Brand Values – people, personality and purpose
Seven months ago
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
Your Brand Values define who you are, what you believe in and how you work together towards a shared vision.
As our trust in large organisations and institutions has waned in the wake of recent Royal Commissions and as our collective disillusionment with mainstream government grows, consumers are increasingly looking to connect with brands that they can trust.
More and more, they are buying with their hearts and minds and not just their wallets – they are choosing to buy from brands that share their core values on issues such as diversity, manufacturing, health, environmental sustainability and social justice. Major brands are acknowledging and capitalising on this trend, with Adidas recently launching its Sustainability Roadmap with a holistic approach that connects people to their products in an ethical way.
Adidas is also working with Parley to prevent plastic from entering the oceans, turning the problem into a solution.
Conversely, brands that show insensitivity to the values of others can also suffer the consequences.
Even well-loved brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Pepsi who have been insensitive to global trends around values such as diversity, fall over themselves to mitigate lasting damage caused by an ill-conceived product or tone-deaf ad campaign, rapidly appointing ‘Global Directors of Diversity and Culture’ and issuing heart-wrenching apologies on social media.
Marketing the functional or rational benefits of your product and services is no longer enough. By embedding your values within all brand touch points, you help consumers to make value-based decisions about your brand, while at the same time highlighting the intrinsic worth of your product and services.
As consumers have access to more information than ever before, transparency and authenticity are paramount to maintain credibility as an organisation – your values cannot simply be listed on your website but completely missing from your encounters with staff and customers. Your business dealings with Australian dairy farmers, for example, should not be in complete contrast to the script delivered by the larrikin celebrity chef in your latest TV advertisement…
It’s also important not to make the mistake of blaming youthful idealism or singling out Millennial audiences for this emerging focus. While seven out of ten Millennials usually do consider a brand’s values before making a purchase and expect them to behave according to these values, they are not alone. Gen X are increasingly supportive of value-based organisations, with Baby Boomers* not far behind.
Brand values can also provide a clear framework and a set of ‘rules to live by’ which inform relationships, processes and culture throughout an organisation. They can also become an invaluable decision-making tool as they provide a reliable benchmark to measure against – does this new opportunity, new client, new team member share your beliefs and stand for what you stand for? Will your latest, greatest product innovation compromise your values?
Defining your brand values is a very powerful and enlightening process, ideally part of developing an overall Brand Strategy for your organisation which also defines brand purpose, tone of voice and audience typologies.
We are people people. We are problem solvers. We are trustworthy.
Each of our values are inextricably linked to our beliefs, our dealings with our clients and with each other, our approach to our creative work and to business, and our commitment to honesty, to generosity and to giving back.
We use these values to inspire us and to guide us and we measure ourselves against them. They have also become part of our day to day language between ourselves and with our clients.
Brands that clearly articulate their values and integrate them into all areas of their business have the opportunity to engage audiences through building trust, loyalty and making lasting emotional connections. As trust and loyalty are built over time with a series of positive experiences, living out your brand values authentically will resonate deeply with those whose values are aligned with yours.