𝗔𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗩𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀
Updated: Apr 20
To run successfully, you must have the right shoes for the terrain and peak performance.
Understanding and clarifying your company values is critical so you stay focused on what matters. Defining and conveying your brand will build awareness and attract the right people to support your business. Aligning your brand around your values results in a clear approach and catalyzes high growth.
Brand alignment with values is critical for two reasons:
In the short term, you want to present a clear and compelling message to engage all your stakeholders effectively.
In the long term, your brand’s alignment will optimize scale by directing resources and reducing friction.
In one scenario, an investor learns of your product or service, appreciates the branding, and finds it aligned with the business. That person is likely to reach out. If the branding is not consistent with the company’s values, however, employees are less likely to effectively engage potential customers and job candidates as they sense the disconnect.
The factors needed for a company to build and reinforce successful brand alignment include the following:
Authenticity. There are two steps to being genuine: self-awareness and consistency with your behaviors. The same is true for a company’s brand alignment. First, be clear about your values. Then, apply your values regularly in strategy and tactics, as well as in public communication, team meetings, and through metrics. When facing a major challenge or even a remarkable success, revisit your values to remain grounded in your purpose and ensure your branding remains consistent.
Conviction. A compelling origin story allows people to identify the problem you solve and the value of your solution.* For a great backstory, you want to explain your internal and external struggles, change events, and the ensuing result. The backstory often explains major challenges faced by the founders and why the company now helps solve those problems.
Focus. Your values and brand will not apply to everyone. Determine which target personas will directly benefit from your core values as well as your product or services. Then, screen customers based on your values. For instance, if your brand offers a premium product or service, you should discourage buyers who are only focused on cost; otherwise, both sides will be dissatisfied.
“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success,
but I can give you a formula for failure:
try to please everybody all the time.”
– Herbert Bayard Swope
Dependability. For values and branding to be aligned, they must be followed during tough times and periods of growth. Stakeholders, including customers, the team, and investors, will observe to what extent the business acts consistently with its brand. Treat stakeholders as ambassadors and caretakers of your brand by offering a straightforward explanation of your values. People will know if your actions are consistent with your words.
Consistency. Show how your brand, offerings, and culture demonstrate your values constantly. Stakeholders will look to see that you follow the values of your own brand. Ensure that your message, logos, colors, voice, etc. are consistent with your brand. If one of your brand messages is to be “practical” and you sponsor extravagant events, people will be confused and turned off.
Validation. Measure stakeholder sentiment regularly through formal surveys and informal discussions. If you ask your clients, team, and other stakeholders to describe your company, you should hear the same themes consistently.
Pro Tip: Knowing yourself and acting consistently with your values encourages you to be the best leader possible. Similarly, knowing what your company stands for and reinforcing those values through branding encourages stakeholders to respect and support your business.
Key Takeaway: As a leader and in your company, values and brand define you. Be mindful of how they align as you race to victory.
Photo by Avelino Calvar Martinez who can be found here
* For a great take on how to Build Your Backstory by Justin Welch, visit this article
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