Brand Values

Brand values define a brand.  

They guide the visual and verbal language and act as a signpost to potential customers that signal what a brand is all about.

But values are often confused with beliefs. And this confusion can hold a company back when the world changes and knowledge evolves.

When a company has values, it has a set of guiding principles that allow it to remain open-minded and flexible to change. By comparison, companies whose identities are based on beliefs become ridged and slow to act.

That’s because companies based on beliefs are often left on the defensive. When beliefs become challenged, instead of flexibility moving forward, they’re left defending practices and systems they believe bring customers value.

A company whose identity is defined by its beliefs, ideas and ideologies remains unchanging as the world changes around it.

Blackberry was once the leader in mobile phones. At its peak, it owned over 50% of the US and 20% of the global smartphone market. However, after the advent of the iPhone, market share quickly plummeted. They held the belief that the features that made them a sensation in the past would continue to make them a sensation in the future.

When Blackberry’s beliefs were challenged, they defended them. Their attachment kept them from recognizing they were wrong.

When the focus is on value, being wrong means learning something new. It affords the flexibility to update beliefs based on new evidence and move forward accordingly, creating a better and brighter future.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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