Have you landed on a website and could instantly tell what they stood for? And then thought how can you could do the same for your brand? Whist articulating what you do and who for can be easy displaying your brand ideals can be more difficult, but essential. The proof is in the statistics, 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values. You may have create some brand values back in the day… but let’s face it you haven’t looked at them since the day you randomly selected them right? If that’s you, your not alone.
Brand values should be more than just a few keywords, customers love it when they see brands living by their own values. It shows people you are keeping your word and that you are trustworthy. If you aren’t representing your brand values then your actually missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your potential customers. Are you ready to feel confident about the brand values you’ve picked? Understand how to actually use them through your brand touch points, so that your ideal customers can feel drawn to you, and therefore more like to buy from you?
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Introduction to values
What are brand values?
Let’s go back to the basics and remind ourselves what brand values are. So brand values usually are keywords and phrases, these words represent what your brand stands for. They act as your brands “true north” therefore should help guide your brands, actions, behaviours and decisions. Brand values really don’t hold much weight if you are not constantly representing them by the things you do and say in your business.
Without brand values, it will be practically almost impossible to differentiate your business form your competitors. And we are aware that it’s the memorable brands that effortless attract their people. brand values can be challenging because your not describing what you hope to achieve like a mission statement, or how and why you intent to achieve your goals like visions and purpose statement. Instead your brand values are helping you position your brand, there for you to defend and stay true to whether or not your services or product evolves and pivot.
Why are they important to you and customers?
Brand values are incredibly important to your small business, you can attract new customer by showing your values through your marketing material stories. Brand values can make you seem more relatable to your customer and help you connect with them on a deeper level. But, why is so important that you resonate and form this deeper connection with your customer well, because 57% will increase their spending with you if they do, and 76% will buy from you over another brand. So really we want to do anything to build that deeper connection, and values are a great way to do that. But not only that, they can also improve brand experience. You know how people say that you have to hear something 7 times before you will take action. Well by having specific brand values you can have a focus point and can reinforce it through your consistent brand touch points meaning your listeners are more likely remember you more and more each time and help increase brand brand trust with your customers.
Common mistakes I see?
The most common mistakes I see DIY brands do, is choosing the most generic and vague values. In my opinion these values are as worthless as no values, because they won’t help you create an identity or help you differentiate yourself. Another type are the overreacher, the brands who choose unachievable values that almost set themselves up for failure or looking dishonest. Then there are some of you who maybe are scared about picking the wrong values, so simple copy and past another business values. I’ll be helping you avoid these pitfalls next.
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Key thing to consider when choosing your brand values
What do you want to be know for?
Let’s begin the brand value selection process, firstly need to stay clear of the obvious ones, values like honesty, friendly, supportive, reliable, trustworthy. These are great concepts, and obvious you want customers to see your brand as these, but you can show these through your actions, or just by upholding different values rather than choosing this very generic and vague values.
You only actually need 1 to 3 brand values at the most, the more values the weaker they can all become as they’re all fight for attention. So time to start scribbling down some values that you may start to consider. This is the time to write down all the values you can think of! A good place to get the ball rolling is asking yourself what do you want your brand to be known for? Like if you wanted a customer to describe your brand what would the three keyword that you would want included in their description?
Another reminder don’t go over the top by choosing values such as, best practice or world class. They are pretty much meaningless and are more aspirational values rather than brand values. So key rule is to only write down achievable values. Otherwise you run the risk of coming off as a bit braggy.
What personal values do already live by that are important to you?
When building a personal brand, it’s a good idea to pick values that are in keeping to who you are. Because that could make you come off as fake or trying to be someone your not deep down! So take into considerations what personal values you already are living by? What values do you see most important to for you and your brand?
Maybe take a moment to reflect on the things you are already doing for your customers and clients. Are you already making sure your customers receive their orders in 24 hours? Do you always take time with your 1 to 1 clients to feel like they are being heard? Do you take extra care in packaging your orders? These things could mean you value, timeliness, communication or creativity. It’s your turn to reflect upon what you already value. Sort of pinpoint on what you’re already good at and doing really.
What values are important to the brand archetypes you’ve picked
It’s also a good rule of thumb, to taking into account what your ideal audience values. What do you think they would like to see and appreciate? Remember I mentioned earlier that 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values. Try to pin point what these may be for your target customers.
To do this you can refer back to your Brand Archetype, you’re archetype come with a set of important values. Use this as a guide into discovering which values will feel most significant and important to your ideal audience. It’s best to make sure that your brand values are in keeping with you archetypal family.
What values do brand hold that you admire?
Lastly but not least, you can always look at the brands you admire the most. This isn’t a free pass to copy, but permission to gain some much need inspiration and guide posts. Look at each brand you like, and make some notes about what key things that resonate with you. You’ll quickly discover which qualities your drawn to more than others.
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How to use and live by these values in your business.
Finial key points
Before you forget these values that you’ve selected and evaluated, it’s time to give each one some more substance, by giving each value more context in relation to your business. Because you now by that there a more than just good looking words on your website. Plus if we leave our values as stand alone words, over time they’ll start being empty phrases that have be randomly select from a list of values and unlikely to do anything for your business. So instead of this happening we need to making sure we know exactly what they mean to use, and we shall live by them and represent them openly.
To provide you with more clarity you’ll need to start of by writing out 1 to 2 short sentences, that states what that values means in the context of your business and brand. We need to make sure that you are 100% clear on why you pick that value so that you can represent them through your brand actions.
Living through your values
So how do you live through your brand values. Well the statement you gave each value should explain how you’ll go about this. However, you can also live your brand values when business decision arise. It’s important that you use your brand values as a way to evaluate whether or not it’s appropriate for your brand and in keeping with what you stand for and believe in. Whether that’s an random opportunity or your decision on how to expand income streams, your values should help guide you in the decisions-making process.
Let them live within your brand design
At the start of this episode i mention that, sometime you can land on a website and instantly understand what they stand for. Your brand language plays a bit part of that, make sure your referencing your values through your visuals design. Even through your tone of voice through your copy can be influenced by your values.
But also make your values accessible they shouldn’t be the best kept secret. You should be shouting them from the roof. But they should always be present through all your brand touch points. Whether that’s you marketing, content and or website. Specially your about page, these are the key pages that you can include to dedicate to sharing your brand values opening and honestly.
A brand that does this very well is Everlane, if you visit their about page, they share there brands values, and actually summarised in only 16 words, but powerful words. They state We believe we can make a difference. Our way: Exceptional quality. Ethical Factories. Radical Transparency. The radical transparency part is the most compelling element for me as they show you exactly the break down of cost for each garment from material, labour and transport.
I’m not a massive fan of the phrase think outside the box, it over used…So Instead I’ll say embrace you’re values with curiosity and without any preconceived ideas. Explore creative concepts and never be afraid for being the first to do something different in your industry.
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Choose and live by your brand values today!
You have the knowledge and steps to choosing the perfect brand values of your business, plus how to live by them through your daily branding. It’s now your turn to stop letting your values sit dormant collecting dust and start resonating and connecting on a deeper level with your ideal customers. And feel confident doing it! Unsure about which brand archetype you should be? Go Listen to episode 026. on The BrandMade Podcast and learn how to build a strong personality with brand archetypes.