The Mighty Hawks did it again. Celebrated by one half of our studio, this win got us thinking about success. Hawthorn Football Club is clearly on a roll with their ongoing premiership wins. Leading Teams, a leadership development organisation, looked deeper into what makes the Hawks so great, time and time again. At the backbone of the Hawks style of play is a clearly defined set of values that dictates how they behave on and off the field. The team identified courage, sacrifice, mateship and endurance as the core values to build their success on. Living by these values is clearly working for them.
Defining values is crucial to the success and longevity of any organisation. Brand values are the principles and standards that drive every aspect of a business. They are the foundation for the implementation of effective brand strategy. Furthermore, they help businesses create a productive, vibrant and supportive workplace culture. Without brand values, a consistent organisational culture is difficult to maintain.
Identifying three to five brand values is a vital step for any organisation to form the basis of their brand strategy. To ensure successful ongoing implementation, agreement from all leading stakeholders is key. Your brand values help you and your team stay on the same page. What do you stand for? What behaviours and approaches are acceptable? Most importantly, what principles keep you going?
Once established, brand values inform processes in all aspects of your business. Inducting new team members becomes consistent and seamless. Decisions about adding new innovations, products and services are informed by your values. As you identify opportunities worth pursuing, the process is simplified by quickly referring to your values. Does this new opportunity align with your business principles? The same applies to removing products and services. Perhaps you are offering services that no longer align with your brand values – which can often happen as businesses evolve organically and customers’ choices inform output. After realising one of their services did not align with their brand values, social media provider Buffer removed it, speaking openly about their reasoning here.
Beyond processes, brand values will also have an impact on the behaviour and style of a workplace. If collaboration and positivity are brand values, it makes sense to have an open plan office with various breakout and recreational areas. Stance Socks’ workplace is a great example of a physical manifestation of a brand’s values and beliefs.
Our client, Saxon Wright of Pablo & Rusty’s, is big on brand values. Driving their approach to sourcing, wholesale roasting, sales, and in cafe experience, Saxon and his team live by three values: design; digital focused; sustainability. Design permeates through Pablo & Rusty’s, from brand strategy, to systems, to their B2B approach. Everything is executed with a focus on problem solving. Their digital focus means they are always moving forward, simplifying business processes and working online to ensure the customer’s digital journey is one of ease and reward. If a process can be digitised and it ultimately improves their customers’ experience, Pablo & Rusty’s will do it. Finally, sustainability informs Pablo & Rusty’s focus on the environment, business practices, and design.
Most importantly, the leaders within an organisation must live by the brand values that separate them from the pack. Standards must be maintained, as the old ‘lead by example’ mantra rings true. Leaders must hold their team to account to ensure the brand values remain steadfast. At Raine & Makin, we find it useful to have a printed statement of our brand values in the workplace. Stating our vision, purpose and brand values, this poster is a constant reminder of what we are striving for, why we do what we do, and our beliefs.
We facilitate workshops and exercises to help you identify your brand values. If you would like to know more, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.