No matter what you do, in order to establish a successful brand, it’s important that you start by defining your business core values.
Your business core values are created by taking an honest look at your product, service, and customer experience, and breaking down the defining elements of your company.
You can start this process by answering the following questions:
- Does your product or service have points of differentiation from competitors? Take a look at what you’re offering compared to what your competitors offer. What’s unique about your product or service that sets it apart from all others on the market?
- Why should your target audience be interested in your product or service? What needs are you meeting through providing your customers and clientele with this product or service? Why would a prospect choose to work with you over your competition? What solution are you providing for your ideal customer? Above and beyond that, how do you provide this solution better than your competitors?
- What are you passionate about as a company, service provider, or product manufacturer? Passion is a great clue as to what your core values may be. Passion creates an emotional connection for your customer and transcends any marketing or advertising you could possibly put in front of them. What are you passionate about providing or creating through what you are offering?
As you answer the above questions, keep one thing in mind: it’s absolutely imperative that you answer TRUTHFULLY.
Suppose your product or service is the exact same as your top competitors, but your customer service and experience far exceed what any other company is capable of offering. In that case, that should immediately clue you in on one of your values. It’s essential to begin the branding process with solid footing, and the only way to achieve this is to be honest with yourself about your strengths.
Once you’ve taken the time to determine what is unique about your product or service, you can move on to defining your top core values.
Start by creating a list of all the core values you feel fit within your company and apply them to the product or service you’re providing. Some examples include integrity, creativity, innovation, customer service, community, growth, technology, efficiency, timeliness, value, affordability, quality, philanthropy, or simplicity. Take your time and list out everything that comes to mind.
Once you’ve created a list of values, the next step is to narrow those down into your core values.
Your core values are the values that are indisputable and can be found in all aspects of running your business, from the product or service you provide, to how you speak to your customers and clients.
If you choose timeliness as a core value, you’ll need to consider the following… Are your products always shipped and delivered on time? Are your customer inquiries handled and replied to in a highly timely manner? How long are customers put on hold when they call? What are the turnaround times on your proposals and estimates? If timeliness is a core value, you have to be confident that it is a value consistently honored in everything you do, despite the changes in your market or any situations you may encounter.
Once you’ve successfully narrowed your list down to no more than five core values (I recommend three to four), be sure to write these out and put them next to your computer or on your desk. Use this as a reference point when speaking with new vendors, partners, clients, or creating new products and services.