Most of us know what it is like to have our own set of values — guiding principles by which we live. But brands also have values, and these values can serve the same purposes. Your brand values dictate what is most important to your business and how that business should be operated.
This is why it’s important to lay out a set of brand values in the beginning stages of your business. These will help to guide your business plan, your launch, and your interactions with customers going forward. They may also help you to draw in new customers who find that your values align with their own.
Customers are often mistrustful of businesses that only seem to be out to make money. Of course, making money is the nature of a business, but many customers are wary of being cheated by a company that cares more about making money than integrity. Your brand values are the thing that gives you that integrity.
Here are some of the benefits of brand values:
People are drawn to those who have values that align with their own. If someone is passionate about social justice, they will seek out friends, brands, and communities that fight for social justice. Having clear brand values can help you to attract both new customers and new employees.
Those customers and employees may also stay with you longer than they would otherwise. If your values align with their own, your brand becomes something they want to support. And with stronger customer and employee retention, you will have the revenue and operation consistency to actually pursue those values.
Your brand values remind you what you’re actually doing this for. They can become the guiding light or jumping-off point for your business plan and your operations. This can help you to stay organized and keep your team focused. Running your business in line with your values can also help to boost employee morale, which further boosts business operations.
As we mentioned before, every business is trying to make revenue. You are, and so is your competition. So, what sets you apart? Often, it’s your values. If your business is based in the value that customers are more than just a number and should be treated with the care and attention they deserve, you are probably going to provide better customer service than a business that does not value their customers as human beings.
Your brand values will depend on your brand and, more importantly, on the people behind your brand. For instance, if you believe strongly that plus-size individuals should have access to high-end fashion, your fashion brand is likely to reflect that. Think about what is important to you, especially the things that led you to start this kind of brand in particular. When you do, you may find that your values come naturally.
Some common brand values include:
- Providing a high-quality of customer experience
- A commitment to diversity and inclusion
- Giving back to the community in which they and their customers operate
On the other hand, maybe you already know your brand values well. Now it’s a matter of making sure that others know about them, too. What are the best practices for showing those values?
It’s common for businesses to have a Values page on their website. This allows you to lay out clearly what your values are and how they relate to your business. It’s also easy for your customers to find. It may be one of the first things a conscientious target audience looks for when they search your website. “Values” are often listed in your navigation under the “About Us” tab. Sometimes, however, “Values” has its own tab.
Do you have a business practice or model that aligns with your values? Make sure your audience knows about that. Post about it on social media, create ads that show what you’re doing to live those values out, or write about it in blog posts.
Finally, get involved with organizations or events that are tied to those values. Let your audience know that you’re taking part in a fundraiser or going to an event that has something to do with your values. If there are local organizations that relate to those values, make a point of getting involved with them, as well. Putting your money where your mouth is will always make a good impression.