression of self can be expressed on the outside , right ? Like that inside self can be expressed on the outside . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:01:44 Exactly. And a lot of us don't do that . We're scared to express how we would dress if we could dress however we wanted . Tyler Tapp 00:01:53 Yeah, I think the world as a whole has this reserved like, hey, I need to fit in. Right. I need to not be me. Right. Be yourself . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:02:05 It's funny because I used to have a fashion event every year and I loved my fashion event because people that you would see in everyday life would come . That's where they got to express themselves . And so it was just great . That's why I'm saying this . That was so much funny. But to see them and be able to really you wouldn't even recognize them on the street if you sell them dress like this . Tyler Tapp 00:02:35 That's amazing . How does that come from your past experiences and where does that fit into your branding life? Because really, branding your company is like putting your clothes on as a company . Right. And expressing yourself . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:02:49 Exactly. So I think this all comes from childhood , right ? When we were very young , I moved back and forth from Venezuela to the US. Since I was eight years old. My father did his PhD. Then we came back , then we went back , then we came back , then I went back . So living in these two worlds that were so completely different really helped me kind of have empathy and understanding for individuals . And I did it unconsciously , but I would study people . I would just study individuals , study people , and then I would be quiet . Tyler Tapp 00:03:26 Were you pretty quiet as a kid? Yamilca Rodriguez 00:03:28 Shy. But I was shocked , and I wasn't like, I like to do like I was shy, I guess , for people that I didn't know. Tyler Tapp 00:03:36 Okay, that's where the studying came in. Yamilca Rodriguez 00:03:38 Oh, my God. She's always wanted to do a show, and you would sing here, and I had a horrible singer and act here and do this . But then if somebody pointed me out and I didn't know them , I'd be like, who you are? But I think that was kind of my nature . And then when I went into Proctor and Gamble, I was like, this is the best job ever, because I got to travel the world to get to know different cultures , understand the difference between two different cultures . And I got really into it and wanting to know more. And that's how I developed my products and the things that I worked on. It's really that study of individuals , and that's how I got into psychology and branding and story and all those things that encompass a brand . Tyler Tapp 00:04 :30 I love that . Thanks for sharing that . I really appreciate that . I think that helps kind of draw the vision of what we're going for to transfer into teams . And how does a brand actually affect the culture of a company ? I think that doesn't get talked about very often , am I right ? Yamilca Rodriguez 00:04 :45 No, that never gets talked about . Oh, my God. Let me tell you, I have a few examples on that . So I became part of this company . This was a while ago and after I had left Proctor . And it was so interesting because there was no vision mission . There was, but it was like, you know how they tell you, like, what is your mission ? And they must pay for this ? They didn't have any essence . Tyler Tapp 00:05:14 It was written down here. Yamilca Rodriguez 00:05:15 It was just like, they told me to put this and this is what I put down here. And so really, the company is formed by characters or a character , right ? I'm the founding person . I kind of put a sort of it's not spoken right . You put this in the culture , and nobody knows why, but it's the individual that's producing that characteristic . Because story is something innate to us as humans , right ? We understand how to tell stories . We're connected to stories . And so it's important as a culture or a company to have a story of the founder of the brand story . How did the story start ? And that gives it a characteristic . And so each company has a character , whether they know it or not . What happens is if you don't exclude that character , you're not going to attract the right people to work in the company , and the culture starts to form within those set of individuals . And so although I talk about archetypes and archetypes and branding , you can also see archetypes and culture . Tyler Tapp 00:06:36 Yeah, big time . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:06:38 I've helped a few companies think about their culture through archetypes . You might have a company that's established , but you can always go back and understand what's the company culture if I have to describe it within some sort of character . So, for example , I just had an accounting firm . They've been established , they've been in business for 20 years or 25 years, and they needed help with their mission . Imagine that . Like, okay, you should have had a mission a while ago. Tyler Tapp 00:07:14 But that's the age old story , is it not ? I mean, they're one in a million . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:07:19 And so they were trying to figure out , how do we do this ? You know why? Because they were executing assets like a website , and they didn't know what to tell the person who was doing the website what kind of visual they wanted . Right. Because they couldn't describe themselves as a company . Right. And so I went in and kind of really went in quickly because once you understand the character , everything flows . And once we understood that character , which is great , because it was a very differentiated sort of accounting firm , they were the magicians of the accounting firm versus the very stable , kind of controlling kind of accounting firm . And so they could really make a difference in the world and be differentiated through just the brand positioning . And so really helping them frame them and help them understand what kind of culture they have to build . Like, you can't just say you're innovative . We're an innovative company . Tyler Tapp 00:08 :25 Innovative accounting solutions that's never been heard before . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:08 :28 Okay, well, what do you do in your daily world to make sure you're innovating ? Oh, well, we don't do anything . Okay, what about if you I'm also a professor at the university , so I teach design thinking , creative problem solving . So I said, what if you implement creative problem solving to your team so they can come up with different ideas and they're heard and they're like, how about this ? Interesting . Yeah, it's like people just say things because it's the thing to say and they don't act on it. So how can I, as a character , say that I'm a lover? Because I am. And then I act like an explorer, like exploring villages ? That doesn't make any sense. Right. So that's the same thing . And we talk about psychology and the role it plays in branding is that you need to be your character . Whether you're a business , whether it's a culture , whether it's your personal brand . It's like, what is your character ? And stick to it in the sense of be consistent so people can trust you. If you want somebody to give you money, you've got to show who you are so they can say, oh, here's my money. Here you go. How much money do you want ? Here, we'll give it to you. But they're not going to give it to you if they don't know who you are. And Monday you're one thing and next day you're the other. It's all about building trust . And the more trust you can build is through the consistency of who you are and what your brand is, whether it's a corporation , team, whatever that is. Tyler Tapp 00:10:29 It sounds like from everything you're saying, if you're fluid in that concept of who I am or who we are as a company , that's where the inconsistency comes from . It's like you need to be resolute . Right. In that yes. I'm not explaining it well, but yes, resolute . Yamilca Rodriguez :10:45 Yes, exactly . You need to know exactly what you're going for and keep that going . And the other way is you have to communicate it. It's like you can't just say, we're going to do this and you're writing it down for yourself . And then you don't tell the rest of the people in your company you are. And so they're all acting differently . Right. And then you're angry because , well, this company doesn't act cohesively . And it's like because you haven't communicated , nobody knows . So that's important too. The more people know, the more they will rally around the concept . Tyler Tapp 00:11:23 Let's say someone has it figured out , right . I feel like someone hires you, they've got their resolute identity figured out . How do they take that to their team and get their team to buy into that ? Yamilca Rodriguez 00:11:34 There's different ways. So I've been into different companies and done different workshops , and I love doing this because it's just let me tell you, shared experiences is amazing for company culture , okay? You do a workshop on something with a team of people and they're like, oh, because they got to participate . Now they can talk about the thing with the same brain . You know what I mean? Yeah. A lot of people don't understand that . When you do a shared experience , a workshop or brainstorm , then people are coming together . And I used to do brainstorms just for that , not for the output . Oh, you haven't do it. Yeah, I don't even care about it. Let me throw that away. No, it's about now I can say bubble gum. And they're like, oh, bubblegum together on this . Right. And so there's different ways to do that . That was a long way to say it, but one of the things is design thinking workshops is just to get people on the same page, and that's creative problem solving . And it always starts with the target . So understanding the target and going through some ideas, blah, blah, blah, the album great , but no, it's the shared experience . Right. It's not actually , oh, we have to come up with this amazing I think deal no, it's just more like, let's figure out what we're all thinking so then we can all think in the same way so we can do the right output . The other thing is, I do story workshops . So we go through the Twelve Steps of Story from Joseph Campbell The Hero's Journey . Right. And the Heroes Journey also works for Sales. So if you want to know what thing you do first and what thing you do next, you can go through the Heroes Journey and have your sales process . Right. And that everybody understands because that's important . Like doing these workshops with a lot of people , not just like one person . Right. You doing these workshops so that there's a shared experience . So those are the kind of two workshops that I would recommend . One is the Story Workshop , and then the other one I used to teach this in Philadelphia . I was a guest professor , and one of the students called me up years later, can you do one of those workshops that you do? I was like, no, that's crazy. And so because it does work and it's a shared experience that people can now go as a team and work against the same goal. Tyler Tapp 00:14:21 Yeah, I love that . I've been in companies that have done that , and we try to do that in ours. We're not perfect in any way, shape or form . But one thing that I've noticed is doing those type of shared experiences , it really does bring that unification of mind of being like, this is what we as a company truly believe . This is what we truly want as a company . This is where we're truly going . And it's funny because in the world right now, hiring is a big topic . That's been so hard, getting people to come and join your , but they'll come in droves . If you have this figured out , like, there is no question about it that if you have this figured out and your whole team is unified , they're going to be talking about you all over the place , and they have so many friends . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:15:08 You're absolutely right . I think people are like, oh, I don't know why they don't want to join the company . You might have had a different culture , you might have a new CEO, but they're still thinking your company is the way it always used to be. So it's really important to have a culture where people want to work for you. Tyler Tapp 00:15:30 Weird. Yamilca Rodriguez 00:15:33 And you have to be consistent , and you have to do the culture you say you're going to do. You can't just say, oh, we are this , and then you go over there and there's nothing to show for it. So I think in this day and age, if you want to attract great talent , you've got to have a company culture . Tyler Tapp 00:15:53 And it's got to be 100% intentional . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:15:56 Yes, exactly . Tyler Tapp 00:15:58 Well, it's funny. I've had a couple of conversations with other people about this that the younger generation . A lot of people are looking down on, right , of being like, they're useless . They're not good at working . They're terrible at this . But they are the most bought into culture that I have ever seen in my entire life. I worked in restaurants for the last ten years as a manager, owner, operator , whatever you want to call it. And I worked with 300 , 400 different teenagers . And I had people I had, like, the lowest turnover rate in the entire franchise that I was in because I was like, our culture is good . They come to work here for me. They're not coming for the job. They don't give a rat crap about what the job is. It was a freaking pizza restaurant . I mean, it's fun, but it's not that fun, right ? Yamilca Rodriguez 00:16:45 And I'll tell you, I think the older generation don't value that piece because they're used to like, they just don't do the job. Just got to do it, I don't care. And if they don't do it, we'll just hear them . And it's not these are the people that are going to take over your job. You've got to work with them . You've got to give them what they're looking for, right ? It's so funny because I was mentoring somebody and they worked at this company and they didn't know how to maneuver. Like, I don't know how to do this and help. So I have to kind of explain to her a little bit on how you take people on a journey with you, right ? You can't just go and say, I have the idea, this is it. The kids are like that a lot . They're like, we're going to go do this . And it's like, okay, wait a minute . People are like this second . So you have to take them on the journey slowly, be putting little seats and then say, oh, that's the idea movement . Yeah, let's do it. Right? And that's something that is taught anymore . We expect these kids to already understand culture , and they demand culture . Not understand it, but they demand it. I'm going to go into a company because I want to be part of the culture . And if you don't have a culture , sorry, goodbye , I'm not going to work for you. I don't even know who you are or what you do or if I could trust you. All you did have is a big company name and nothing to show for it. Tyler Tapp 00:18:32 Absolutely , man. Well, we're running out the end of our time , guys . Yamilca Rodriguez 00:18:36 Here. Tyler Tapp 00:18:36 I wish I could keep her around for another 2 hours . Culture is something that lives so deep inside of me. I don't know what even honestly , I couldn't pinpoint the thing that taught me this as a kid. But I get that culture matters . It is hyper important to everything you do. So we're going to have to get you back on and have it. I was going to talk some more about that . I love to bring you back on a different time . But for today, guys , we're going to call today. Thanks for coming on. Yamilca Rodriguez 00:19:03 Thank you so much and enjoy the talk . Bye.

Yamilca RodriguezProfile Photo

Yamilca Rodriguez


Yamilca Rodriguez is best known as a Former brand Leader at the most significant brand-building company globally, the Procter & Gamble Company.
For decades, she has been helping brands, and individuals create unforgettable experiences. She was featured in Forbes Magazine, The Voice-Tribune, The Courier-Journal, Today’s Woman, and Style Blueprint. She is a 3-time #1 bestselling author of Women Who BossUp, Ignite Entrepreneur, and Women Gone Wild. She has worked on billion-dollar brands like SKII, Olay, and Crest 3D White, to name a few. She was a TEDx speaker and has spoken nationally and internationally. She was nominated for Most Admired Women in the beauty category for two years. She has done everything from teaching yoga to teaching MBA students Design Thinking. She loves spending time with her husband and stepson in their Kentucky home.