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Brand values: Defining them for your business in 2024 (with examples)

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In the business world, it's no secret that brand values play a crucial role in a company's success. They are the backbone of a company's personality and serve as a compass for employees and customers, providing a clear direction for the business.

Contrary to popular belief, brand values are not just about the logo or the colour palette. They encompass a set of principles that define a company's identity and culture. By establishing brand values, companies can create a unique personality that differentiates them from the competition.

The importance of brand values

A strong set of brand values can profoundly impact how employees interact with customers across all marketing campaigns, social media platforms, and offline channels. It can influence how a company communicates its message and even shape its products or services.

When a company's values are clearly defined, it can help build customer trust and loyalty, creating a long-lasting relationship beyond just a transaction. It can also attract and retain top talent, as employees are more likely to be motivated and engaged when working for a company with strong values.

When developing a business strategy, it's crucial to remember your brand values as they define what your company stands for. This article will cover the following:

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What are brand values?

Brand values serve as guiding principles for your business and should be integrated into your culture and customer interactions. They shape your company's messaging, culture, and strategy, offering your customers and employees insight into your essence.

Sincere and distinctive brand values differentiate your company from competitors and create a lasting impression of its core identity.

Importantly, brand values should not solely focus on the product or service you offer. Instead, they should represent what your business embodies, leaving a memorable impression on customers beyond the quality of its offerings.


The benefits of brand values

1. Attract new customers

According to B2B Marketing.net, customers typically interact with a brand seven times before making a purchase, and they are more inclined to choose a brand that aligns with their values.

Having well-defined brand values ensures a consistent message across all touchpoints, which builds brand equity. Strong brand values differentiate a company and provide customers with reasons beyond price, quality, or service standards to choose it.

Ultimately, measuring brand perception is crucial to profitability, as more customers lead to increased revenue.

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2. Develop customer loyalty

As customers become more familiar with your brand and its values, they are more likely to become repeat buyers. Customer loyalty also has the added benefit of driving word-of-mouth referrals to others.

3. Effective decision making

Defining your business's brand values creates a framework for strategy development and guides your decision-making.

Operating a values-driven organisation can facilitate decision-making at all levels, promoting consistency and focus. Employees can confidently make decisions that align with the company's values without consulting senior management.

4. Attracting and retaining employees

Placing your brand values at the core of your job postings can attract potential employees who share your company's vision and positively influence staff behaviour when representing your business.

Strong values give your employees a sense of purpose, knowing they are contributing to a company they believe in. Employees who share a company's values are more likely to be committed to its success and less likely to leave.

One of our TAB Members, Simon Barnett of Perfectly Picked, describes the importance of brand values to his business.

Simon Barnett, Perfectly Picked

"Brand values are really important to us.  They’re key to our positioning and reflect how we think and operate. I think lots of businesses try and create brand values they think their customers want to hear. We never set out to do that, so we have grown into ours.  This is a much better and more natural route. 

I don’t think brand values are something people are consciously aware of, but as long as they reflect what you're truly like to work with, they can be a powerful part of your communications mix.

 

Brand values can often be multi-faceted and tricky to communicate.  We’re a people business, so use the motto ‘work hard and be nice to people’ to encapsulate our brand values in a simple statement.”

How to get started with brand values

Brand values represent the essence of your business, embodying your beliefs and how you want to be perceived by all stakeholders.

Rather than being created, brand values typically exist and must be documented and expressed.

To develop your brand values, follow these five steps:

1. Collaborate with your team.

Involve your team, especially brand managers, in developing your brand values. They will embody these values and bring them to life, so it's crucial that they believe in what your business stands for.

2. Conduct a culture audit.

Ask your team about what they value and their perception of your company's culture. Determine how you can align your culture with your brand values. Ask questions like "What does our work say about us?" and "What does our company represent?".

3. Reflect on your "why".

Consider your core values and the impact you want your company to have on customers, employees, and the community. Determine how your brand values can influence the financial success of your business.

 

4. Examine admired brands.

Analyse the brands you admire and determine why you like them. Consider how this perception affects your view of the company. Identify common themes and qualities these brands share, which can form the basis for your brand values.

5. Consider customer values

When evaluating the customer experience you provide, consider what this says about your business. For instance, keeping customers informed during order issues could indicate "honesty" as a brand value that resonates with your customers.

Brand value examples

Here are some examples of brand values that may be relevant to your company:

  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Be you
  • Consistency
  • Bravery

And some good examples of well-defined brand values put into practice:

Netflix

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Netflix has used their values to promote their culture to potential employees to stand out from other employers and hire the best talent.

“The real values of a firm are shown by who gets rewarded or let go. Below are our values, the specific behaviours and the skills we care about most. The more these values sound like you and describe people you want to work with, the more likely you will thrive at Netflix.

Judgement, Communication, Curiosity, Passion, Selflessness, Innovation, Inclusion, Integrity, Impact”

Gymshark

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Gymshark uses their values to help describe who they are, where they have come from and what drives them:

  • Be human. Being accessible, inclusive and humble is at Gymshark’s heart.
  • Give a s!*t That means being conscious of our world, caring for those around us and being proactive to create positive change.
  • Do the right thing. Count on us, to be honest, trustworthy and genuine.
  • Find the Gymshark way. Refuse to forget the garage mentality that made us: ambitious, agile, and disruptive.
  • Put family first. Unconditionally.

Ben & Jerry's

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Ben & Jerry's is guided by their Core Values in all they do to make the world a better place through ice cream.

Their values are:

  • Human Rights & Dignity
  • Social & Economic Justice
  • Environmental Protection, Restoration, & Regeneration

As a brand, they look to bring these values into making, distributing, and selling their ice cream.

The Coca-Cola Company 

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The Coca-Cola Company are one of the world's biggest companies and shows how brand values can live and breathe through your business.

"From our employees to those who touch our business who touch our business to the communities we call home."

  • We value diversity, equity and inclusion
  • We value equality
  • We value human and workplace rights
  • We commit to supplier diversity

Steps to integrate values into your business

1. Establish consistency.

After determining your brand values, it's essential to document and clarify them for your team. Ensure your employees have easy access to your brand guidelines and consider creating a mission statement reflecting your brand values. Consistency is key, so ensure these values are woven into all communications, customer experiences, and employee engagement activities.

2. Incorporate values into customer personas.

Consider your customers' values when developing customer personas. This helps identify your target audience and craft effective marketing messages that align with their values.

3. Review and refine.

Conduct yearly reviews to evaluate whether your brand values are being implemented effectively and if they align with your company culture. Gather feedback from employees and assess if any values need refining or removing.

4. Lead by example

As a business leader, living by your brand values and being the example your employees follow is crucial. Show your commitment to these values to inspire and motivate your team to uphold them.

Final thoughts.

This guide offers a comprehensive approach to developing your brand values. Following these steps can establish a stronger brand, grow your business, and increase its market-based value.

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