What does your business stand for? Your brand needs to be able to sell your company’s culture and values, just as much as the product or service you provide. Most successful brands have clearly defined the motivations and principles that drive their business decisions and have seamlessly integrated these into their marketing strategy. These principles influence every aspect of their business, resonating with their customer’s values.
We take a look at how to pinpoint the core values of the business and how you can inject these into your branding strategy.
The benefits of defining your core values
Your core values set out who you are as a business, what you want to achieve and what’s important to you. Having these clearly in place will help you align every decision you make and use these to set a framework for new ventures, hiring staff and forming potential business partnerships. When you live by a set of principles, you will garner more respect both through other companies and from your target demographic. If your values are communicated effectively, these will act as a steer for employees to work by, as well as boosting company morale.
Without core values, your company will struggle to make a deeper connection with your target audience. Your audience wants to know who you are as a business, what you want to achieve and what’s important to you.
Defining your core values
Rome wasn’t built in a day and similarly, your core values can’t be whipped up in a single meeting. The task of defining the core values of your business will take time and they will need to be revisited to ensure they’re still relevant. If you define your core values in the early stages of your business, after you have grown and evolved these might need adjusting or changing completely for the next step in your journey. The most important thing to remember is, these values need to be sincere and true to you; not based on what you think others want them to be.
Although setting out the principles of your business can be daunting, here are some techniques you can try to inspire potential values:
Think about the brands that you admire and what they highlight as their core values. These could act as a starting point for your own. Try to encapsulate what you think they stand for in one word; creativity, respect, innovation, growth, welfare; could any of these apply to you?
Imagine if someone was speaking at your funeral, what would you want them to say? By writing your eulogy, you can get an idea of any patterns or central themes you want people to remember you by.
Get ideas down
Try the shotgun approach and get down as many values on paper as you can. Don’t worry too much in the early stages about if they’re 100% relevant. Once you have 10 or more ideas down on paper, get to work on cutting these down to 5 core values.
Ask your colleagues and clients for their input. You could either send them a list of options and ask them to select the top 5 that apply to your business or ask open-ended questions to gain an idea about what they think your company stands for.
Branding your core values
Once you have established your core values, make sure that everyone involved with your business knows what these are. You can display them on a poster in your office, include them as part of your staff training and create a dedicated page for them on your company website. The worst thing you can do is define your core values and then ignore them completely. They should impact every decision you make moving forward and play a major part in your marketing strategy. In time, you will likely see audience growth from those who align with your values and have chosen your service over the competition as a result.
With Skein, we can support you with integrating your core values in your design and marketing strategies, helping you to communicate your business values both clearly and with impact. To find out more about what we can do for you, get in touch here.