What’s the difference between a robotic brand and a human brand?
It’s brand values.
See, brands that really care about their customers stand for something. They connect with their customers on a deeper emotional level.
They think beyond the initial transaction. They want to make a lasting impression on their customers and solve a real problem the worlds needs.
But what actually are brand values? And how do you discover your own? And what makes specific values inspiring, while others are boring?
In this blog post, we are going to discuss all things brand values. So after your read this article you will be able to discover your own brand values.
So let’s begin…
What are brand values
Brand values are a set of principles that a company stand for and use to guide its decisions.
They communicate what a company believes in. and add a human soul to the brand.
They attract employees and customers who have the same beliefs.
Without brand values, your company will be a robotic company that only cares about the initial transaction.
These beliefs are what create your identity and make you stand out from your competitors.
Brand values are about how you do things. It is about the experience your employees and customers have with your brand.
How are brand values different from purpose and vision statement
Brand values aren’t the only piece in the branding process. There are other aspects that contribute a lot to your uniqueness.
First is your Brand Purpose, which is why your company exists in the first place.
Second is your Brand Vision, which is the future state of your brand and how you see it.
You can read my other posts about Brand Purpose and Brand Vision to understand them and write your own.
Brand Values on the other hand are guiding principles that help you to make meaningful and aligned decisions.
It supports your purpose and guides you towards your future vision. And it gives your brand a personality and makes it real.
The benefits of discovering your brand values
We have talked a bit about what benefits brands get from articulating their brand values. Here are some key benefits of brand values:
- Make decisions that align with your brand’s purpose and vision.
- Motivate and inspire employees.
- Create a culture of like-minded people.
- They lead to higher moral standards and pride.
- Make your brand memorable
- Build a deeper emotional connection with your customers
- Makes your brand authentic
- Makes you consistent
- Create a lasting impression with your customers
- Makes your brand stand out.
How to discover your brand values
After making some research, I have made a simple process to help you articulate your brand values and what you believe in.
You can download my free Brand Values Workbook to help you with this.
So get ready and let’s start…
Step 1: Write everything you or your company believe in.
Grab a piece of paper and start listing all the things you believe in. This could be about your product, industry, or even other big topics that don’t directly relate to your business.
Start every sentence by writing “I believe …”. List as many beliefs as possible.
There is no right or wrong answer here. List everything you have in mind because we don’t know where inspiration will come from.
Step 2: Draw from negative experiences and feelings
Now, think of your customers and their experience with your company or other competitors. What bad experiences they had? How did they feel after these experiences?
List at least 3 experiences here.
If you don’t know what negative experiences your customers might have, or listed a few but you feel lost to list more then, you have to listen.
Look for customers’ feedback and reviews on other competitors’ websites. Focus on the bad reviews. You might find nice information in the positive ones but negative feedback will give you a better idea.
After you have listed a few negative experiences and feelings, think of how you can make those positive ones. If everything went well, how these experiences might change. What their new feeling would be?
Think of what the opposite of each negative experience and feeling might be.
Step 3: Find the values that reflect your beliefs and the positive experiences.
Now, look at all the things you have written in the previous steps. To make this step easier, you can look at sets of values of other brands and pick 3 to 5 brand values that best relate to your brand.
Then, write what they mean to you and to your customers. Use your own words so you can own those core values.
Make sure to write those down somewhere so you can find them later on.
You can download my free Brand Values workbook to document all the steps we have talked about. Then save it on your computer or on Google drive.
What makes strong brand values
While discovering your own brand values, make sure that they follow these 5 qualities:
- Meaningful. If your pick quality as your brand value, do you really feel it? Brand values such as quality, trust, and integrity don’t mean anything to anyone. Give them meaning by describing what they mean to you.
- Specific. Don’t leave it to customers to decided what your values mean. Be specific and say exactly what you want to stand for.
- Actionable. If your brand values don’t inspire action then, they are useless. Strong brand values are easy to understand and implement. Use verbs to describe what you mean. Verbs are far better than empty words.
- Unique. Write your brand values in your own words. Own them and make them unique to your brand. You can look to other brands to get some inspiration, but don’t fade in with them. Stand out and reserve your own place.
- Clear. Avoid using jargon or difficult words. Don’t try to be smart, just be clear.
Brand values examples
Let’s have a look at the brand values of the big brands out there. Use these examples to inspire you to write your own unique brand values.
As you can see, brand values change not only for different industries but also for different businesses. So make sure you own your unique brand values.
Live your brand values
Writing and discovering your brand values alone isn’t enough to stand out.
People don’t like companies who say something but do another. You have to be true to your brand values. Use them in your branding and marketing, and make sure people know about them. Not only your team but also your customers.
These values are created to guide you and to be used to take you to your ultimate future. So make sure you breathe them with everything you do.
Have you written your own brand values?
CTA: Download the brand values workbook.
I want to thank Arek for his useful articles that helped me understand brand strategy. You can read his brand strategy article here.