Business 2.0

Values-based branding

A lot of the work we do at Zumio focuses on achieving clarity of brand and business objectives. One of the phrases that’s popping up in my conversations is “values-based branding” and I wanted to just drop a short note here expanding a little more about what I mean by that.

To me, this phrase has a dual meaning. The first: in order to deliver a great experience to the people you are serving, you need to be clear about the type of experience you are are trying to create – not just in terms of the detail (i.e. what you do), but the overall feeling that you are intending people to experience when they interact with your organisation.

The second aspect can be summarised by this cartoon by Hugh Macleod (inspired the Hughtrain manifesto):

The market for something to believe in is infinite (Hugh Macleod)

Instilling a deeper purpose and mission when conceiving the brand (and I’m talking about more than lip service here – I mean truly engendering the values across an organisation through action, and not just “tacked on” as an afterthought) can have a big impact. First inside, then outside an organisation.

This is related to the concept of “thick” value that I mentioned the other day in reference to Umair Haque’s post.

I’m not saying you have to have a “save the world” clause in your brand values (although if you can authentically embed such a mission, all power to you). Just some sense of a deeper purpose that people can draw on and rally around when they need that extra inspiration to deliver a great experience.