Branding Advice - Brand ValuesIn the last article we spoke about building the foundation for creating a brand with a purpose. After defining our brand focus, we are ready to start developing a brand strategy, which is an important step in brand positioning. I always recommend my clients to go through these thoughtful steps before beginning with the branding design concept.

This step is also useful at times when you have a business idea for a brand you already established or if you have a new skillset to offer in the palette of your services. Furthermore, developing a brand strategy is beneficial for those who have a brand that has been on a market for a while & want to refocus the direction of how you look and feel in the world of business.

GOOD BRANDS = FOCUSED BRANDS

The companies with whom you can easily establish an emotional connection are those brands with a clear focus which becomes their visual and verbal communication strategy. We can become such brands by learning from them.

So what do good, focused brands have in their foundation?

  1. Vision. Having a clear vision about why your business exists.
  2. Clear Purpose. The reason why you believe in what you are offering and practising.
  3. An Action Plan.  Steps to fulfil your purpose. List at least three concrete steps to getting there.
  4. Strong Sense of Values. What are the core values that your business is built upon. Example questions to ask for this task are: a. What do you believe in when it comes to doing business? b. What unique offering do you have and how is it different from your competitors, to the market? ( I know this is a tough question to answer, aren’t we all unique, each in a different way?:)

Learning from Example

Choose a Brand that you feel really connected to and examine which values it communicates and how. I know for example one jewellery brand with whom I know for sure I can always get a certain consistent style – in this case a minimalist style gewellery. I also know that this is a brand who speaks directly to their customer through their social media and newsletter. The crucial strategy of this brand is that they are not talking to their customers about what they are selling, they are talking about a lifestyle within which their products are integrated. Recently I had also an amazing experience with their customer support. It was clear that being dedicated fully to their customer is in their core values. So believe me, the work of establishing the core values for your brand will pay off in loyal long term customers who trust you.

LIVING UP TO YOUR VALUES. 

Now that you have defined your brand values it is important to be honest with yourself and your potential clients if you are able to live up your values and communicating them through everything you are doing. Your customers can sense if you are honest and are looking forward to connect to to your brand through emotional and functional sets of values.

Emotional and Functional Brand Values

Making sure that your brand values bring a crossover of emotional and practical benefits for your customers.

Emotional Values – What do you want your customer to feel when they work with or purchase your products? Some examples of emotional values are: transparency, being a trustful resource, someone to relate to, the human behind the brand, positive attitude, etc.

Functional values can be for example consistency in style, choose of materials for the products, profitability from the service or product, regional proximity or international delivery.

After defining your brand values you are ready to formulate them in a brand mission statement.

The brand mission statement 

The brand mission statement is like a road map to your business. Its purpose is to offer your customers the opportunity to connect to you long term by knowing what is your brand all about and for you a clear outline to help you make sure that everything you do reflects the brand values.

For your brand mission you could define the following:

Belief – what do you believe in

What are you doing to live and work by what you believe in

How are you going to achieve your pursuits

The mission statement can be on your website, your collateral and other marketing materials. With a set of brand values, formulated into a brand mission statement. You have now the foundation for your brand!

If you have any questions to developing a brand strategy or examples of brands with values that you admire, feel free to share them on Facebook with me and the community. Have your brand values and mission statement ready and want to develop a visual concept to represent and communicate it in a consistent way? Then I would love to work together with you on your brand design. If so, just drop me an email.

Wish you well,

Valerie

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