Forbes recently wrote about building brand loyalty - providing three ways in which you establish the brand and solidify the loyalty we all crave.
1. Your brand should inspire.
2. Your brand should be consistent.
3. Your brand should reflect your core values.
One and two, check. We get them. It's the third that really causes confusion. What are your company's core values? We know our personal core values. We are honest (ok, most of the time), considerate, kind. But core values for a company is something altogether different.
Here is the example Forbes used.
When your customers identify with the mission and core values of your company, it's easy to build loyalty. Take TOMS shoes, for example. The promise and business that launched TOMS was to give someone in need a pair of shoes for every consumer pair purchased.
Fine for Tom's, I hear you mutter, but you are just trying to eek out a living selling cookies to coffee shops. You haven't the financial solvency for Tom's advertising content provider - giving a pair of shoes to those without.
So, how can you establish your own competitive differential with a core value system that doesn't break the bank? Or call for you to change the world one cookie at a time?
You should make your core values around the way you serve your customer.
Core values are not descriptions of what you do, or the products you sell. They are the values that underlie your work. The core values are the basic elements of how we go about building what we provide.
Some examples of core values for a company might include:
A commitment to sustainability and to acting in an environmentally friendly way. Companies like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's have environmental sustainability as a core value.
A commitment to innovation and excellence. Apple Computer is perhaps best known for having a commitment to innovation as a core value. This is embodied by their "Think Different" motto.
A commitment to doing good for the whole. Google, for example, believes in making a great search engine and building a great company without being evil.
Find your buzz words. Find the word/s that represent your core values as a company and start using them in all things. On the website. In social media. On your invoices.
Here are some ideas.
Our core values at Blue Shoe include our desire to 'engage, educate, and entertain' in all things we do. We also try and have a sense of equal importance in all things we do. An ad is as important as an email.
So, find your core. It will help you keep your balance as you move toward September and the new marketing 'school year.'
As always, if you are a Blue Shoe Client or Cooperative member, please let us know if you need help.