Defining your brand values is a critical aspect of building and maintaining a strong, recognizable brand identity. A well-defined set of values can help guide decision-making, improve customer engagement, and ultimately drive business success. Here are five key steps to help you define your brand values in more detail:
1. Identify your company’s purpose and vision: The first step in defining your brand values is to determine your company’s overall purpose and vision. This should be a clear and concise statement that encapsulates your company’s goals, aspirations, and the impact you want to have on the world. This will serve as the foundation for your brand values, and it should inform every aspect of your business, from product development to customer engagement. One key aspect that makes the difference, as Simon Sinek reminds us is to focus on the WHY.
2. Conduct a thorough brand audit: Once you have a clear understanding of your company’s purpose and vision, it’s time to take a closer look at your brand. Conduct a thorough brand audit to assess what your company represents, the values it embodies, and how these are perceived by your target audience. This information will help you identify areas of your brand that align with your purpose and vision, and areas that may need to be strengthened.
3. Engage your stakeholders: Defining your brand values should be a collaborative process that involves key stakeholders across your organization, including employees, customers, and partners. Engage these groups in open and honest discussions about your brand, and gather their perspectives on what your brand represents and what values it embodies. This information will provide valuable insights into how others see your brand, and it will help inform your brand values. One important suggestion is to include the people working within your organization, throughout the identification of your brand values. This will strenghten the community and will make the brand more authentic and inspiring.
4. Develop a values framework: Once you have gathered insights from your stakeholders, it’s time to develop a framework for your brand values. Start by identifying a core set of values that align with your company’s purpose and vision, and that resonate with your target audience. These should be values that are authentic to your brand and that can guide decision-making across your organization. It’s important to make use of specific tools in order to achieve an holistic perspective, such as the Corporate Brand Identity and Reputation Matrix (CBIRM) developed by Mats Urde.
5. Communicate your values: The final step in defining your brand values is to effectively communicate them to your stakeholders. This includes employees, customers, partners, and the broader public. Ensure that your values are integrated into your brand messaging, and that they are consistently communicated through all channels, including your website, social media, and marketing materials. Regularly revisit and reinforce your values to ensure that they remain relevant and authentic to your brand. Make sure to understand the difference between internal and external communication and to choose the communication channels wisely, in order to make it coherent with your strategy.
In conclusion, defining your brand values is a crucial step in building a strong, recognizable brand identity. By following these five key steps, you can develop a clear and consistent set of values that guide decision-making, improve customer engagement, and drive business success.