Employees should be well versed in how they should be communicating with customers and representing the brand. In order to accomplish this task, you must first establish the work culture and values behind the brand.

Define Values

Begin by determining the brand’s ‘why’. Look for the brand’s core values, strengths, purpose, and vision for the future. What are the long-term goals?

Define Culture

Work culture can be determined by the work environment, company mission, values, ethics, expectations, and goals. Decide on the collective purpose of the brand. How does this translate into or align with an individual’s purpose? What helps to ensure the culture is not compromised in the future?

What is ‘brand’?

David Ogilvy, the “Father of Advertising,” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”

Why is branding so hard to define?

One reason for this is that different brands mean different things to different people. Brands are dynamic in that they don’t follow a strict form of rules – rather they bend and change depending on who, when and what they are targeting. Brands are about feelings and feelings are sometimes hard to define.

A brand is the way in which a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it.

Marty Neumeier, author and speaker on all things brand, says “a brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”

In essence, your company’s brand is its personality. A brand personality is a chosen set of human characteristics. The five brand personalities are comprised of: Sophisticated, Sincere, Rugged, Excited and Competent.

If you begin to think of your business as a person some questions come to mind:

  • What’s its name?
  • What does it wear? (ie design)
  • How does it communicate? (ie positioning)
  • What are its core values and what does it stand for? (ie brand promise)
  • Who does it associate with? (ie target market)

After you have defined your brand, what is next? Check out my other blog posts about logo design, branding messages and more!

Why do I need to establish core values?

According to Scott Jeffrey of CEOSage, Core values can:

  1. Set a foundation for the organization’s culture.
  2. Help attract, hire, and retain the right type of people.
  3. Align a group of people around specific, idealized behaviors.
  4. Positively influence how team members interact with one another.
  5. Guide difficult decisions by determining priorities in advance.
  6. Improve morale and become a rich source of individual and organizational pride.
  7. Inspire innovations aligned with organizational strengths.
  8. Provide a benchmark for assessing performance (both individually and organizationally).
  9. Help prevent conflict and mitigate conflicts that do arise.
  10. Improve how the organization serves its customers.
  11. Support the differentiation of a brand in the minds of its customers.
  12. Help attract the right breed of customers.

By establishing core values, we are able to pinpoint what your organization stands for. In essence, we are highlighting an expected and idealized set of behaviors and skills.

As Scotts states on, “core values play a fundamental role in attracting and retaining talented people, making difficult decisions, prioritizing resources, reducing internal conflict, differentiating the brand, and attracting profitable customers.”

Why do I need Core Values?

If core values are properly established, they set the climate for your organization and regulate how success is defined and measured.

These values will also determine how you company spends time and money which is what makes this so important.

Core Values of Highly Rated Companies

Zappos Family Values

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
  4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  5. Pursue Growth and Learning
  6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
  7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  8. Do More With Less
  9. Be Passionate and Determined
  10. Be Humble

Google’s Ten things we know to be true

  1. Focus on the user and all else will follow
  2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well
  3. Fast is better than slow
  4. Democracy on the web works
  5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
  6. You can make money without doing evil
  7. There’s always more information out there
  8. The need for information crosses all borders
  9. You can be serious without a suit
  10. Great just isn’t good enough