What are the standards by which your business conducts itself? Standards are vital for conducting your business. When you have clear standards and remain aware of what they are and committed to them, your actions and your organization display a strong brand to the world.
And what’s the simplest and most effective way to set and adhere to brand standards? It’s to let a framework, like the Brandview Framework be your guide. The framework provides the foundation for your brand and can feed into your standards.
To give you a roadmap, I’ve created a series of blog posts on brand standards and your framework. One of the elements of the framework is value.
In the Brandview framework, I shared the definition of values as they relate to your brand.
Your company’s values answer the questions:
*Who are we as a company?
*What value do we provide to our community?
*What do we stand for -and against- within our marketplace?
*What products/services do we sell, and why?
Values are a direct demonstration of what’s most important to a company, what the company stands for, and where they will not compromise, even if challenged.
Value is also about the value that your provide to your market. The value you give to your customers and clients.
So how do you use your company values to guide your branding and brand standards?
*Always provide value – that’s your focus
Contrary to popular myth, your priority isn’t sales, it’s to provide value. Providing value is your number one focus. When you provide value, you’ll earn income in exchange. This is the fundamental rule of value and exchange. If your products and services give value, you can ask for value (payment) in return.
*What do you value most as an organization?
What matters most to you as an organization? Why do you do what you do? Are there common aspects of your industry that you stand against? Keeping these questions at the forefront of your mind helps set and maintain the standards for your busy. It’s about how things are done and why they’re done.
*Are your values matching the standard you filter your marketing messages through?
All communication from your organization must be filtered. Let’s say your organization stands for truth and transparency. Your marketing messages must align and reflect with those values.
Use the values as your filter and guide for your messaging. This will help maintain your brand standards. The marketplace will come to respect what you stand for as they see it in your words (messaging) and deeds (actions).
Regularly ask: are we in alignment?
This last question is for reinforcement. It’s not enough to set your brand standards, have everything in alignment, and then conduct business for years without circling back and assessing. ‘Are we in alignment with our standards?’ This is a simple question but will help you start the assessment process that’ll keep you focused and in sync.
Your brand framework (Vision, Values, Voice, Village, and Visuals) is a powerful tool you can use to set and maintain the standards for how you conduct business. It’s a powerful barometer you can turn to again and again over the years to assess, evaluate, and realign your actions and mindset for growth and a strong brand identity.