Why brand values make your brand stronger
I think it’s fair to say that most businesses appreciate the importance of developing a strong brand identity. However, when most are asked what constitutes a strong brand they may simply stick to talking about the logo design or the look and feel of the business’s marketing material. In fact, a strong brand is so much more than this. I believe when a brand truly finds its strength it becomes a living, breathing life force that touches every aspect of the business.
In the past couple of months I’ve run a number of sessions to help businesses better define their brand strategy. Through these workshops, I’ve reawakened to the important role brand values have to play in forging a solid and enduring brand identity. In a nutshell, I would describe a ‘brand value’ as a concept that is strongly valued by the business. For example, you may value courtesy and as a result you take a lot of time and care to train your staff to the importance of delivering service in a very courteous and polite manner. When you are able to clearly communicate the values that underpin your business, I believe you create an opportunity to connect with your customers and employees at a much deeper level. This deeper connection makes you more memorable and can turn customers into raving fans or committed members of your ‘tribe’. You can also create further brand strength by fusing together a unique combination of values that provides you with additional stand-out in the marketplace.
If you’re a solopreneur or the owner of a small business, your brand values may be very closely aligned to the values that you have held on a personal level. For larger businesses, the brand values may initially have been instigated by a small group of individuals but are now held and expressed by the wider group. With changes in leadership style, the values may change over time and maybe even shift completely to a whole new set. In our fast moving work environment, it’s also possible to become completely disconnected from and unaware of the values that drive your business. When this happens, I believe the brand loses its sense of self and struggles to achieve that deeper emotional connection I mentioned earlier.
The process of developing a set of brand values also provides marketers with a much deeper understanding of what makes the brand tick. For example, after I’ve completed a brand value development exercise, it feels significantly easier to write marketing copy as my appreciation of the brand’s strength is at a whole new, expanded level.
Do you know what your brand values are? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts below as to how these values have helped you to better connect with your employees and customers.