How to Promote (and write) Your Core Brand Values
Do you know what your brand is? How about what it stands for?
If the answer is no, then it's time to find out. Your core brand values are the foundation of your business and marketing strategy. They help define who you are as a business, how you should behave, and how you want to be perceived in the marketplace.
But if they're not communicated well or consistently across all channels, then you might find the success of your business difficult to achieve.
In this blog, we break down what the core values of a brand are, why you need to be identifying them and why you need to be placing those at the centre of your marketing efforts - now!
What are ‘core values’ of a brand?
Core brand values refer to the perceived worth or reputation associated with a person, product, service, organisation or country's identity by its stakeholders (such as employees).
They represent a brand's intangible qualities such as their creativity, innovation, strength etc, which contributes towards the customer purchase decision process for the goods and services offered.
The first things that come to mind when people think about a brand are usually vague concepts like quality and reliability. For most businesses, these values stand out quickly as being essential parts of what makes up the core of their company’s business model. By explaining how your product embodies those two qualities in order for them to be valuable aspects, you can better show why they are so important at the heart of everything related to your company.
For example, considering a wide range of brand values can help you determine how to break down your business into themes that will be incorporated in all aspects of your brand identity and marketing. This is an effective method for brainstorming what needs to come first and foremost when establishing the company's identity.
Take quality for instance. If high quality is important to you and your brand, you could consider establishing values like accuracy, craftsmanship, expertise, and precision.
If you’re customer-facing and putting the customer first is at the heart of everything you do, you might establish values like approachability, communication and empathy.
The benefits of defining your core brand values
Core brand values are at their very heart uncompromising truths and guiding principles that define what your business stands for and what its primary driving force is that influences its decisions.
So by identifying and working toward these, you give yourself and your business a blueprint to abide by when it comes to entering new markets, expanding or even updating your branding with a refresh.
Naturally when your brand is aligned with your values, you’ll also see tangible impacts including better customer acquisition and retention, but other important benefits include:
- Better decision guidance: Before making a decision brands can ask whether or not the outcome of the decision is in alignment with their values, which can help brand authenticity.
- Accurate assessment of new opportunities and partners: Before signing off on partnerships, brands can find out whether or not potential partners share their values or whether there is mutual value alignment. If not, they may opt to walk away from a partnership which may not have been beneficial.
- Gain brand respect: If a brand acts on its core values, it gains respect of others and could dominate market share.
- Better hires: Brand culture is ultimately created by those who represent it. If the correct set of company values are in place and the hiring process is vetted alongside those values, a team will attract the right talent - saving on acquisition costs.
- Improved morale: If staff live, breathe and believe in the core values of the brand, their motivation is boosted, their productivity soars, and team morale ultimately increases which produces better work and lower retention rates.
- Stronger consumer relationships: If your customers can easily identify your brand values and resonate with them, they’ll make an instant connection and build a much stronger relationship with your brand.
How to write brand values
Brand values are the core beliefs that your company stands for. They build morale within your business and create connections with employees, customers, and even investors who may be considering investing in you.
Brand values can make or break a brand and having a strong sense of these core principles is what can drive a brand forward.
So with this in mind, when it comes to writing your brand values they should:
- Be clear and sincere. Your values shouldn’t be generic or plucked from a hat: they should be relevant to your business and something that your business will honour and care about going forward.
- Nurture connection. If your brand is innovative but your consumers aren’t, you’re going to face a mismatch between audience ideologies and fail to entice the customers you need. So make sure that your values both reflect your company, and the expectations of your primary customers.
- Set you apart. It can be hard to find unique values but ultimately your values should be distinctive and recognisable throughout your brand, its identity and its product offerings as this will help distinguish you from competitors.
It’s not simple to create brand values that meet these targets, but it is imperative if you want your brand values to succeed in excelling your business.
How to promote your brand values
Once you’ve identified your core values, and written them up, the final stage is knowing how to promote them: and that happens by integrating them into your business.
Your brand values should remain consistent throughout your marketing, customer engagement and branding strategy.
If your audience notices that your business is failing to behave in accordance with your proclaimed values, you’ll miss the opportunity to develop brand loyalty, and may even miss out on market share through losing both authenticity and trust.
With this in mind, you can begin to promote your brand values by:
Implementing your values into every choice you make
Your values should reflect in every choice and decision that your business makes. If your business is promoting ethical values of sustainability for example, you shouldn’t be sourcing materials that are not acquired in environmentally friendly processes.
To ensure that your values are fitting into every choice made by your company, pause before making a decision and ask yourself and other senior decision makers in your business how well a decision aligns with pre-identified company values.
Utilise a cause in your marketing
Cause marketing - where you combine your brand values with supporting a cause through collecting or matching donations - is a great way to cement your brand values and keep them both consistent and positive.
Pick something that is both relevant to your brand and close to your heart. For example, if your business is in the medical industry you could support a charity whose work is closely reflected in your own, promoting values of care and empathy.
This reiterates your values in the mind of your customers whenever they interact with the charity, and continuously reaffirms your values on a global scale.
If you are unsure on where to start with this, you could consider getting some support from branding experts (hint hint) or if you wish to go a step further a business coach may also be able to support you here.
Inspire loyal customers
Your brand isn’t just reflected in the people you choose to employ: it's also reflected in your customers - the very people that you’re trying to entice with your values.
Aligning your values with those of your primary audience is a key way to inspire customer loyalty. Shared beliefs, standards and perspectives between brands and customers will increase returning customers, negate customer churn but also give you access to another powerful marketing tool - word of mouth marketing.
Customers who feel incentivised by your brand and empowered by how much it aligns with their own personal beliefs and values will soon tell their networks just how much they enjoy doing business with you because you have a mutual understanding.
Eventually over time this brand advocacy will extend to other people who share your original consumers values becoming curious and persuaded to try your brand over competitors: giving you access to never ending audiences who are already relevant to your business and who will be more than willing to spread the word!
How to identify brand values
Identifying your brand values isn’t easy: It involves looking inwardly on yourself and identifying what matters to your business. But beyond that, if you’re truly struggling to narrow down your business’ purpose and uniqueness, a branding agency like us at Huddle can help.
We have extensive experience and expertise in identifying the what and why of a business and turning that into actionable and promotable brand values that support and enhance your brand identity in order to help the business achieve its objectives. If that sounds like something you might need, you can: