Values add strength to a brand

We live in an age saturated by brands as we encounter them consciously and unconsciously throughout our day. It’s no longer a case of simple print advertising, nowadays brands have to do the extra leg work if they want to stand out from the competition. Since the birth of social media, consumers not only encounter brands, but have the opportunity to engage with a distinct personality.

Brands with a defined set of values mean that more than ever, consumers are choosing to seek out brands with values that best align with their own. Customers choose products which project a particular image; brands heighten self-perception and a set of brand values is intrinsic to this.

Core values add strength to a brand and ultimately define how we perceive it.

Innovation? Respect? Integrity? Whatever the core values are, it’s important they’re not used just as emotive words thrown about to gain brownie points from customers in the short run. Brand values work when they are present from a company’s conception, the core foundations in which the business grows their brand and identity.

A set of core values is an extremely powerful tool; uniting a brand and emphasising brand messages. Brand values imply a company aiming for longevity by basing its culture, marketing and attitude on these values both internally and externally.

The recession taught us that it is imperative that brands remain true to their core values. If you are a business that defines itself on being ‘good value’ then stick to it. If you’re a brand who relies on its label for ‘luxury’, stick to it. Social and economic hardships will come and go — but sticking by your core values means that a consumer knows what they’re getting is trustworthy remains the same. Consumers are more likely to react and engage with a brand they trust.

Not only does a set of values distinctly carve out a personality and identity, but it ultimately defines how a company operates.

Values need to run deeper, be an inherent part of the attitude of staff and company ethics in order to create a company culture. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand that practices the values it preaches. In a time when we look to our own moral guidance and values for self-actualisation, brands and their values can give us support in our own beliefs.

This piece appeared the media section of the Guardian.

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