Branding = Applied Values

Category: General

Contrary to popular belief, authentic brands are not designed by marketing people. Instead they are based on core business beliefs – the core values of the organization. What is it that your business stands for?


 



Authentic branding emerges from everything your company does. This includes:

 - The way you answer the phone

 - How your office or store looks

 - How you and your staff dress

 - Where you locate your business

 - The stuff you sell

 - How you package what you sell

 - And every other way you interact with the public.

 

Contrary to popular belief, authentic brands are not designed by marketing people. Instead they are based on core business beliefs – the core values of the organization. What is it that your business stands for?

 

For Walmart it’s making stuff available for a low cost. For Starbucks it’s about creating a high-quality coffee experience. For McDonalds it includes consistency, cleanliness and fun. Why do I use these mega-company examples when I am addressing the needs of entrepreneurs? Two reasons:

 - They are familiar to you

 - The concept is the same regardless of company size.

 

So how do you develop authentic branding? First create business clarity - define who or what your company is and what it stands for. What will never change even if the value goes out of style? If it changed, what would make you want to sell or shut down the company rather than do business that way? These are your company’s core values.

 

Document your core values and incorporate them into the entire business and all business practices. Use core values to hire people who will propel your business and its brand. Use core values to train these people so they know what is expected of them as a brand emissary. And use core values to reward these people so they repeat them over and over again. Repetition and consistency are the seeds of the brand that will emerge and grow over time.

 

As you make decisions about what to do when you are in a crisis, or about how or where to grow always ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. Is this consistent with who you are or desire to be?
  2. Will this strengthen or dilute the brand?

If the answer is no or it will dilute the brand, then that approach is not for you…regardless of the immediate payoff for you or your company.

 

So what does your company stand for? What are your organization’s core values? What is your brand?

 

Have a great day!

 

Karen