Let’s talk about Apple. Assuming you’ve dealt with them in some capacity (as most people have at some point), I bet you could list three of their brand values off the top of your head. By interacting with the Genius Bar, you can tell that they value high-quality and accessible customer service. When using their products, you recognize their value of user-friendliness as it shines through each aspect of the interface. When visiting an Apple store, their values of simplicity and minimalism are apparent.
All of these values join together to form a cohesive and memorable brand personality. Apple is an excellent example of how brand values are integral to creating memorable brand experiences.
Defining your brand values is an essential step in branding your business. These noble signposts serve to guide you along your entrepreneurial path and imbue your business with structure and strategy.
Brand values are typically comprised of those that align with you and your customer's. For example, a brand of vegan granola bars for hikers might value sustainability, durability, and health. A board games brand might value togetherness, quality time, and clever thinking. Make sure you differentiate your brand by setting values that are unique and specific. Plenty of brands value customer service and quality products. What separates your business from the crowd?
We recommend that you take some time and reflect on some of your own values as well as your ideal customer’s values. Consider how you might combine them into steadfast values for your brand. When you discover and establish your brand values, magic ensues:
Values Spark Innovation
Apple didn’t just end up with a cohesive brand experience by accident. They set their values first and then allowed each value to guide their design, product development, architectural, and customer service decisions. Let’s apply this practice: How could a snack company make their vegan bar even healthier and more eco-friendly? What sort of event could a board game company host that would show the public its values of togetherness and quality time? The opportunities are endless.
Brand Values Are a Rallying Cry For Customers
Values give your customers something in which to believe. When your values align with their own, they will become brand evangelists, sharing your brand with friends and family, fighting for your success. They will fight for your success.
You Build Better Teams
Countless organizations have fallen apart because each member of the board had a different idea of what the priorities were. Establishing clear values for your business allows you to attract and hire executives and employees that share your vision and will confidently make on-brand decisions. Businesses grow when everyone is on the same page.
You Earn Trust
Values, when adhered to, help build consumer trust in your company. If you hold steadfast to your values, the public will recognize and reward you for it. Charm City Medicus, a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland made a commitment to healing veterans struggling with PTSD and chronic pain. This commitment is a value that is engrained throughout their entire brand experience. For example, they were the first dispensary in the state to implement a 22% discount for veterans and former military to represent the estimated 22 veterans that commit suicide every day. Additionally, to earn trust with the local community prior to its grand opening, CCM held a a free, educational event on Veteran's Day to inform potential patients about the benefits of medical cannabis.
When brands do something off-brand (for example, if the aforementioned granola bar brand introduced unsustainable practices to their supply chain), they can appear unpredictable, unreliable, and inauthentic. This is another reason why consistent brand presentation is highly important.
You Make Decisions That Propel Your Business
Strong values can guide your decision-making process. Values are abstract and can apply in almost any situation. Deeply ingrained values make each choice, whether small or big, an easy judgment.
Brand values play a crucial role in the success of any business. They ignite innovation, attract loyal customers, and enable you to grow your business while maintaining a consistent and impactful brand. Feeling stuck setting your values? Feel free to reach out to us for some help!