OK, now we’re getting to the important stuff! Over the past couple of blogs, we have talked about how we want our customers to feel when they have interacted with us, we have talked about our personality and tone of voice and ensuring that is consistent when we communicate.

Now we are moving towards the top of the triangle – our brand values. I like to think of this as what do we bring, what do we stand for or what do we want people to think about and associate with us when we talk to them. Everyone has values, based on what we believe or how we were brought up, and every brand needs to have them values also, irrespective of what products they may sell or what services they provide. Customers are buying into the values, sub-consciously at least, as much as the product or service itself.  

Having well defined values helps create a clear sense of purpose and direction for your brand, whether that be employees or customers and the values should be considered in everything you do

Its not a difficult job to create either – you probably already have them, its just about identifying them and defining them so that everyone understands them. They are not some idealised notion of what the perfect business is, they are honest and reflect who you are and what you do.

I have brand values (which cross over my own personal values). If I speak to people, I want them to walk away with an idea of my values and what I bring – over and above being able to create a business plan or a marketing campaign.

My first value is inspiration. I like to be inspired, by people or ideas and in turn I want to create ideas that will inspire others. That’s important, it’s something that drives me. More than salary and the everyday needs of life, I want to inspire and be inspired.

The second is innovation. My mind tells me that there are better, more efficient, more creative ways of working and achieving our goals and I strive to find new innovative ideas and processes. I get bored and frustrated with the status quo, I love to change things for the better, in a measured way.

My final value is an entrepreneurial mindset. Even though I wouldn’t class myself as an entrepreneur myself, I enjoy working with other entrepreneurs, I connect with them and their ideas (I’m inspired by them) and have the skills and experience to make their ideas come into practice. I can also create an entrepreneurial ethos within a team or a business

That’s me. What about your brand, have you identified your values, have you defined them? There are many words that can be used, although avoid generic words, avoid words that people would just expect as a matter of course – like Quality – that is an expectation not a value in my eyes, but if you really want to use it, then you need to define what quality means to you – and your customers.

Which ever words you pick, you need to flesh them out, make it clear what they mean so there is no room for misinterpretation. So you can talk freely about what the values mean to you.

Have a look at the tutorial and video to help with the exercise. Good luck.  

Chris Perkins is an Outsourced Marketing Director, working with clients usually on a part-time basis, to provide marketing leadership, strategy and direction. This course has been designed as a FREE to access resource to enable SME business owners and teams to create a workable business plan through a series of simple exercises.

If you require further help to manage your brand development, marketing strategy and execution, please email chris@oneobjective.co.uk