There are many factors that inform how a business goes about it, well… business. Arguably, the most important of these are the brand values it has been built on. This can influence what materials the business uses in its products and services, who it works with, how employees are treated, and more. Brand values can also be considered by consumers when they’re making purchasing decisions.
In this blog we’ll discuss what brand values are, why they’re important for growth, and how you can establish your very own set.
Brand values explained
Brand values are the foundational principles by which a company operates. These ideals guide the organisation’s actions, including day-to-day operations, mission statement goals, and how it generates revenue. Consumers should therefore be able to see how a business embodies its brand values. This will be evident in the nature of the products and services they receive from that business. A company will often be consistent in its brand values as it grows over time. That’s why you’ll see business websites state ‘we’re a company built on X, Y and Z’.
Brand values examples include transparency, equal pay opportunities, simplicity, environmental protection, community engagement, and many more. Each brand value has a guiding principle associated with it, which governs how the business upholds its values. For example, transparency means being open with consumers about how products are made, working conditions, or other operational aspects.
There can be many reasons for a business to adopt certain values. It could be due to a moral responsibility, a philosophy of the owner, or a practice that sets the business apart from its competition. Regardless of their origin, clear brand values are usually attractive to consumers.
Why brand values are important
When companies are vying for consumers’ attention with competitors that have similar products and services, brand values can be the deciding factor. Sometimes consumers that feel strongly about certain brand values will include them in online searches. For instance, ‘sustainably grown coffee’ or ‘jobs that support the local community’. As a result, having strong brand values can both make your business more discoverable and give you a leg up on the competition. Value-centric businesses are often perceived as reliable due to their upholding of brand values. This lets you use them to build lasting customer relationships.
Appeal to talent
It isn’t just customers that care about brand values. It’s often a major factor for those on the job hunt, as they can also share the same values. As such, a business that practices strong values is more likely to attract workers who are passionate about the company’s goals. Certain brand values can also motivate employees, potentially leading to higher productivity levels.
Staying true to your brand values can be a way to retain employees’ long term. Many studies have shown that people don’t just value a big paycheque. This not only saves resources by avoiding hiring, but it also allows employees to become more familiar with your brand values. Better yet why not sit down with your team and talk about the values they would like to see embodied in their work. It’s natural for brand values to grow and develop as the business expands.
Attract loyal customers
As mentioned, consumers are often on the lookout for products and services that align with their own values. Being open about your business’s values allows potential customers to find your brand more easily. Directories can help with this by mentioning your business. For instance, being featured on a list of the top environmentally friendly brands will likely result in the business receiving referral traffic.
Furthermore, brand values form the basis of emotional B2C relationships. This means customers gained based on brand values tend to be more loyal, because they feel like they have a deeper connection with the company. The end result is a sustained level of business growth.
Looking to the future
Most brand values incentivise business practices that are beneficial long-term, either through efficiency or growing sales. For instance, pursuing sustainability could force an organisation to re-examine their manufacturing processes so they produce less waste. The main factor in brand values bringing in new business and employment opportunities is that it creates a positive association. This reputation only grows over time, improving the effectiveness of marketing activities. Incorporating brand values into content allows for more powerful messaging.
How to define your brand values
As we’ve talked about, there’s lots of choice when it comes to choosing the values that best define your business. It can dictate how your operation functions and shape company culture. As such, it’s also not a decision to be rushed. Don’t worry though, we’ve got some tips to get you started.
Talk to the team
A large part of how a company operates is down to its staff. Growing companies will employ more and more people the older it gets. For businesses where brand values stem from the owner and other long-standing members of staff, values can reflect the workforce less and less over time. As such, it can be useful to check in with your team on a regular basis to see if your brand values need re-assessing. Furthermore, having input from individuals at different levels helps inform which brand values are the most appropriate.
Get inspiration from other brands
While your values should be unique to your business, it’s fine to borrow elements from other brands. After all, these companies are proof of the success that can be experienced from having brand values. It can also be beneficial to take note of competitors’ values as part of industry analysis. This lets you pick brand values that are more likely to make you stand out.
Identify pain points
No business is perfect and that’s not a bad thing. Your pain points reveal areas that you should be addressing. Translating these into brand values is an efficient way to transform your business for better. Information on pain points can be gathered by examining feedback from customers and employees, or any consistent operational issues.
It’s all well and good saying your company stands for all these amazing values. However, it won’t achieve the benefits if you aren’t able to produce evidence that they’re being upheld. Consumers should see your brand values reflected in everything you do. As a result, you need to be realistic and not take on values that clash with each other. Our advice is to keep it simple and stick to 3 or 4 choices.
Enlist a brand growth agency
At Deliver Media, we care about getting the best results for you and your business. That’s why branding is a major part of our bespoke digital marketing services. We’re a full-service digital marketing agency too, so once you’ve established your brand values, we can embed them throughout your content.
Contact us today for a free audit.