Branding 101: Brand Values
- A brand should have three industry-specific ‘core values’, and two ‘differentiating values’ to stand out from competitors.
- Brand values link the brand as it is today, what it aims to become, and how its clients, suppliers, and employees perceive it.
- Your brand promise and values are the foundation of your whole strategy and it’s crucial that employees are involved in the planning process and subsequent brand reviews.
It’s now time to consider what your brand strategy is.
You should narrow it down to no more than three core values and two ‘differentiating’ values. There is no benefit in a long list of unworkable brand values that aren’t easy to understand or follow and don’t fit with your overall strategy.
Part III: Brand values
Core values are generally industry specific and will often be used by other companies. For example, every bakery wants to supply fresh bread, so that’s a core value they all share.
A bank’s core values might be trustworthiness, honesty, and reliability. These values are shared across that particular industry.
Differentiating values are the ones that make your business stand out. These values are the ones that make a difference to your target audience. They allow them to associate with your business, rather than your industry in general.
There should be a cohesive link between who you really are, who you aim to be and how your clients and suppliers see you. Most important of all is that your employees understand your brand values. These values define how your employees behave towards clients and customers, which is all a part of defining your brand. Your employees are at the heart of your brand development, as they are the ones who get to reinforce your company message on a daily basis. Your values must be clear and popular. If you can’t get your staff to buy into your concept and vision, the likelihood is that more harm than good will be done. Involving employees in the brand review and planning process at an early stage is essential.
Your business promise, and its associated brand values, are the foundations upon which you should build the overall brand.
In part IV – The brand jigsaw of this series, we’ll move on to some of the elements that make up that overall brand jigsaw.