Your brand values are the foundation on which the rest of your brand identity is built. You might not have them written on a plaque above your office, but you will be guided by your brand values every working day – and this is why it’s important to name them.
At Absolute Digital Media, we’ve recently re-articulated our brand values and have truly felt the benefit of doing so! We’ve also worked with brands across a range of industries to establish their brand identity and how to market their values through brand management, digital strategy, and reputation management.
So, what are the fundamentals behind establishing your brand values and why do they matter?
What Are Core Brand Values?
What drives your business or company forward? What makes you different from your competitors? Why do your customers stay with you? These are all fantastic questions to start with when articulating your brand values as, more often than not, the fundamental questions behind your business underpin the values which drive you forward.
Your company’s core values should reflect your overall mission statement and objective as a business – what do you want to achieve and how do you want people to perceive you? The big questions.
This can seem a little daunting as the broad field questions can bring a flurry of responses, so to further refine exactly what your brand values are you’ve got to apply these fundamental values to what you offer as a company and how you operate. For example, this could be your dedication to sourcing and creating products out of high-quality materials which reflects your delivering premium quality products made with quality materials
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Why Are Brand Values Important?
Your brand values will directly lead your brand behaviour, style, and ethos – from how you promote yourself on social media all the way through to how you treat your employees.
Your company values should be incorporated in every aspect of your business, so when considering why brand values are important, you are essentially asking yourself what makes your business valuable. For example, if a key asset of your business is your staff’s expertise, then developing a strong team would be the correlating value that underpins your business.
Understanding what your brand values are and how they impact your company running, staff culture, and customer relationship with your brand will help drive your business forward and ensure you are consistently delivering a strong service.
Establishing clear brand values will help every aspect of your marketing strategy, especially your digital strategy and reputation management services as you will have a strong company foundation to work from. This is because your values should shine through all that you do so they’re communicated to your audience through your actions and messaging.
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How To Articulate Your Brand Values?
Naming, presenting, and holding onto your brand values is a valuable task for your business as it forces you to align what your company does with how you present the brand to your target audience.
Articulating exactly what your brand values are is an important step for aligning your brand style and tone, as the language you use in the naming of your values will – you guessed it – reflect the values themselves.
At Absolute Digital Media, my agency team recently got together to work on refreshing our agency values and ensure they reflected the brand we are today. Here’s the process we took:
1.Open The Conversation
Firstly, you should start the conversation with your whole team to make everyone aware that their input is valued. When it comes to developing values for a business that is already in operation, including every member of your team is an incredibly valuable way of ensuring the statements are authentic and it will go a long way in showing your team that they are all valued.
Some questions you could ask to spur the discussion:
- What does being a member of our company mean to you?
- What drew you to work at X?
- How do you feel as a member of our team?
- What do you bring to the team?
- What do our customers/clients say about our company?
2. Customer Feedback
Take a moment to review any customer or client testimonials for your brand. What stands out for your audience? Assessing how your audience perceives your brand will ensure your values reflect how you stand in the marketplace and ensure they’re written with your audience in mind.
3. Assess Your Goals
Your brand values should be both a reflection of what you are currently offering and achieving and the driving force behind your future goals and objectives. So, taking a moment to consider what you want to achieve as a brand will help navigate where your values need to lie in order to achieve this goal.
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4. Brainstorm Your Brand Language
Your brand identity is in your content and the tone and style of language you use, so this should be considered when penning the wording for your company values. Think about that language, possible wordplay, and action words you want to utilise within your value statements.
For example, at Absolute Digital Media we wanted to stay true to our brand name so decided to include the term ‘Absolute’ in our value statements to drawback to the agency.
5. Let The Team Decide
Once you’ve developed a few brand value statement ideas it’s back to the team for the final decision! Whether this is a whole agency poll or meeting with heads of department, getting a final team nod on what your values say and how they reflect the team should be the test for if they represent your brand.
From here, you can confidently own your brand values, knowing they reflect who your company is, what you provide for your customers, and how your employees feel as part of your team.
If you’d like to learn more about developing brand values, and what our Absolute values are, take a look at the Absolute Digital Media agency values to see how we approached carving out our own space within the industry.
For more information on how to build your own brand values and improve your brand reputation, speak to our digital marketing experts today on 0800 088 6000.