Brand Identity : Core Values

I was reading an article on brand identity which plays a critical part in companies where core values came up and thought of an article/blog I wrote a while back “Core Values”.

Brand identity is who you are and what you value as a company. Not only are Core Value’s the “essence” of individuals but in business as well. While reading an interview that took place with John Durham, CEO of Catalyst SF, the interviewer asked about Core Values in a business and whether there was merit in establishing those before developing your brand identity?

John Durham’s answer was:
“Absolutely. Aside from focusing on the business model and the financials, one of the first things you need to do is establish your mission as a company. This is especially important in today’s world. People care about what they are buying. They care about products and sustainability. They care about the values that companies offer, and a lot of times they will choose their products and services based on those values. You need to write a manifesto that you can be proud of.”

The interviewer went on to ask guidelines to writing an effective set of core values. In which he replied:
“I like the idea of narrowing it down to about four or five core values, and no more than that. It’s about two paragraphs. The first is about what you stand for. The second is how you want to make a fair profit. People are not bothered by people making money. I think we have to get over that myth. People understand that we operate a business. If you are a for-profit business, then you want to make a fair profit. You want to make sure that the products you sell are high-quality, desirable products. And you want to set standards for how your business is run”

Many small businesses wear multiple hats. So, whether it’s everyday decisions like the types of images that get posted on Instagram, or bigger decisions like overall marketing strategy, how do you know you are working in a way that accurately reflects your brand identity?

John Durham went on to say to be sure to never insult your customers. And to never underestimate their attention to detail. One of the best places to start is to ask yourself what you like and what you want. Some people can be so afraid of making a decision on identity because they don’t want to let their own bias or personal feelings come into play. But we often forget that we, too, are customers. And when you bring that to bear, I think people, particularly small business owners, feel a lot better because more often than not, their business is an expression of who they are as people.

Would love to hear your thoughts and input.