A company without core values is a company heading down a blind alley. Ask yourself this question: How can your brand spread consistent messages and make harmonious decisions if it doesn’t have directional principles to begin with? If the answer is “That’s impossible”, then it’s time for you to formulate the drivers of your business. Moreover, chances are that your target audience is struggling to keep your name top of mind since they don’t know what your company stands for.
An encompassing definition
Commitment to customers, transparency, innovation, quality, environmentalism…
Pick your values carefully, as they are the fundamental beliefs your company stands for. They serve as a compass that gives direction not only to your brand identity, but also to your story, mission and vision, actions, your employees’ behaviour and even your decision-making. In short, values mould all of your brand communication, internally as well as externally.
Self-navigation and navigating others
Above a brand, there are the values of a brand. Behind the shimmer and glow of your corporate identity, your stakeholders and target groups make value judgements about your company. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, those are ‘statements about how good or bad you think something is, based on personal opinion rather than facts.’ Therefore, it’s a great idea to align your brand values with those valued by your ideal co-workers, potential talents and customers. Believe us when we say that’ll bring numerous benefits.
- On the same page
Clearly described and communicated values ensure that all of your employees work towards common goals. If, in addition, those values are in line with their own, they increase employee satisfaction and cultivate a productive, motivating work culture. When employers live by and uphold their core values, even during the trickiest of times, employees remain even more encouraged to work hard. And we all want team members who enjoy coming to work, right?
- Loyal customers & top talents
The same goes for client retention and talent recruitment. Did you know that potential customers and top candidates are more likely to connect with you over the competition if your brand values are inspiring and/or match their own? Those are not assumptions, but proven facts!
- 80% of new hires fail because of their inability to identify with a company’s values. (Leadership IQ, 2020)
- 89% of consumers remain loyal to a brand if its like-minded. (Fundera, 2023)
- Note to self
Values also create a blueprint for how things should be done. Tough choices to make? Don’t look any further: your values remind you of what’s important to your business and to the people you’re serving or working with. Making the right decision thus becomes an effortless task.
The stairway to success
How to find your brand values? Here are 3 main tips to articulate them:
|Put your heads together. Ask your team to characterise the company and look for links in all of your thinking. Before you know it, you are naming common concepts.
|Ask your clients. Are there any concepts they identify with or subconsciously associate with your brand?
|Compare with the competition. Is there something they are doing or not doing (well) that offers you the opportunity to establish a stronger set of values?
Once you’ve determined your brand values, follow these 4 tricks to apply them successfully:
|Limit the list to 3-5 honest (!) values,to stay focused and be more precise in your strategy.
|Set your values in stone, or rather on paper in your brand book or guidelines. That way, colleagues can refer back to them and apply them consistently in their day-to-day job.
|Practice what you preach. It’s not enough to simply state and share your values. Your brand must embody/live them across all its assets to build trust and credibility.
|Be consistent, as it’s not just about being seen – it’s about being recognized for what you fundamentally believe in.
The secret’s out
Brand values are not static words on a page, but living principles that drive every decision, conversation and action. Sticking to these values ensures that your brand resonates with all stakeholders, stands out in a crowded market, attracts talent and successfully navigates into the future. At Duval Branding, we understand that all too well; we would love to help you discover and define your values so that your brand not only makes a promise, but can also meaningfully deliver on it.
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