Steve Robinson: How Great Brands Mirror Great Cultures

Mission Facilitators International
Mar 19, 2024
3:00 am
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Imagine a world where your strategic plan is not just a document to be approved but a living, breathing embodiment of your culture that mirrors your brand. Dean Newlund had the honor of conversing with the insightful Steve Robinson, former EVP and CMO of Chick-fil-A, and a renowned consultant and author. They dive deep into the symbiosis between an organization’s culture and brand, and how this relationship is pivotal for leadership and growth. This episode will challenge you to rethink how you manage and lead the growth of your company.


About Steve Robinson:

Steve is a consultant, author, and speaker on organizational culture design and leadership, brand strategy development, marketing planning, and distinctive advertising principles.

Robinson is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Chick-fil-A, Inc. (1981 to 2015). Prior to joining the company, Steve was the director of marketing for Six Flags Over Georgia theme park in Atlanta. This role was preceded by marketing positions at two other Six Flags Properties and Communications Manager at Texas Instruments.

After beginning his career at Chick-fil-A as Director of Marketing, Steve went on to serve as Vice President of the department before becoming Chief Marketing Officer. In his most recent role, he was responsible for overseeing marketing, advertising, brand development, menu development, and hospitality strategies. During Steve’s tenure, Chick-fil-A grew from 184 stores and $100 million to 2,100 stores and $6.8 billion and became one of the most iconic brands of our time.


In this episode, Dean Newlund and Steve Robinson discuss:

  • The intertwining of branding and organizational culture is crucial for success
  • Branding and culture strategies at Chick-fil-A were discussed by Steve Robinson
  • The company’s purpose includes a spiritual mission of glorifying God.
  • The foundational principles that are non-negotiable in business decisions
  • Chick-fil-A’s brand visibility was boosted by its first billboard in 1996, coinciding with the Summer Olympics
  • Challenges in maintaining the founder’s culture after their departure
  • The importance of staying true to brand origins for sustainability


“That’s the essence of the brand strategy at Chick-fil-A. We’re going to treat people with honor, dignity, and respect. We have operators who are leaders, who are capable, instilling that kind of vision, attracting the kind of talent to pull that off, to deliver that promise in a genuine, authentic way. ” — Steve Robinson


Connect with Steve Robinson:  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/srobinsonconsulting/

Website: https://srobinsonconsulting.com/




See Dean’s TedTalk “Why Business Needs Intuition” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEq9IYvgV7I


Connect with Dean:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgqRK8GC8jBIFYPmECUCMkw

Website: https://www.mfileadership.com/

The Mission Statement E-Newsletter: https://www.mfileadership.com/blog/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deannewlund/

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/deannewlund

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MissionFacilitators/

Email: dean.newlund@mfileadership.com

Phone: 1-800-926-7370



Show notes by Podcastologist: Hanz Jimuel Alvarez


Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.