The brand is a buzzword attached to the business. All stakeholders, from individuals to major corporations, are involved in this matter. “Branding” is seen as the identity of your business and the way your customer’s value and experience it. From a cultural perspective, branding is much more than just how your company logo and ads look.
Creating a brand that stands out in a crowded marketplace is just the start. You need lots of attention and sustained company culture to strengthen it. In the absence of a cultivated brand culture, stakeholders lose faith in your brand’s dependability. We will see how the band’s value affects and shapes its culture in business.
Brand Values and Culture
A brand’s core values are an organization’s most fundamental and enduring beliefs. They can be understood as the qualities or characteristics that empower organizations to achieve their goals and visions and create the blueprint for how things should be done.
Culture and brand are two sides of the same coin. Businesses built for long-term success don’t have an outward-facing brand that conflicts with how employees are treated and work with each other. Instead, the organizational culture should reflect and reinforce the brand.
Brand and culture alignment create a significant competitive advantage in everything from recruitment and retention to productivity and profitability. How companies work together internally has a positive impact on how they appear externally. The bottom line is that brand and culture need to reflect each other.
If your company culture truly stands out in the industry, a foundational culture can be very influential for branding. On the other hand, if your culture is hindering the achievement of strategic aspirations, a strong brand platform is essential to drive internal cultural initiatives and enable the company to sustain business goals. In either case, defining a business’ purpose is an important step—it’s the key link between brand and culture. When undertaking a transition project, ensure that leadership, staff, and stakeholders are given appropriate attention to ensure customer trust. After you’ve decided what brand you want to create, align existing practices and culture to meet your business needs.
Employees who are deeply grounded in their values and who actively engage and participate in thorough conversations will have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Different types of brands can be achieved by aligning with varying types of cultures. For example, if you want to position your brand as a disruptive brand, you must cultivate a culture of risk-taking so that your colleagues act confidently and break the rules of the market.
Here are the top organizational values by brand type:
- Disruptive brand: Compete, Stand out and take risks.
- Conscious brands: Purposefulness, Strong Commitment, and Transparency.
- Service Brand: Care, Empathy, and Humility.
- Innovative brands: Creativity, Experimentation, and Continuous Improvement.
- Value brands: Accessibility, Practicality, and Fairness.
- Performance Brands: Achievement, Excellence, and Consistency.
- Luxury brands: Sophistication, Status, and Distinction.
- Style Brand: Design, Creativity, and Discretion.
- Experience Brands: Originality, Entertainment, and Joy.
Brand values and guiding principles
Simply put, brand values are a set of guiding beliefs that businesses inherently follow and uphold in pursuit of their mission. They define what a brand is. These are the guidelines for how a brand should act and behave to meet these values and achieve its goals.
Let’s look at some examples of guidelines for brand values.
For the “Transparency” brand value, the guiding principle you follow is to openly communicate to customers about the origin and manufacture of your products, sharing published pricing policies in detail.
The “Freedom” brand value will have the guiding principle of promoting a remote-first work culture that allows employees to work from anywhere in the world.
For brand “simplicity,” the guiding principle is as follows: we ensure that our brand communication is clear, concise, and easy to understand and that we do not overload the consumer with too much information.
A brand’s core values are the essence of what makes a brand unique, superior, special, different, valuable, and successful.
How to develop and use your brand’s core values?
Creating a brand identity that works well for your company’s growth and customer satisfaction is important and worth the effort.
Define the brand’s core values
To begin with, it’s important to know exactly what your brand’s identity entails. Your brand identity that adheres to corporate branding standards can be made up of visuals that relate to your brand, including your logo, website design, marketing materials, product packaging, and more. It is important to maintain harmony in all aspects of the design from start to finish.
Brainstorm with your team.
Affirm and stay on the same page as to what the brand stands for and the standards of behavior it upholds.
Evaluate your customers.
Research pre-existing patterns or concepts that your current customer recognizes that are concise and easy to understand.
Analyze your competition for opportunities.
Find out if your closest competitors do business according to rooted brand values. identify from their offerings if there is any opportunity or space for you to establish a stronger set of values. For example, if your major competitors’ online product reviews lack customer service, you can focus on adding value to your offering to create a more compelling proposition.
4 Ways to Develop brand values.
The following guidelines will help you develop the value of your brand: The following guidelines will help you develop the value of your brand:
Narrow the list down to a few core brand values.
Although an organization or brand can stand for many values and guiding principles, it is recommended that you identify three to five central brand values so that you can focus and be more specific in developing your strategy.
Select at least a few guidelines for your brand’s value.
This approach will enable you to stay consistent and help ensure brand values are well implemented in your business operations.
Include values and guiding principles in your brand guidelines.
Publish and disseminate guidelines internally to make stakeholders aware of what is required to drive the brand. Having brand values reflected in branding guidelines allows team members to consider their impact on day-to-day work.
Keep your word and be consistent.
In addition to defining and communicating your brand values, they must be implemented across all brand assets. Consider aligning your customer experiences with those values to effectively enhance your brand’s image and reputation.
4 Simple Tips for aligning brand and culture
Assess your company’s values.
Find out how well your team embodies them. If your organization has undergone major changes, such as a new strategy, market shift, or merger with another organization, you should take some time to prioritize corporate values that align with your brand and culture.
Restructure hiring and performance review policies.
By incorporating your company’s brand and culture into hiring practices, you’re more likely to find talent that aligns with the company’s core values and strategic vision. Your colleagues carry your brand. Therefore, it is recommended that you reinforce the brand and culture to evaluate behaviors and competencies in their performance review process.
Use social media constructively.
Trust employees and give them regular access to shareable, tweetable content about news and developments about your company and brand in a positive way.
Act in a shared ownership role.
No single function is proprietary to brand and culture alignment. Many teams are involved, including the branding team, marketing, PR, internal communications, and even HR. Efforts should be made to partner with other stakeholders in the business, influencing potential touch points for brand and culture alignment. Collaboratively contribute to creating an environment to strategically develop the on-brand corporate culture.
Let’s look at a couple of real-life examples to better understand and know more about this sometimes intangible notion of brand values and how they align with the overall brand.
Zappos: an online shoe retailer brand, is at the top of the list for providing the best customer service experience after CEO Tony Hsieh prioritized company culture. He believes that by nurturing Zappos employees, they take better care of customers. Employees at Zappos create an annual culture book that includes a get-to-know-your-coworkers game that appears every day when they log into the system. Anyone not fully committed to the company and its values are offered $2,000 to quit after a week of training. The Zappos brand and culture reinforce each other.
Burger King: An Excellent Case Study of How Brand Values Are Applied Every Day The factors responsible for Burger King’s core brand values are teamwork and family, excellence, and respect.
Such core brand values are usually exemplified at every stage of the brand’s business and business operations. All team members work together and create a sense of family. Their global team follows the vision banner: “The world’s favorite, innovative burger restaurant.”
Lego: An established brand with its core values engraved into its company culture and its products and services. The company’s core values include play, care, imagination, creativity, fun, learning, and quality related to the idea of play. Lego sees these values as fundamental elements of its company culture.
Simple and easy-to-understand values guarantee that they can grow through the brand and all its experiences. Employees of successful banks are also the best ambassadors of their brands. Employers can use their employees wisely as brand ambassadors.
With a strong, well-defined set of brand values, an organization can go from being just a business to something much bigger and more meaningful. Your company culture is expected to be as distinct as your brand. You can achieve this whether your culture is cooperative and friendly, competitive, and analytical, or nurturing and caring. Also, remember, there’s no one right kind of culture, just like there’s no one perfect kind of brand.