A brand is something that should always be developing and built upon. No longer is it enough to redesign your logo every 10 years and leave it be. Brand and its brand values now play an increasingly important role in the strategy of an entire company and subtle changes are needed to keep up with the expectations of a modern audience.
What are your brand values?
When I talk of brand values I tend to be thinking of a series of words that define the feel of the brand. Rather than communicating what the business does, a brand value communicates the who of the business.
Identifying brand values is a task that is far easier to undertake with a successful global multinational in mind. Apple, who again featured in the number one spot in Interbrand’s 2016 rankings, could be whittled down to three words; intuitive, bold and progressive. Fortnum and Mason would occupy a different space; traditional, sophisticated and refined.
Knowing your organisation’s value words is a great place to start thinking about your overall brand strategy. Whilst the words themselves may not feature directly, the process of selecting them can be invaluable.
Selecting your brand values
A few months ago we invited the board of a company to undertake a brand values exercise before we started their rebrand process. Every director in the boardroom knew their company inside out. And the process of selecting 20 words — that represented them — was easy. The exercise became tricky when we asked them to jointly whittle the words down to 3. The conversations that followed were really interesting — debating exactly why classic represented their company over traditional. By the end of the exercise the board had agreed on a well considered set of words. Consequently they were on the same page about the rebrand, and we had a clear and solid starting point.
Once you have established your brand values you can begin to scrutinise your organisation’s design and communication. Does your latest mail shot match up with your three value words? Is it on brand?
At a dozen eggs we have developed a tool to help our clients find their value words. It’s simple to use but can identify whether all stakeholders are on the same page when it comes to brand.
It’s a free tool that you are very welcome to use.
A company purpose keeps you on track with the why. Therefore ensuring you don’t look up in five years time and realise you aren’t where you want to be. The brand values keeps track of the who. If your brand was a person, what would they be like? Gentle, kind and intelligent? Fiery, combative and powerful? Knowing your brand values – and using them – ensures you don’t confuse your audience by changing your tone of voice half way through a conversation.