brand values

Brand & Values

Brand Strategy and Company Values

Creating core brand values and driving a brand strategy doesn’t need to be complicated or costly. Often the biggest step a business can take when it comes to their brand is to make the move to decide how they want to be seen by their customers. Then it’s down to making sure that internally, every team member is clear on what’s trying to be achieved and that your hiring process, your employee experience and your company culture all work together to bring your brand identity to life.

The right brand strategy and set of values not only helps you stand apart from your competitors, it ensures that your potential customers think of you first, and do so in the exact way you want to be thought of, ultimately resulting in them choosing to work with you and no-one else.

At Think Wow we know that nothing happens by accident. Despite best intentions, unless a clear set of value statements are defined, communicated and woven into your wider brand strategy, then it’s unrealistic to expect your employees to have a clear vision of what’s expected of them.

We help businesses to define core values, reinforce values, create engaged employees, work with leadership and other employees to make sure that the company believes in the agreed values and knows how to make values-based decisions. We help you to deliberately design a brand strategy that brings those values to life, is easy to communicate and helps you achieve your wider organisational goals – all with one eye on the customer experience!

Did you know that 94% of people said they’d be highly likely to recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with?

Connecting with your target market and aligning with their fundamental beliefs makes it more likely that they’ll engage with your company on an emotional level.

Driving increased organic brand recognition not only strengthens your revenue streams, it can help you to attract the top talent you need to deliver the best possible customer experience across your entire organisation.

If you’re considering working on your brand strategy or core values, we’d love to help!

Still on the fence?

Did you know that 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks?

It can feel daunting considering a new brand strategy, but there’s nothing to worry about. When you work with us, we take the time to understand your existing brand personality, what makes you ‘you’ and what your existing customers and employees love about your brand. We work with you to refine your authentic brand values so that any changes feel like a natural fit to your culture.

Wherever there’s a gap between how you want to be seen and how things are, we’ll work with you to define a natural company culture with core values you can be proud of.

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core brand values

So why is it important to put a formal brand strategy in place?

It’s easy to assume that the employees you bring into the business share your values. When you ask people at interview how they’d like to be thought of, values like honesty, transparency, empathy and passion are often top of the list.

Whilst that’s a fantastic place to start, and ensuring your hiring process screens for the right values from the start is important, it’s not enough for your team members to just share some of the business values.

They need to know how those values relate to behaviours at work, they need training in how to make values-based decisions, how to prioritise one value over another if a conflict arises, and they need to understand the important role that your company’s values play in the wider customer experience and overall strategy.

We can help you create the right set of values to strategically weave into your company’s operations to ensure your teams use your values in all they do, always enhancing how your customers, competitors and the wider world see you. We can help you move away from having a good culture across most of the company, to having a consistently fantastic company culture with a strong and recognisable brand identity.

Still need convincing? Okay, here goes!

94% of the world’s population recognises the Coco-Cola logo. That didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen by accident.

Businesses who are consistent in how they show up for their customers, who have a recognisable brand and whose leaders ensure the integrity of that brand are far more likely to be able to drive increased organic brand recognition. Not only that, but your business will grow because people trust consistency, they like to know what they can expect from a business and favour a business that has a strong brand identity feels like a much safer bet.

The more people who know you and the more you are known for the things you want to be recognised for, the more your target market will connect with you. Your core values could become one of your biggest marketing assets.

What happens once you’re ready to start creating a brand strategy?

We start with a workshop with your senior leadership team. The workshop helps us identify any existing values, understand your wider organisational goals and make sure that anything that we collaborate on with you contributes to those goals. We follow the workshop with a series of employee interviews to ensure that we design a set of values and a brand strategy that will compliment your current culture, or help you to improve it if you know there’s some work to be done.

We help you to create a clear strategy that includes your managers, sales teams, support teams and back office services, creating a clear communication plan and actionable steps for you to take to ensure the success of the new strategy.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQs:

Brand values aren’t complicated, they are simply what your brand stands for and what you believe in. They are a guide for both your customers and your employees to know what they can expect from your company.

For customers they can help build trust and a sense of certainty, providing that they are implemented effectively across the business and your staff use the values to make decisions and provide the highest standards of customer service.

For employees they can act as a moral compass, provide reassurance, and reduce the need for micromanagement. Leadership teams feel confident that with the right information and training, anyone in the business can autonomously represent the brand to the highest standard.

Brand values can be statements, or just a single word – but one thing that’s always worth remembering when creating your brand values is to stick to one grammatical tense and one style.
You can use your values to create a strong brand strategy and actively influence how the outside world sees you. A strong set of core values that genuinely represent what you want your brand to be will help you to show up consistently on social media, in marketing and in the operational delivery of your core services. That consistency will help you grow your reputation and build trust, which will ultimately help you stand out from the crowd.

Creating a brand identity with strong values as the backbone can feel like a big responsibility. The vision of your leadership team needs to be able to be brought to life by everyone in the team if the company culture is going to reflect the new values.

If you can’t immediately think of some core values that fit with your brand vision, don’t worry. It can sometimes be easier to work backwards from what you don’t want or to think of other brands you admire and consider why you admire them.

If you’re still struggling , we love nothing more than a good team creativity workshop to help develop and then ultimately nail down the core values that feel natural to your organisation.

The first step is to make sure that you know what you want to achieve, what your goals are, and why you’re trying to achieve them. Once you have that clear, you can cross reference any existing values you have back to your objectives and do a simple sense check – do these make sense?

For example if you’ve set the objective to grow trust in your target market, then transparency or honesty would be excellent core values to help underpin that objective.

Think Wow can help with value creation, training teams on core values and how to use them to underpin daily decisions. We can also work with existing values should you feel like your managers and employees need a little refresher.

We can provide support and training to help your teams understand the importance of embracing core values and give them all the confidence they need to go extra mile when it comes to inspiring confidence in your brand.

Training can either be delivered remotely or in your workplace, or for anyone based near West Sussex or East Hampshire, we can train at our own offices set in the heart of Stansted Park.

It’s difficult to imagine a brand strategy without clear values at its core. Think of it a little like making a cake. If you had the method but no ingredients you couldn’t make the cake.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

This can be a tricky situation, but we’re experienced at helping to implement change in a sensitive and empathic way. We’ll help you educate and drive commitment to your new values, troubleshooting any objections or hurdles.

It can take time for people to adjust to change, and we’ll support you through that time with our expertise and knowledge of stakeholder management, change management and our empathic approach to both.

We’ll also be on hand to support you in making any tough decisions for the good of the organisational growth and new brand strategy should that be required.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

The more you can get your managers and employees involved in the process of the value creation, the more likely they are to buy into those values. The process of creating, refining, and setting values is a hugely valuable one for any employee to get involved with and will really help them with their own personal development.

If it’s not possible or realistic to get everyone involved in that stage, then the training and rollout of the values can still be a team effort which will help to drive maximum engagement and respect for the new values.

It can take time for people to adjust to change, and we’ll support you through that time with our expertise and knowledge of stakeholder management, change management and our empathic approach to both.

We’ll also be on hand to support you in making any tough decisions for the good of the organisational growth and new brand strategy should that be required.

Likewise, if you had all the ingredients, but not a clear method you might end up with a sunken mess of a cake that’s not even cooked!

Values are a little like the ingredients, with the strategy forming the method. The two combine to give you the best possible chance of creating a brand identity as delicious and attractive as a red velvet cake.

Rebecca knows that preparing a business for rapid and sustainable growth doesn’t happen by accident. She’ll help you design a consistent approach to the customer that you can communicate to your team with processes that are built to scale as you grow.

In one word, yes.

If you consider your own experiences in the workplace; have you ever joined a business that didn’t feel very organised or that didn’t handle repeating situations in a consistent way? How did it feel to work there? The chances are – not great.

Consistency and quality of approach underpinned by clear values can ensure new recruits are inducted in the right way, trained to know how to feel confident in any situation, and set clear expectations on how you want them to behave. It can also help employees know how their management might respond in a given situation and ensure fair treatment of all team members. All of these elements will increase the chances of a positive employee experience and drive increased employee engagement.

We often see people wrinkle their noses at the idea of corporate values. The word ‘corporate’ can feel off-putting to smaller, more boutique businesses. But in reality, corporate values don’t really need the word corporate at all. The only reason they are often referred to as this is because so many larger corporations found growth and success through adopting key values and a wider brand strategy.

If you reframe these corporate values as guiding principles, or even just ‘values’ then they can still be just as impactful in your workplace, just as useful for your managers to help roll out new processes, and just as helpful to your sales teams when it comes to making sales with integrity. The bottom line is that any business can benefit from a deliberate move to set strong foundations for its culture and recognising the importance of core values to your business is a great first step!

Company values can be anything you want them to be but it’s a great idea to start with some that don’t feel too aspirational. Try to create a concise set of values (perhaps no more than four or five) that feel like they already fit your workplace and your current culture.

If you want to add in one or two that feel like they might need some work before the whole team sees their importance that’s okay, but it’s also a good idea not to completely overhaul how you want your business to behave in one huge change programme as this can feel very unsettling and demotivating to existing team members.

At Think Wow, our values are To Empathise, To Add Value, To Put You First and To Make it Easy. Notice how they are all in the same style and tense?

 

If you reframe these corporate values as guiding principles, or even just ‘values’ then they can still be just as impactful in your workplace, just as useful for your managers to help roll out new processes, and just as helpful to your sales teams when it comes to making sales with integrity. The bottom line is that any business can benefit from a deliberate move to set strong foundations for its culture and recognising the importance of core values to your business is a great first step!

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