This blog follows on from one that I wrote back in March that outlined what I consider to be the main 5 reasons to establish and live by your brand’s values. It discussed how important I consider clear brand values to be to the long-term success and identity of a brand.
Businesses can come and go in the blink of an eye. Now more than ever, I believe that there’s a pressing need to differentiate from the crowd. Below are some reasons why I consider that now more than ever businesses must not just define, but truly live by their values:
The rise of conscious consumerism
In recent years the business landscape has seen a significant rise in conscious consumerism. Customers aren’t just buying products or services anymore, they’re buying into the story behind them, the ethics of the company producing them and the values that drive them.
Brands that don’t merely talk the talk, but truly walk the walk will find themselves in a favourable light when it comes to today’s discerning consumers.
The expectations of Generation Alpha
While much has been said about Gen Z’s need for authentic and value-driven brands, it’s the upcoming Generation Alpha – the tech-savvy, environmentally-conscious children of millennials – who will redefine consumer expectations.
As Generation Alpha begin to carve out their space in the market, their demand for businesses to have strong, sustainable and ethical practices will be unparalleled. As brands, we must be ready.
Social media’s amplifying effect
The effects of immediate publicity can be both incredible but also brutal. Today, every misstep a company makes can be broadcast to millions in seconds.
The amplifying effect of social media means that any gap between a brand’s declared values and their actions will be spotlighted quickly. Brands that consistently embody their values are not only shielded from such reputational risks but also stand to gain from positive viral attention. Authenticity, at every point, is critical.
Evolving workplace dynamics
The pandemic has shifted workplace dynamics in unforeseen ways. Remote work, emphasis on work-life balance and a keen focus on employee well-being are no longer the exception but the norm. Quite rightly.
In this evolving landscape, companies that embed their values in every facet of their culture and operations will I believe naturally attract and retain top talent.
Global challenges demand value-driven solutions
From climate change to social inequalities, the problems of the 21st century require holistic, value-driven solutions. Companies that put their values at the forefront are not just making a symbolic statement, they’re positioning themselves as forward-thinking leaders, ready to take on global challenges head-on.
Trust as the new currency
In an era of fake news and misinformation, trust is becoming an increasingly rare commodity. Bryan has a great blog here that discusses the Edelman Trust Barometer, which I’m sure you’ll find interesting.
Businesses that operate with transparency and that consistently live by their values don’t just earn trust; they earn loyalty. And in today’s fickle market of often agnostic purchases, loyalty can be the difference between survival and extinction.
While I believe it’s always been important for brands to have and express their values, the socio-economic environment of today makes it an absolute imperative. Companies need to view this not just as a branding exercise, as a box to be ticked, but as a foundational aspect of their business strategy. After all, in the evolving landscape of business, values aren’t just a compass; they’re the Pole Star.
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