On the subject of corporate branding, business owners are asking, “Where to start?” This is a great question, with a number of answers – but one thing is for sure: Before you move forward, you must identify your brand’s unique set of corporate values.

Corporate Branding Starts with Values

We use our internal value systems when we choose mates, friends, colleagues, and more. We want the things that are important to us to be important to them, too. We all innately know that this increases the chances that relationships will be mutually fulfilling. And who doesn’t want that?

Consumers use the same system to determine if brands are good fits for their preferences, their lifestyles…ultimately, their values. This means that through corporate branding, you must make your values evident, which will increase the likelihood that you will attract clients who share your ideals and appreciate what you have to offer. You’ll also promote an environment in which loyal clients are eager to make referrals and give glowing testimonials.

Every person’s and every company’s values list will be unique. Here are just a few examples of values that might be important to you:

  • Honesty
  • Strength
  • Trustworthiness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Stylishness
  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Fun
  • Integrity
  • Courage

If you find yourself struggling with identifying and choosing your top corporate values, trying asking yourself these questions. The answers will be gateways to your values:

  • What makes you angry? What’s that one thing that when it happens, you simply cannot hold your tongue? Now, determine what value that thing violates, and that’s a value that you hold dear. As a simple example, if being deceived makes you steaming mad, then one of your core values is honesty.

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  • What is your favourite pastime? Why do you like it so much? Pay close attention to your answers, and you’ll find values imbedded there. For example, maybe you like bowling because you value competition. Or, maybe you like reading because you value intelligence.

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  • What makes you feel relaxed…at ease? If you like soft music, or being held by the one you love, or a warm slice of pie, then think more deeply about that. What would you miss if you could never experience it again? Therein lies a value that is important to you.

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Now, in all of your corporate branding efforts, represent your personal and corporate values well. The resulting corporate branding will deliver a message this represents your authentic self and your brand’s higher purpose and USP (unique selling point).

Don’t rush your values list – this process will require serious contemplation. Be honest with yourself and avoid stretching to embody the values that you think people will want; instead, be authentic in what’s important to you and you’ll attract authentic, long-lasting business relationships. Don’t devise the list using a think-tank group, either – the list will lack focus and may be tainted by others’ wishes or perceptions of what your business is or should be.

If you’d like some help with devising your corporate branding values list or would like to learn more about how to build a brand, contact How to Build a Brand.

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