Brand Values - What are They and How Important are They Really?

Just a bunch of buzzwords?

When it comes to building a successful and enduring brand, there's more to it than just a memorable logo or some catchy tagline. Brand values are the cornerstone of your brand's identity and play a vital role in shaping how your audience perceives you.

In this blog post, we'll explore what brand values are, why they're important, the benefits they bring, and how you can create your own set of brand values that are unique to you and not a load of dribble.

So, grab your thinking caps (or maybe just a comfy chair) because we're diving into the intriguing world of brand values.
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What are Brand Values?

Brand values, often referred to as branding values, are the guiding beliefs that define your brand's identity. They are the essence of what your brand stands for and represent the core principles, morals and ethics that drive your business. These values influence every aspect of your brand, from the brand's verbal and visual identity to the products you offer, right to the way you pick up the phone or answer an email.

Think of brand values as the moral compass or the foundation of your business. If you’re a sci-fi geek, think of them as your version of the Jedi Code (minus the lightsabers). They should align with your brand mission and reflect the beliefs you hold dear.

For example, if your brand is all about sustainability and being eco-friendly, your values may include environmental responsibility, innovation, and community engagement.
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Are Brand Values Important?

Absolutely! Brand values are crucial for several reasons:

In a world where consumers are bombarded with advertising and branding messages, authenticity stands out. Brand values demonstrate your commitment to your brand’s mission, and when your actions align with these values, it builds trust and brand loyalty with your audience.

Your brand values set you apart from competitors. They help you carve out a unique identity in the market. If your values resonate with your target audience, they are more likely to choose your brand over others. For example, Tony’s Chocolate's audience will be very different from Green & Black's. Instantly, you can start to paint a picture of who buys what. This difference is due to the brand values and what is important to the consumer.

Employee Engagement:
Brand values aren't just for external consumption. They also play a significant role in your company culture. When your team believes in and lives these values, it fosters a sense of belonging and purpose, which can lead to higher employee satisfaction and productivity. Not to mention attracting the best talent, which is crucial for any challenger brand when competing for shelf space or e-commerce space with the industry's goliaths.

Brand values provide a framework for consistent decision-making. They guide everything from marketing campaigns to product development. This consistency reinforces your brand's identity and message. It also acts as a shortcut to decisions and can save you precious time when pondering whether a move is right for your business or not.

Benefits of Having Brand Values

Having well-defined brand values can bring a multitude of benefits to your business:

Building Trust:
When your actions align with your values, it creates trust with your audience. They know what to expect from your brand, and this reliability fosters loyalty.

Attracting the Right Audience:
Brand values help attract like-minded customers who share your beliefs and principles. This leads to a more engaged and loyal customer base.

Employee Alignment:
Clearly defined values guide your team in their daily work. This alignment can lead to a happier and more motivated workforce.

Crisis Management:
In times of crisis, brand values can serve as a compass for decision-making. They help you navigate challenges while staying true to your core principles.

Long-Term Success:
Brands with strong values tend to have greater longevity. They weather market changes and trends allowing them to pivot when needed because their values remain constant.
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How to Create Your Brand Values

Creating brand values is a thoughtful process that involves understanding your brand's purpose and what it stands for. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you define your brand values:

Start with Your Mission:
Your mission statement should reflect why your brand exists. It often contains the seeds of your values. Identify the key themes and beliefs within your mission.

Identify Core Beliefs:
Think about the principles and beliefs that are non-negotiable for your brand. These could be related to ethics, quality, customer service, or any area that's central to your brand. Try to dig deep here as you could end up with some very surface level beliefs like being ‘approachable’. If that is a core belief try to list how that affects the way you behave in the business.

Look to Your Team:
Involve your team in the process. They're on the front lines of your brand and may have valuable insights into what values are most important to your organisation.

Research Your Audience:
Understand your target audience and what values resonate with them. Aligning your brand values with those of your ideal customers can be a powerful strategy as long as they are authentic to you and the brand, otherwise you’ll be sniffed out. You know when you have struck gold when you notice common ground.
Keep It Simple:
While it's important to be comprehensive, it's equally crucial to keep your values concise and easy to remember. Aim for a set of 3-5 core values.

Test and Refine:
Once you've established your brand values, test them in real-world scenarios. Do they guide decision-making? Do they resonate with your audience? Be open to refinement. If something isn’t quite working, but you feel strongly about it, you might just need to do a bit more introspection. It could be as simple as tweaking a single word or phrase in your values. For example, changing 'approachable' to 'don’t be a dick' conveys a completely different feel and carries very different associations that might align better with your brand.
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In conclusion, brand values are not just buzzwords; they are the bedrock of a successful brand. They define who you are, attract the right audience, and guide your brand's actions and decisions. By creating authentic and meaningful brand values, you can differentiate your brand, build trust, and set the stage for long-term success.

So, take the time to reflect on what your brand truly stands for, and let your values be the compass that leads you to a brighter future.

It always helps to have someone else guide you through this process. So, if you're ready to redefine your brand through powerful values, contact Studio Unbound today, and let's embark on this journey of brand discovery together.