In a world where the credibility of institutions is often challenged, brands often provide a frame of trust. Especially when they stand for clear core values, as they allow their target audience to show what they stand for. Choosing core values is not always easy though. Read here how at brand Reveal we help brands identify and live by their values.
- What is a core value? A core value is a principle that guides every aspect of your brand, a “do’s and don’ts” which inspire every brand move and expression. Nations are good at expressing core values. Think of France “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. French argue on many things, but these values act as a glue, no matter what. A brand can change over time: IBM used to build computers, right? But its core values are here to stay (IBM is about Dedication, Innovation, Trust).
- Why chose core values? Core values act as checkpoints to every brand aspect. When an agency proposes a promotion idea, a way to check if the idea builds the brand, is to assess how the idea reflects core values. For instance, Johnnie Walker’s “Pioneering” value acts as a principle in their F1 sponsorship to promote responsible drinking, a rather stark idea. Last but not least, core values act as a rally cry to motivate everyone in the company!
- What core values should you choose? Core values are the finest expression of your brand emotional benefits and personality. So, make sure each core value is fundamentally different from each other and that the different brand attributes fall under one of those values. And be careful not to confuse “values” with “personality” (think of this latter as a person’s traits you want your brand to embody).
- How many core values for your brand? A simple internet search will show list of values that vary between 50 to 100 items. In fact, 3 well defined values are more than enough. Not more. Why? Because 3 values are easy to remember, which is key to walk the talk! Also, when working with brand portfolios, 3 values allow to shape clearly different brands. For instance, think of a daring brand which stands for Freedom / Warmth / Courage vs. another one which is all about finesse with Elegance / Liberty / Depth…
- How to identify core values? Identifying core values is a two-way process. An examination of the actual and desired brand attributes of the brand essence wheel will crystallise into a set of core values. Once that is identified, classify the attributes under each core value. If too many attributes go under a value vs. another, review the value itself. This is a process based on the observation of each brand constituent and the understanding of core values implicit and explicit meaning.
But perhaps as important, the core value exercise should be facilitated with a brand’s cross functional team, i.e. marketing, production, sales, finance... Because you will need to create excitement and agreement at the same time, so that the company buys into the brand idea. Therefore, what appears to be a “marketing” exercise, is actually a management exercise, because this is about getting people working towards a similar direction, as described by core value.
If you want to uncover and bring to life your brand values like no other, with clarity and simplicity, do speak with us: we have more than 25 years experience in the marketing of international brand leaders and performed more than 40 brand positioning missions since 2014.