Branding Series Part 1: Creating Brand Values
This is the first article in a series on Branding from Creative Emporium. To read the second article about Creating a Brand Promise, click here; our third article was all about Creating a Stunning Visual Identity; and our fourth article was Creating a Memorable Brand Experience.
We live and breathe branding here at Creative Emporium, so we’ve put together a four-part monthly blog series dedicated to the subject we love. This month, we’re talking brand values. You know, those things that your brand stands for that really sum-up your brand. But how do you go about creating brand values? Our Marketing Manager Hannah says it all about knowing where to look for inspiration…
What are brand values anyway?
Put simply, they are words and qualities that describe your brand. But they have an emotive attachment – they’re not measurable or tangible, but more important for providing reassurance and credibility for customers and making the brand attractive to your target audience, to help guide customers’ buying decisions.
Why do you need brand values?
Your company’s brand is a combination of attributes such as the tangible (physical) corporate image/identity which can include your logo, colour scheme, slogans/straplines, and typeface – which are the things customers recognise and can easily identify with your company. Your brand also includes the intangible attributes such as your personality and values. These all work together to position your brand in the minds of your target customers and give them a reason/motivation to use your products and services. And with a strong brand, you build credibility and have more influence on your market.
Where to look for inspiration…
If you want to develop your brand values, there are a few things you can do to find inspiration. Your brand values should constantly evolve to suit your customers and the market that you operate in, and should also reflect your vision and business strategy. When considering how you wish to develop your brand values, consider what invisible feelings you want your brand to convey? Have a team brainstorm and discuss what makes people respond positively to your products and services without them necessarily knowing why.
How to make brand values work
Once you’ve established what your brand stands for and the words which you will use to describe your values, it’s crucial that your customer experience reflects these values in every aspect of your business. So you need to customise each element of your marketing mix to live up to your brand values – this includes your people and how they behave and deliver customer service, your product lines, your communications messages, and even the way you handle complaints. Building a respected brand can take a lot of hard work and you’ll need the commitment from your employees to make it happen.
Intu – an example of brand values
intu owns some of the UK’s best and well known shopping centres such as the Trafford Centre in Manchester and Lakeside in Thurrock, and is one of our Uniforms by Creative clients, as we developed their entire uniform range (see case study). Whilst working with them it was important that we provided them with a clothing solution to match and reflect their brand at every touch point. As a retail brand this is crucial, because there are so many consumer touch points to consider – from customer service personnel through to cleaning and maintenance.
intu has three main brand values which they use to help deliver their brand promise of “creating joy” and “making people smile”:
We see the familiar and notice something different. We’re insightful. We’re imaginative. But we don’t let it get in the way of what’s important.
We act confidently and decisively, always knowingly, perhaps at times controversially, but never rashly or without consideration.
We’re true to ourselves. We act fairly and we communicate clearly. We honour our obligations to our stakeholders and to society. We always say what we mean and we always mean what we say.
Intu’s employees know the values of the company and this influences the way they communicate with customers:
- What they write or say is creative, easy to read and understand, simple and concise
- When they talk to customers they try and engage in a genuine way, making it as pleasurable an experience for both parties
Visit the intu website to see how these values are expressed through words and pictures, and if you get chance to visit one of their shopping centres, have a look at how their brand values are delivered at every touch point with customers.
Complete Branding Solution
We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand values are reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or email us.