“It is not hard to make decisions when you know what your core values are.”
– Roy Disney
What Are Brand Values?
Just like you’ve likely developed your own personal beliefs and values over the course of your life, your brand should have its own set of values. These values are guiding posts, core beliefs that influence the direction and impact of your business.
In its simplest form, brand values are your business’ way of life. Getting clear on them will determine how you show up in the world and deliver one-of-a-kind customer experiences.
They are an incredibly important piece of the brand strategy process, and bleed into every aspect of your branding and marketing – like your website, content strategy, social media and more.
Should Brand Values Align with the Founder’s Values?
Yes and no.
If a leader does not believe in the values that are driving the brand, then that brand may fall short.
However it’s important to make the distinction between personal values and brand values. Many business owners, CEOs and founders get caught up in their own personal beliefs when trying to determine their brand values. When actually, they should be viewing the company or the brand as its own separate entity. If your brand were a person, what would it believe in? Why?
Why Do You Need Them?
Sitting down and figuring out what your brand values are is one of the most important business strategies you can execute.
Values help you stay true to your beliefs as a company, and guide your business decisions as the organization grows. Brands weren’t meant to be static – companies should embrace the change in their brands. However, it’s important that in that process of evolution the heart of the company is not lost. And that lies in your core values.
Foster a Deeper Connection with Customers
The right values connect with your customers on an emotional level which is important because all consumer decisions are heavily influenced by emotion. You can incorporate shared values into your messaging strategy to make real connection and build brand trust.
According to the Ipsos Global Trends 2021 report, consumers are looking for brands that stay true to their word and make long-term commitments to their cause. To keep up, we must take a look at our brand values.
Stand For Something
Core values will help you make more impact – whether that’s taking a stand on societal problems, inspiring generations, challenging industry norms, or developing technologies that disrupt entire industries. We are more powerful when we stand for something we believe in.
Successful Brand Values
If you want to see how strong values can boost brands, look no further than some of the most well-known brands in the world.
The best brands are the ones driven by a guiding purpose and strong values. Here are some examples of businesses that demonstrate strong core values in their brand strategies.
Their core values are:
Performance. They repeatedly mention their commitment to providing their customers with only the best sports gear. They back up these statements by hiring engineers, chemists and clothing experts to design their products.
Passion. They selectively hire and surround themselves with people who share a passion for sports.
Integrity. They regularly give back to the community by participating in athletic scholarship programs, donating to charities like the Global Aid Network and locally volunteering.
Diversity. Adidas supports diversity by creating products for people of all ages, skills and sizes.
Put the user first. Much like Amazon, Google is committed to being customer focused and as user friendly as possible. They are always innovating different ways to delight us and enhance our lives.
Speed is a virtue. They know everything needs to move fast in today’s technological environment and they meet this demand by making speed a high priority.
Set audacious goals. Google makes a point to push the envelope as far as they possibly can in all their endeavors. This is what brings about all their best designs and features.
Overweight the future. Google understands that business transformation takes time and resists getting too caught up in the present. Thinking about the future puts them ahead of their competition.
Embrace failure to break boundaries. They understand that failure is just a result. Rather than letting failure set them back, they learn everything they can from it until they see success.
Be uncompromising about people. Google knows success is accomplished by people and they practice this by diligently finding the best people for their projects.
Southwest Airlines has a particularly bold mission statement that goes as follows:
“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”
It’s a big order to fill but they are proving it possible because they are one of the most consistently profitable major airlines in the US. They receive high praise for their customer service and safety, and have employee turnover rates of only 5%. All of this is made possible by their powerful brand values which can be summarised into 5 factors.
Selfless service. Selfless service to their employees inspires them to provide the same level of service to their customers.
Friendly customer experience. They provide a friendly customer experience by creating a warm, welcoming and respectful company culture.
Safety. They prioritize and hold themselves accountable for the safety of all their customers and employees.
Reliability. They realize the importance of being a service people can rely on and ensure effective operations on a daily basis.
Low cost. They give themselves a competitive advantage by keeping costs low while still providing stellar service.
How You Can Incorporate Strong Brand Values Into Your Growth Plan
There are many ways to incorporate your brand values into your growth plan – the simplest, is to use them as a guiding map.
When you stick to your brand values, your company will always stay true to itself, even as you grow and the brand evolves. Companies led by strong values make decisions with integrity – whether that’s in their partnerships, their marketing approach, their company culture, or how they can better serve their customers.
Build entire marketing campaigns around shared values with your customers. Let them influence your positioning and messaging strategy. Build a successful brand around those beliefs.
Stay true to your brand values as you grow and your audience will grow with you. As you begin to stand out more in the busy marketplace you will be seen as an authority and inspire a sense of trust.
You can use values to differentiate yourself from competitors and attract more of your ideal customers.
Ready to see how far a comprehensive brand strategy can take you? Book a call with us to learn about how our brand consultants can help you develop a strategy for your organization that will skyrocket your success.