Brand values – pause for thought before rebranding

Three Components of a Brand

According to Don Sexton*, a brand is primarily made up of three components, and I agree. These components are:

  • Identifiers
  • Attributes
  • Association

The identifiers are what distinguishes the brand among other brands in a specific industry. The logo, colours, typography, imagery and shapes which help business partners, investors and clients identify with the brand makes up the identifiers!

The attributes of the brand refers to what the brand stands for and is known for. 

The associations of the brand have to do with the group of people associated with the brand. Every brand attracts a specific customer, employee, management, partners and investors. The people you attract is a great determinant of who you are at the core!

As a brand identity designer I focus on the ‘Identifiers’ (or brand elements). With the correct brand values the messaging can be more accurate and the visual identity will be appropriate.

I design identities for businesses and absolutely want to stop clients diving into the creation of a new logo, website or brochure without knowing their brand values first. 

What are the commercial benefits of brand values?

As well as helping businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors, strong brand values have other commercial benefits: 

  • they can help attract and retain staff,
  • help build reputation and,
  • particularly in service industries, allow a premium to be charged.

Historically, mission and vision statements began to define these. They went in the right direction but were by definition a look to the future rather than the here and now. By establishing meaningful brand values and capturing the essence of a business the emotional face can be exposed. By going down this route it is easier to develop a brand identity that expresses these attributes visually. This works across all business but is particularly important in ones that find differentiation more difficult.

Over the years I have seen too many business brands that simply don’t work. They are just aesthetic design solutions, the result of no strategic planning for the brand identity – so please pause for thought before rebranding and put your brand values first!

*Don Sexton, president of Arrow Group wrote in his book, Marketing 101, “Your brand is probably the most important and most valuable asset of your organization.”

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