A business’ brand values are the core set of guiding principles that shapes every aspect of the business. They are the beliefs that you stand for. Brand values determine your brand’s identity, message and personality. These brand principles guide story, actions, behaviours and decision making processes. Investing in and knowing your brand values is fundamental to ensuring your business remains unique in a saturated market.
Examples of Brand Values in action
Brand values help you express to your customers and employees your business’ attributes and characteristics. They help you to connect with your audience and guide your business decisions.
Below are some examples of brand values that may be applicable to your business, however there are an abundance of brand values which may also apply.
Why are brand values important?
Developing a brand is all about communicating the very essence of your business — what it is, and what it stands for — to all stakeholders. Meaning and values have become increasingly important when it comes to consumers’ purchasing decisions. Branding has become both more important and increasingly multi-dimensional. A strong brand not only garners attention in the marketplace but it also helps you to increase your sales and awareness.
Developing brand values gives your business a competitive edge. Boost your brand’s credibility and customer recognition and loyalty. Assist you in capturing the 3 P’s of your brand: Proposition, Personality & Purpose. Without values to guide you, it will be difficult to differentiate your business from any other business. Give yourself that distinct, recognisable edge to allow you to grow as a business and increase your annual revenue.
Your brand values align your business with your target audience. This aids in building not only your customer base but also your annual revenue. When customers can relate to a brand and what they believe in, the likelihood that they will continue to do business with that brand, as well as advocate for that business, increases tenfold. For this reason alone, it is vital that your brand’s values are crystal clear.
Determining your brand value
The values you choose to represent your business and the truths it stands for affect your communications, marketing, decisions, and most importantly, your relationships with your audience.
By determining your brand’s core values, you are not only giving your business a unique brand identity which differentiates it from your competitors. You are allowing your marketing team, salespeople and external suppliers to follow a particular narrative which enhances your brand storytelling .
Communicate your values through your visuals such as your logos, typography, colour scheme and messaging. Do this to present your brand in a way that resonates with new audiences and creates deeper connections with your existing customer base. This helps to develop brand loyalty as well as brand awareness.
Know what matters most to your business:
Identify what matters most to your brand and how you want your customers to perceive it. Knowing your business’ values and core beliefs will help you to recruit the right people, attract your ideal customers and also stand out among your competitors.
Incorporate a range of specific brand values into your business as it will allow you to determine how to break your business down into themes.
For instance, if you want your business to stand for quality, consider values such as accuracy, attention to detail, consistency, excellence and expertise. Similarly, if you wish to express customer service look at values like accessibility, approachability, communication, customer-centric, dependability and empathy.
Tips on how to discover your Brand Values
Gather your team and write down 5 values that you each associate with your brand. Use open ended questions such as “What do you value most about the brand?” “What do you think the company stands for?” By doing this, you will get an internal view from a number of perspectives of what the brand encompasses.
Look at the negatives
Don’t just think of all the great things that your business has to offer. Look at the awful experiences that you wish you could correct. Maybe being more focused on your customer service practices going forward will benefit your business. Being aware of your weaknesses is actually a strength and incorporating these into your brand values will only fortify your brand.
Analyse your favourite brands
Draw from your own personal experiences. Think back on times that you had a positive or a negative experience with a brand and think “how did that alter your perception of that brand?” Use this to see how you can deliver the same or better experience or if a negative experience, how can you avoid that.
Look at what you are currently doing
Analyse what you are currently doing and why you are doing that. If you are currently offering next day delivery and you are executing this promise, you probably value timeliness and efficiency.
Look to brands you love for inspiration
Take note of brands that you personally admire. Make a list of the qualities that you think they excel at and identify the consistent themes and qualities that emerge. Use this as a template to guide you when developing your own guidelines.
How to incorporate your values into your business:
Incorporating your chosen brand values into all aspects of your business will afford you the opportunity to create a strong, recognisable brand. It not only improves your brand identity but, by utilising these powerful and resonant core values, you increase your share of voice within the marketplace.
Your brand values can help you do this in a number of ways.
Incorporate brand values in order to help you make decisions and focus your sales and marketing activities in order to align your brand’s mission.
Brand values help you to boost your employee engagement. When your staff feel proud to work for you and associate with your brand the likelihood of increased employee productivity and loyalty rises.
Having values incorporated into your business makes your brand more memorable for your customers.
Outlining brand values allows you to build deeper relationships with your customers and target audience.
Including values in your business strategy helps you to keep your brand authentic and unique.
Core brand values allow you to boost brand consistency across all marketing, communications and sales activities.
Brand values can help to inspire brand loyalty and customer retention.
Two important points to follow when incorporating your brand values into your business.
These two elements will add immense value to any brand, while also providing structure and focus when developing your brand identity, values and target audience.
Solidify your brand:
As mentioned above, your brand’s story is essential for customers both new and existing to get an understanding of who you are and why you do what you do. It is important to communicate this to your audience. Use your brand values to illustrate to your audience exactly who you are and what you stand for. People like to work with and purchase from brands that they know, like and trust.
According to the New York Times, creating a narrative around your business has multiple benefits. Narrative can activate a variety of elements in the brain which helps to solidify and fortify the consumer’s experience with the brand. A positive experience with a brand has the power to alter consumer decisions and buying behaviours.
Utilise your brand values to create this narrative. Inform your audience about your interests and apply these values across your business to ensure a positive experience. You would be surprised at how significantly one experience can impact a cohort of people, especially when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing, both traditionally and digitally!
Incorporate brand values into your buyer persona:
It has been found that businesses who are consistent with their branding are expected to earn at least 23% more annual revenue than brands that are inconsistent and do not abide by their brand values.
Buyer Personas are intended to aid businesses in identifying their ideal customer. However, it is important to do this with your brand core values in mind. The more you can acknowledge things from your customer’s point of view and speak their language, the more likely you will be able to build meaningful & loyal connections.
When you have created your marketing plan and you have identified your customer persona, ask yourself whether you have considered your brand values?
Do their beliefs align with yours? Can your business satisfy their needs and resolve any issues they may have? Do your interests line up?
Look at your brand values and your customer persona and see if they align. Be aware of your brand values throughout this process as they will help you to focus on your, and uncover, your true target audience. These insights help to shape and communicate business efforts down the line as you are creating a stronger brand that resonates with your audience and motivates them to take action.
A business’ brand values help to shape their overall business goals and strategy. The terms not only provide value to the business itself but they also help to guide every element of the business. If not adopted and practiced, brand values are just words on a wall. It is important to spend time and effort determining what your values are and even more importantly, how to implement them across your business.
If you need help with your business branding or you are looking to rebrand your business, get in touch with your local Nettl studio and our team would love to chat with you over a cup of coffee.