Every business needs a brand. And every brand needs core values. Why? Without them your brand becomes inconsistent, confused and misleading. But some companies find it difficult to establish exactly what their brand’s core values are. No need to worry. Read on for our guide to defining your brand values in 3 easy steps.
1. Wiping the slate clean
The first step is to forget all your preconceived ideas about branding and what customers or clients supposedly want. Often the problem is we have too much crammed into our heads to realise what our values are. This also means abandoning any ties. Don’t let your logo, website or slogan colour your brand. Your brand values need to come first and shape these itself.
2. Working backwards
You should now be ready to decide on your values. It’s not so much a case of “deciding” though. It’s more like realising. Every business is set up with some values in mind, but it might have just been forgotten. A good way to realise your brand values are to think of things you don’t like. Sounds odd, right? Stay with us…
If you list negative things that you want your business to avoid, you can then find the opposite to these. Voila – your brand values.
As an example, a consultancy start-up might list negatives such as:
- the long, drawn-out recruitment process
- a constant revolving door of poor candidates
- a lack of communication between recruiters and companies.
Based on this, their core values would be as follows:
- Candidate excellence
- Personal service
3. Refining your values
It might not be quite this smooth, of course. You might find that your list of values is pretty long. If so, you should decide which are the most important. Companies aren’t successful with an endless list of core values. Typically, they have about three to five. IMB, for instance, define their three basic beliefs as “Respect for the individual, the best customer service and superior accomplishment of all tasks”.
Rather than several specific qualities, go for overarching ideals. With IBM’s values, for example, they use “the best customer service” to cover things like polite, fast, responsive and knowledgeable.
What to do with your values
Your values are what you stand for. They’re what your brand aims to achieve. And with this in mind, you need to put them into everything you do. The way your business looks (online and in person), your business plan and even the way you and your employees work – it all needs to reflect your brand values. It’s this consistency that will allow your audience to recognise what you’re all about.
Developing a brand
If you’re looking to create a brand that’s unique, consistent and that works, Bing Digital can help. Our brand development experts can help you define your values, set your vision and create your own place in the market – no matter how competitive. Sound good? Get the ball rolling by filling in our online enquiry form.