In our previous post, we discussed the importance of authenticity in relation to your branding, marketing and advertising. Your brand is the “face” of your business, and your advertising initiatives are often the first introduction that prospective customers have to your brand. When it comes to first introductions, its common knowledge that if it goes badly, you rarely have a chance at another attempt. If a prospective customer senses that your brand is inauthentic, or if an existing customer feels betrayed by a brand promise they feel is broken, chances are those customers will be gone for good, and your business will consistently struggle to attract repeat customers and build brand loyalty.

Unveil Your Authentic

A significant part of creating and developing an authentic brand is articulating an authentic set of core brand values to your clients, as your customers will ultimately seek out brands that share their values. As with brand authenticity, small- to medium-sized businesses may be reluctant to strongly articulate their values in fear of alienating potential customers. But outlining core values are not just important to your branding, marketing and advertising initiatives, but to your business as a whole.

What Are Your Core Values?

Entrepreneurs that are interested in building a brand and business capable of succeeding in the long-term understand that the core values of their business should extend beyond, “maximizing revenues and profit at all costs.” While the leaders of publicly-traded, for-profit companies are required to maximize and prioritize shareholder value, it is a common misconception that this is the only core value of business.

Many businesses, from the largest corporations to the smallest, have other important core values that coincide with their core interest in boosting profitability. In fact, some businesses sacrifice profitability, at least in the short-term, in order to adhere to a core value and attract loyal customers who share those values. For instance, a business that purchases Fair Trade products may intentionally increase their costs to offer a product that adheres to a core value of equitable trade, with the added intention of attracting customers that share the same interest.

Identify~Define~ Articulate

Core values aren’t an abstract that has to be created and brought to life by a branding or marketing expert. The core values of your business likely began to take shape the minute you conceptualized your business, and they’ve played a key role in every decision you’ve made, from the most significant decisions down to the seemingly insignificant ones made on a daily basis. However, it’s entirely possible that you’ve never identified, defined and articulated these values before, even if they seem second-nature after months or years of doing business.

Some entrepreneurs may be fearful that making your core values public can alienate potential and existing customers, as not every potential customer will share those values. However, you can’t be everything to everyone, and companies that fail to establish distinctive, core values run the risk of alienating a lot more potential customers. For instance, failing to incorporate your core values into your brand and your advertising campaigns, such as identifying your business as a Fair Trade participant, doesn’t give socially-conscious consumers a reason to choose your business over a competitor that may be offering an identical product at a lower price.

Cut Through the Noise

If you aren’t supposed to be all things to all people, who should share your core values? Successful businesses understand that their core values should mostly align with their target market. While branding, marketing and advertising should never intentionally alienate anyone, it’s okay to be proud of what your company stands for, and that pride can help boost the authenticity of your brand and foster brand loyalty.

Why should your customers choose you? While the authenticity of your brand and your core brand values lie at the core that question, you may need some help in effectively expressing the answer and broadcasting it to your target market. Digital branding and online advertising and marketing requires a clear and concise voice to cut through the digital “noise,” and the experts at Blue Zenith can help you to communicate exactly why your brand should be the first choice of your target market!

Do you know why your customers choose you?