The FORTUNE Knowledge Group and gyro's new study says culture takes the lead as primary driver of long-term business relationships

infographics A.07.01.2015

Excited to share that our friends at The FORTUNE Knowledge Group and gyro have just released a groundbreaking global study that shows how culture has taken the lead as the primary driver of long-term business relationships. Five hundred global execs (director level or higher) were polled last month, and the key finding they found was that decision makers place a huge value on a business partner’s culture, what the company stands for and whether or not they back up their values.

In this study, they found:

  • 60% of respondents said knowing what a company stands for is much more important than innovativeness and market dominance.
  • 60% prefer a partner’s intent on doing what’s right even if it doesn’t maximize revenue.
  • 81% agree that companies successful at long-term relationships make a direct correlation between their beliefs and the way they conduct business.

In the age of transparency, a strong corporate culture has become the primary driver of long-term business relationships, according to a new global survey of 500 executives (director level or above) conducted by the FORTUNE Knowledge Group in collaboration with global advertising agency gyro.

The report, entitled “Beyond the Brand: Why Business Decision Makers Buy Into Strong Cultures,” has found that business decision makers are placing greater significance on a business partner’s culture than ever before.

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.

“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.“

“As builders of cultures, our own included, we know that businesses that apply an inside out approach to marketing are the businesses that are winning,” said Christoph Becker, ceo+cco, gyro. “People vastly underestimate the external value of culture. They tend to focus on the internal benefits – the ability to keep people and improve performance. 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.”

To download the executive summary of “Beyond the Brand: Why Business Decision Makers Buy Into Strong Cultures,” visit


About FORTUNE Knowledge Group

The FORTUNE Knowledge Group (FKG) is a custom business intelligence division of Time Inc., publisher of FORTUNE. FKG develops proprietary research and analysis on a range of issues, such as management, regulatory compliance, innovation and strategy. The views expressed by FKG do not necessarily reflect the views of FORTUNE editors.

About gyro

As a global ideas shop, our mission is to create ideas that are humanly relevant. gyro is the 2015 and 2014 BMA Global B2B Agency of the Year and an Advertising Age Top 50 agency. Our 600 creative minds in 14 offices work with top companies including BlackBerry,, DuPont, eBay, FedEx, HP, John Deere, SAP, Tate & Lyle, TD Ameritrade, Time Inc. and USG.