Core Values – Your Brand’s Most Powerful Asset
Why are core values your brand’s most powerful asset?
Core values are as important to your brand as your product is. In fact, I would argue that core values are even more important than products. Because product opinion is subjective but when a brand is about something more it has an opportunity to resonate with more people for more reasons.
When brands show up in their community in meaningful ways that have nothing to do with revenue, they open up the possibility of having a real and lasting impact on the world. (And their bank accounts!)
Brands often neglect to pay proper attention to their core values. They offer up nice enough suggestions like Sustainability! We are entirely paperless! This is a good thing but an even better approach is to follow that thread and pull it tightly so that it creates value for the business and the brand.
Core values are a brand’s most powerful asset because they work to gain a loyal and authentic audience. Through good times and bad, pandemics and recessions, a brand can lean into their core values to navigate and grow in almost any climate.
Successful brands consider how their core values affect all aspects of their business. They spend intentional time thinking about how their efforts can have a positive impact on the communities they serve.
Core values are not about benefiting the bottom line. They are about learning how to create value for others. In the process, you will become part of the fabric of the community that your brand wants to connect with and your brand will build relationships with its audience that keep them engaged.
They help your brand build trust by simply showing up consistently and reliably working to make the world a better place.
One example that consistently comes to mind is Chipotle’s commitment to support young farmers. Did you happen to catch their 2021 superbowl ad? It explored the idea of how their product can change the world by being thoughtful about how food is grown. They told the story through the eyes of a young boy with the kind of optimism that is so desperately needed right now.
In the process they categorized their product among the pure and wholesome fields of grain that make up the landscape of American farms.
All they did here is look at the value of sustainability through the lens of their business and brand goals. That’s what I mean when I talk about pulling your threads tightly.
Sustainability is a fantastic value that can have real impact when your brand shows up at recycling drives, uses vendors that are also focused on sustainability, and has discussions with its audience about how they can incorporate sustainability into their lives. These ideas become brand assets when they are paired with business goals. That’s when core values gain momentum and begin to work their magic.
Smart brands examine their core values through the lens of their business model. This way, a brand knows if their ambitions to contribute to their community are realistic, achievable, and sustainable. This is where the real work begins because this is where our core values connect our brand goals with our business goals. The necessary questions become more challenging but they are worthy of your time and attention.
The most necessary question is: how much are we willing and able to commit to this cause? Think about where your brand can have real impact. No matter how large or small.
Once you feel you are ready to act on and with your values in place, the next step is to look at them through the lens of each one of your customer segments. That is where you will find the clues to who you are marketing your values to and how your core values create value for them.