Brand values bring guidance in the brand jungle
We live in a world with an incalculable range of goods and services, most of which differ only insignificantly in quality. A mass of information and impressions makes it increasingly difficult for customers to make a purchasing decision. Needs have long since developed into wants. Product and service offerings are therefore no longer solutions to gaps in needs, but trigger emotions and desires. In this world, it no longer is reasonable, if not impossible, to want to differentiate oneself solely on the basis of the rational benefits of a product: The risk involved in buying certain product categories has shifted from a material to an ideal and social risk. Brands must therefore create meaning and form a subjective benefit for customers. The basis for an orientation in the brand jungle are the brand values.
Brands show for what you stand
Brand values are an important element that help shape the identity of a brand. Customers buy products and services from a brand that reflect their own personality or are an expression of an identity they want for themselves. When they make a purchase decision, they are making a statement that goes beyond the product itself: It says something different whether you wear a polo shirt from Camp David or a polo shirt from Lacoste. Brands serve as a signal of belonging to certain groups with corresponding values and moral concepts. It is therefore vital for brands to create offers of identification: With a clear attitude and a set of values that position them not only in the market, but also in society.
Recognizing and defining brand values
Brand values are discovered through a view inwards and must be authentic. It is a process of self-knowledge, taking into account the specifics, capabilities and achievements. What is typical about a brand’s products or the way the products are developed? A value-based thinking goes beyond the production: The special, outstanding and unique aspects of a brand form an attitude and the reason why people commit to it or not. The key is to remain authentic. Only if core brand values can be communicated in a credible and differentiated way, will they be appreciated. People are just as unlikely to attach themselves to overly generic, interchangeable values as to exaggerated, untrustworthy statements that are not followed through. If a brand positions itself as innovative, the products should really be pioneers in the market. The fake is quickly exposed, because consumers are better informed and better connected than ever before.
Making value systems tangible
The value system of a brand should be reflected in the entire corporate philosophy and corporate culture in order to project an authentic image to the outside world. Strong brands are associated with emotional content, visual images and associations. These companies manage to make their core brand values tangible in all contact opportunities. Because only what people experience contributes to the strength of the relationship with the brand. The ultimate goal of a successful brand strategy is to gain trust in the brand values: People no longer check whether Apple has an innovative advantage: they believe it.
A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.
Reduction brings clarity
A clear positioning of the customers requires a clear identity of the brand. No one remembers a page-long report about what the brand represents – in a hyper-complex time, simplicity is needed for an appealing brand personality. The condensation to a few simple, but not banal attributes and a strong core value is not an easy process. Instruments like Jürgen Gietl’s value compressor help to reduce the characteristics of a brand to the essentials.
Brand messages are like tennis balls: If I throw you one, you catch it. If I throw you three, you won’t catch any.
Values make brands relevant
We recognize true values. In our BRAND WORKSHOPS, we consistently challenge and identify your brand values.
What values do you stand for?
Let’s find out.
Dr. Birgit Joest
030 403 664 76