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9 Best Practices to Keeping Your Brand’s Core Values True and Alive

Brand Communications - brand identity

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The values that define your brand are what make it relatable and resonate with your target audience. By staying true to these core values, you foster authenticity and create the opportunity to gain the desired traction.

However, remaining faithful to your brand’s core values and keeping them alive can be challenging. It’s easy to lose sight of these values as time goes on, causing your actions to deviate from your beliefs.

This deviation often occurs when the pursuit of higher profitability blurs your vision and distracts you from staying true to your brand’s principles. This can have emotional implications not only for your current and potential customers, but also for your workforce and other stakeholders.

Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize the preservation of your brand’s core values and remain committed to them. This article will showcase a few of the best practices that may help you do the needful.

1. Make brand values define your culture

To ensure that your brand’s core values stay alive in the long run and resonate with your operations, you must create your company’s culture around them.

In short, practicing what you preach is the only way to acknowledge an authentic brand image and win the hearts of your target audience. You must wholeheartedly believe in your mission and stay true to your brand’s true character despite all odds.

Instill your brand’s core values into the job description, making your employees your brand advocates while ensuring that leaders embody and exemplify these values and that all brand activities consistently align with them.

volvo safety corporate culture
Image credits: Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars exemplifies its commitment to safety by fostering a culture that goes beyond mere labeling of products. The company ensures that every individual and team within its organization is firmly dedicated to prioritizing safety as their utmost concern. As Volvo emphasizes:

“Safety is so much more than sticking a label to a product. Our Volvo Cars culture aims to ensure that every individual and every team across the company is firmly committed to having safety as their highest priority.”

Quote from Volvo cars’ official website (culture & vision)

2. Ensure effective communication

To effectively communicate your brand’s core values, it is crucial to convey them to all relevant stakeholders. Whether it’s your employees, customers, or investors.

This process may present challenges, such as encountering an investor whose agenda conflicts with your principles. In such situations, it is important not to compromise your values. Similarly, avoid promoting something that does not align with your authentic identity when interacting with customers.

For example, ProtonMail, an email service provider that places utmost importance on privacy in every aspect of their operations, goes to great lengths to communicate their commitment to user data protection. This dedication to privacy is so deeply ingrained in their brand that their commitment to privacy is highlighted everywhere, from their slogan “Privacy by default” to their website “A better internet starts with privacy and freedom”. Even their Instagram profile is aptly named “@protonprivacy.” By consistently emphasizing their focus on user privacy, ProtonMail showcases their unwavering commitment to their main brand value.

protonmail's instagram profile called "protonprivacy"
Image credits: Protonmail’s Instagram Profile

3. Train new hires

The best way to stay true to your brand’s core values is by making them a part of your onboarding process and educating people joining your team.

This goes beyond just finding the right people for the right jobs and stimulates the need for employer branding. Even if a person has the best-suited skills for the job, it’s your responsibility to make them the best fit for the company.

Your onboarding process should connect new hires with the brand and help them understand its core values.

Coming up with an employee handbook or an orientation guide may be a great way to get new hires acquainted with the company’s mission, vision, and the brand’s core values, helping them gain an in-depth understanding of the company’s culture and the code of conduct. This will help them understand the dos and don’ts, making it easier for them to strive towards the set goals.

A nice example of an organization taking a step further is the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). IFRC promotes its values to staff and volunteers through educational programs and online courses. Its commitment to educating new hires reflects its dedication to integrating its brand and values throughout the team.

Image credits: IFRC

4. Leverage storytelling

The most genuine way to keep your brand’s core values true and alive is by telling your story to the world and letting them know your origin. This is the key to making your brand relatable and enabling people to connect with you.

There is no need to be fancy. Just be original and stay true to what made your brand what it is today. Your story reflects your brand’s values and helps people understand the internal and external factors that drive your actions. Your brand’s story complements your mission and reflects your core values. So, telling it to the world may be the best way to cultivate advocacy for your brand.

Also, by aligning themselves with individuals or organizations that share similar values, brands can cultivate advocacy and demonstrate their dedication to important causes. Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign is a prime example here, featuring Colin Kaepernick, an American civil rights activist and renowned football player. Through the campaign, Nike took a stance on a political issue, engaging an audience segment that felt equally passionate about the cause.

5. Generate awareness

Generating awareness about your brand’s values makes it less likely for you to deviate from the path.

When no one knows about your beliefs, it’s easier to get away with things that don’t resonate with your brand identity. But when people know what you stand for, they will likely call you out when you start being someone you’re not.

This may sound intimidating, but it’s a sure-shot way to stay true to your character and uplift your values despite all odds.

Promoting your brand’s values complements brand exposure and helps you cultivate accountability. This approach leaves no room for excuses when faced with challenges. An excellent example of this is The Body Shop. The brand’s purpose is to fight for a “fairer, more beautiful world,” and inclusivity is one of their core values. This commitment is reflected in their support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In 2022, The Body Shop launched a large awareness campaign to promote this core value.

the body shop equalty brand values
Image credits: Ads Of The World

An effective way to generate awareness about your brand’s core value is by leveraging social media. All you need to do is identify the channels best suited for your brand and plan awareness campaigns to convey your message to the intended audience, partners, and other key stakeholders. However, be sure to always deliver on this promise. Otherwise, your brand’s community might start building a negative image of your brand due to its lack of reliability and commitment.

6. Be transparent

Keeping your values alive in the long run requires you to engage the concerned stakeholders. And the only way to do so is by being transparent.

There must be a harmony between what you communicate and your actions in order to cultivate trust and take key stakeholders onboard, such as your partners, investors, customers, and employees.

This helps you foster inclusivity, as you constantly receive valuable feedback and collectively create a culture that resonates with the values you intend to uplift.

You can foster transparency by creating educational content about your processes, sharing behind-the-scenes information, publicly disclosing your policies, drafting clear terms of use, embracing honest marketing, and so on.

This helps you foster trust and makes it easier for you to become a reputable brand in your respective industry.

7. Be consistent

Staying true to your brand’s core values is an ongoing thing. So, consistency in your actions is of utmost importance.

For example, if your brand advocates environment friendliness, your processes should always strive towards reducing a carbon footprint. The only way you can build a brand with a strong image is by sticking to your core values, no matter what, and letting them dictate your operations. Any action you take contrary to your brand’s core values down the road will negatively affect your brand’s reputation and the image of your company.

On the other hand, consistency in actions that align with your values helps you grow your business as people start trusting you more. Your message reaches more ears and is more likely to engage the intended audience, making it possible for you to capture quality leads.

8. Ensure accountability

To keep your brand’s core values alive and stay true to them, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. This means monitoring your processes and ensuring that everything aligns with your company’s vision.

When you have just gotten started, staying true to your values may be quite easy. You strive to help your audience and make their lives easier by providing them with viable solutions. But as you grow, your focus may shift from helping people to generating more revenue. You may lose sight of what was once important to you and paved the way for you to be who you are today.

Therefore, you should constantly monitor what you do to ensure you’re staying true to your core values.

Your HR team may come in handy here, as it ensures collaboration among different teams and holds them accountable for their actions. Another option is to leverage 360-degree feedback to cultivate accountability, enabling different teams to help each other grow.

9. Learn from negative experiences

Mistakes are inevitable when you try to uplift your brand’s core values. It’s normal to stray from the path and do things you were not supposed to.

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as you learn from them and try not to repeat them again. So, always learn from the negative experiences you acknowledge along the way. Identify the reasons that led you to make mistakes in the first place and come up with suitable preventive measures for the next time around.

This was done by Victoria’s Secret in 2014 when one of its ad campaigns received a backlash with respect to body shaming. The brand quickly took notice and changed the tagline of an ongoing campaign from ‘The Perfect Body’ to ‘A Body for Every Body’.

victoria secret scandal
Victoria’s Secret ad “A Body For Every Body.” Image Credits: Victoria’s Secret. Image Source: ABC

While the company received widespread praise for acknowledging their error, it is important to recognize that a mere slogan change was insufficient. Concerns have been raised regarding the continued use of extremely skinny models, representing less than 5% of women in the US, in the campaign visuals. When rectifying errors concerning a brand’s core values, it is imperative for brands to ensure that these adjustments are manifested across all facets of their operations, rather than being limited to verbal expression alone.

Final words

There you have it: the nine best practices for keeping your brand’s core values true and alive.

Your core values should always resonate with your actions and the decisions that you make down the road. They fuel your authenticity and helps you build a brand powerful enough to outmaneuver other players in your respective industry.

Staying true to your core values complements your credibility and enables you to engage your target audience.


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