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Brand Values by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc. Rochester NY

Brand Values

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

Our research over the past twelve years has shown that brands whose values align with their customers’ values have much stronger brand equity as measured by brand preference, loyalty and emotional connection. I recently read Jim Stengel’s book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. He has come to a similar conclusion after researching 50,000 brands in conjunction with Millward Brown Optimor.

So here is what we have found. Brands that have achieved an uncommon level of success:

  • Know who their advocates are and what motivates them. That is, they have deep insight into their most passionate customers
  • Stand for something important to these customers
  • Embrace values that are important to their customers. That is, they and their customers share a common set of values
  • Hire, manage and empower employees based on these values
  • Consistently live these values each and every day
  • Serve as self-expressive vehicles for their customers. That is, the brands become “badges” of customer attitudes, interests and values
  • Strive to create an outstanding customer experience
  • Innovate
  • Care about aesthetics
  • Co-create their offerings with customers

Consider these brands as examples of this:
• Apple
• Fox News
• Method
• National Public Radio
• Patagonia
• Seventh Generation
• Stonyfield Farm
• Southwest Airlines
• Trader Joes
• Wegmans

Here is the irony – if your brand’s decisions are driven primarily by customer values alignment rather than financial considerations, it will achieve well above average financial results. A balanced scorecard is a must. Most purchase decisions are emotion-based and people often choose and feel best about brands whose values align with their values.

Read More…

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