At the core, your organization’s Brand is a reflection of the actions and beliefs of the people who work there. Those actions and beliefs are shaped and directed by the core values they hold. So before you start trying to give your brand a shiny new makeover, ask a question sure to generate some long-term results – “Do our core values and our Brand align?”
Core values in action
When your Brand management is connected to the core values of your organization, consistent delivery of the Brand meshes seamlessly with the existing behavior and belief. Indeed, in this situation what customers expect is what they get, strengthening perception; employees don’t feel they are being asked to deliver something they don’t believe, further reinforcing the values and creating an upward spiral of motivation and belief.
The Volvo Case Study
Consider Volvo. From the outset the founders held safety as a fundamental core value (see diagram) – “An automobile is driven by people. Safety is and must be the basic principle in all design work.” From that point forward safety has been continually embedded in the design ethic, work practices and Brand. It is so woven into the fabric of the organisation and it’s Brand that it is impossible to think of Volvo separate from safety.