If you want your brand to thrive, it has to inspire trust in the minds of consumers. |
This is of the utmost importance, regardless of the size or nature of your business, because in today’s trust economy, people are more concerned than ever about whether a brand can be trusted, and whether its values are aligned with theirs.
But if you want to inspire that trust, establish an emotional connection with consumers who share your brand’s values, and gain an edge over the competition by showing consumers that your brand is more trustworthy than the rest, then you have to understand brand positioning.
If you’re not sure what that is, brand positioning refers to the process of establishing a unique identity and image for a brand in the minds of its target audience, particularly when it comes to how it’s perceived in relation to its competitors.
And one of the best ways to connect with consumers who share your values, and position your brand as one that can be trusted, is by publishing a value statement.
But what is a value statement, and why is it so important to the success of your brand?
In this article, I explain what a value statement is, why it’s so important for your business, and offer some advice to help you come up with one of your own.
What Is a Value Statement? In the context of brand positioning, a value statement is a concise declaration of a brand’s guiding principles, beliefs, and priorities, defining what it stands for and communicating its fundamental purpose and vision.
Value statements typically include a set of core values that guide a brand’s behaviour and decision-making.
These values may include ethical considerations, social responsibility, customer service, teamwork, innovation, or other key areas that are important to the brand and its stakeholders.
A well-crafted value statement is a powerful tool for defining a brand’s identity, setting it apart from its competitors, and, as I already mentioned, gaining the trust of consumers, and establishing an emotional connection with them.
READ: How to Determine Your Unique Brand Positioning
Defining your brand values and creating a value statement can help you to define what your brand is all about.
But after you’ve determined what those values are, and communicated them to your target audience, you need to ensure that every single aspect of your marketing reflects those principles.
So, if you’re wondering how to inject the values of your brand into your marketing efforts, then this article is right up your alley.
It explains how to promote your brand values across several aspects of your marketing, including your website, blogs, and more.
Keep reading on our website.
Why Is a Value Statement so Important for Your Business? Aside from what I’ve already explained, it’s important to note that after everything that’s happened over the last few years, trust in major institutions has significantly eroded.
According to Edelman’s 2022 Trust Barometer, since 2020, trust in government and the media has plummeted. But what is it that’s eroding the public’s trust in these institutions?
Well, from my perspective, this has a lot to do with the way our lives were altered during the pandemic.
As the restrictions imposed during the pandemic disrupted our daily lives, pushing everything online, face-to-face interactions became increasingly scarce, cyber criminals were having a heyday, and as a result of these factors, and many others, a pervasive paranoia seems to have decreased our trust in many things, including each other.
All things considered, it’s clear that consumers are looking for institutions that can be trusted in a world where everything is becoming more and more uncertain.
But surprisingly enough, while trust in many institutions has been on the decline, trust in business has held strong, and at least according to Edelman’s survey, it’s practically unchanged.
What’s more, this survey found that while most respondents consider government and the media to be dividing forces in society, they also believe that business is a unifying force.
Much of this trust and admiration can be attributed to the fact that many businesses never stopped running, despite the risks posed by the pandemic, providing much-needed products and services to consumers in an era characterized by fear and uncertainty.
At this point, you might be wondering why I’m talking about the pandemic in an article that’s supposed to be about value statements, so let me explain.
First of all, in order to comprehend how the branding and marketing landscape has changed, and why trust has become such a crucial factor, we’ve got to consider what’s influenced these changes and understand how we got here.
It’s also important to point out that while the world of business seems to have retained a significant amount of trust, not least due to what it was able to accomplish during the pandemic, that doesn’t mean business owners can assume that consumers will have implicit trust in their brands.
If anything, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get consumers to trust your brand, and from my perspective, this effect was created in large part by the sequence of events that played out during the pandemic.
How Can a Value Statement Benefit Your Business? In our post-pandemic world, consumers are increasingly concerned with ensuring they can trust a brand, and are more likely to give their business to brands that share the same values that they do.
That being said, one of the best ways to gain the trust of consumers, and make an emotional connection with those who share the same values as your brand is by creating a value statement.
Aside from the advantages I’ve already mentioned above, a value statement can offer many other benefits for your business, including:
Guidance: A value statement serves as a guide for decision-making and behaviour, providing clarity on what is important and what is not. This can help you to make consistent and principled choices for your business, even in complex or challenging situations. Alignment: Value statements can help you to ensure that everything your brand does is aligned with its goals and mission. Having this sort of consistency helps to position your brand as reliable, credible, competent, and professional. Culture: A value statement can help you to create a strong culture in your business, as it helps to communicate what an organization stands for and what it expects of its employees, which can help to attract and retain talent that shares your brand values. Transparency: Publishing a value statement sends a message to consumers that your brand knows what it’s about, can be trusted to act in alignment with its values, and isn’t afraid to have its actions scrutinized, which helps to position your brand as honest, principled, and genuine. Accountability: A value statement provides the basis for accountability. When values are clear and consistently applied, organizations can be held accountable for their actions, and performance can be measured against these established standards. Reputation: Value statements can help you to build and maintain a positive reputation for your brand. And when your brand acts in accordance with its values, it’s more likely to be trusted and respected by consumers, which can help you to gain more leads and sales, and take business away from the competition.
How to Create a Value Statement Ideally, a value statement should be a clear and concise expression of the fundamental principles of your brand.
But there are a lot of things to consider, and you’ve got to get it right, or else it could end up embarrassing your brand, and doing more harm than good.
With that in mind, here are some principles I follow when helping our clients to create effective value statements for their brands:
Identify your organization’s core values: Start by identifying the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide the actions and decisions of your brand. Ask yourself, what is most important to your organization? And what do you stand for? Be clear and concise: Your value statement should be clear and concise, preferably with no more than two or three sentences. You should also make sure it’s easy to understand and remember. Make it meaningful: Your value statement should resonate with your target audience, and it should reflect what they care about and what they expect from your brand. Use simple language: A great value statement will use simple and straightforward language that is easy to understand. Make sure to avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to your target audience. Be authentic: Your value statement should reflect your organization’s true values and beliefs, so make sure it’s authentic and genuine. Because this isn’t something you can fake, and more than likely, you will get outed for having a value statement that doesn’t accurately reflect your brand. Now that you understand what a value statement is, why it’s so important for your business, and how to go about creating one, I’ve included our value statement below as an example.
At eVision Media, trust is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that trust is the foundation of strong relationships, and we strive to earn and maintain the trust of our clients, team members, and communities every day. We deliver reliable, transparent, and high-quality services, while always acting with integrity and honesty.
As you can see, our value statement is clear and concise, putting a focus on building trust, while using simple language that’s meaningful for our target audience, and identifying the core values of our organization in an authentic way.
Are you having a tough time creating a value statement for your brand? For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping business owners create strong brand positioning that helps elicit trust, build community, and attract customers. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.
To your business success, Susan Friesen
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