Infograph: Why culture is critical in pitching

In the age of transparency, a strong corporate culture has become the primary driver of long-term business relationships, a global survey of 500 executives shows.

Conducted by the Fortune Knowledge Group in collaboration with global advertising agency gyro, the report Beyond the Brand report finds that business decision makers are placing greater significance on culture than ever before.

Beyond the Brand Infographic

The key findings include:

Stand for something: Sixty percent of executives say that knowing what a company stands for is much more important in choosing a corporate partner than whether it is innovative (21%) or dominates its market (20%).

Dial up the soul of your business: Eighty percent of respondents agree that a successful company’s biggest idea is often the one upon which it was built. Losing your culture and original sense of purpose may mean losing your customers.

Live by your principles: Eighty-one percent of executives feel that companies that are successful at building long-term relationships make a direct correlation between what they believe in and the way they conduct their business.

Share your goals: Eighty-five percent of respondents say they are sharing their company’s purpose and values with key stakeholders more than they did five years ago.

Strong relationships are worth the sacrifice: Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that it is worth making short-term financial sacrifices to cultivate long-term relationships.

“People vastly underestimate the external value of culture. They tend to focus on the internal benefits - the ability to keep people and improve performance,"  said Christoph Becker, CEO and CCO of gyro.

But, culture has huge external benefits. So much so, that the vast majority of respondents in this survey say that culture is the key factor not only in deciding whom to do business with, but also how long the relationship will last.”

“Those on FORTUNE’s lists of Most Admired Companies and Best Companies to Work For have a strong corporate culture in common,” said Eric Danetz, publisher of Fortune.

“Employees aren’t the only people who benefit from such an environment; customers, vendors, shareholders, even regulators, appreciate great companies. They tend to do business with integrity.

"They inspire high levels of trust. They strive for excellence."