Actions speak louder than words. These days a brand must stand for something?

Your brand is more than just a logo and an eye-catching colour scheme.

Your brand is all about the core values of your firm. Today’s marketplace is crowded and customers are more resistant to advertising and typical promotional activity. Customers are becoming more discerning and they are turning to brands that share their core values.

Most businesses will talk up their core values and may claim that this is what sets them apart. However, for the most part, the core values of many firms are predictable and unoriginal. For example, most firms will talk about quality, teamwork, integrity and corporate citizenship as being some of their core values. In many cases these are just words.

In truly high performing companies, the company values are embedded in the fabric of the organisation – reinforced, cultivated and celebrated. They are visible from the outside.

For example, a business that has a core value of quality may focus on doing one or two things really, really well. They communicate this to all employees, set business objectives around it and focus on achieving and working towards a common goal.

As a result, the firm will become known for doing certain things really well. Customers will start to notice and start to talk about it. When customers start talking about your firm in a certain way, that’s when you know that you have built a brand.

In order to develop your brand, make some decisions about what it is that you want your firm to stand for. Maybe you want to be the firm that has the fastest turnaround time, the best customer service or maybe you want to be the charitable firm that gives something back to the community.

Set out your objectives and build some core values around this. Communicate with your team of people and help them to understand what it is that the firm is trying to achieve. Get everyone moving in the same direction and encourage them to live the core values of the firm.

Give yourself some time to build out your brand strategy then ask your customers for their feedback. If your customers are saying things about your firm that align with your core values, then you have a successful brand strategy. If not, don’t worry – just use it as an opportunity to refine your strategy, make some tweaks to your approach and move forward from there.