A brand goes far beyond a product or service. A brand is the representation of who you are and what you are for. In a changing world, where an emotional bond is created with the brands that attract us the most, it is essential that they know how to identify among their values those that make them unique. While the image projected from signs of identity and voice can help build notoriety, it is the values that are responsible for creating a brand meaning and beliefs that will achieve true engagement with its target.

The brand’s core values transcend even the Company’s mission and are the foundation for building a brand. In them you will find a philosophy, a way of understanding life and business, a culture of its own, a set of brand beliefs that must be clearly articulated. Perhaps it has been easier for family businesses, where the personality of the founder has greatly defined an organizational culture, behaviors and leadership style, as
Ricard Agustín
, an expert in family business, comments. But if there is one element that unites the main companies, it is the belief in a specific purpose – apart from generating economic benefits – that inspires their team internally and their customers externally. This is due to the fact that when employees feel fully integrated, they share the same vision of the brand and, on the other hand, in the face of market saturation, customers prefer those brands with which they feel identified.

There are many definitions of what a brand is, but without fear of not being precise, I could add that a brand is a belief system supported by its own culture.

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Under this framework, let’s understand brand beliefs as the assumption of what we want something or someone to be, that is, of the associations we make about it. It makes perfect sense from the point of view of branding , which tries to construct specific meanings for brands. To do this, it will be necessary to start with a process of introspection, of internal analysis, which leads us to discover what really moves and motivates us. In the same way, it will also help if we detect what we reject above all else. This can be a good base of inspiration that leads us to identify our own values, bringing out those that really make us different.

Let us not make the mistake of believing that we are what we say, since we are rather what we do. Or better yet, what others think or say about us (or our brand). We may have built a story around us that induces us to take on a particular narrative. The reality is often much more complex and it is not easy to accept that time or, perhaps, the growth of the company itself may have led us to dilute our essence. Brand beliefs are not something that changes quickly. Products can be modified, the image can be redefined, but it is much more complicated to change a belief system, insofar as it must be shared by an entire community.

Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, highlighted in an interview the importance of corporate culture and shared beliefs: “There are days when you feel the pressure of growth expectations. Other days where we think it is necessary to change the product. Others where we are forced to negotiate with governments. It’s easy to succumb to it, it’s all very important. Although compared to culture, these are problems that can be solved in the short term. These are problems that come and go. But culture is forever.” It is something that he assumed since the foundation of his successful Company and as a consequence he knew how to articulate his brand beliefs in a really forceful way: “Belong anywhere”, you can be from wherever you want.

It’s not just an inspirational phrase, it’s a statement of intent, in it lies the true purpose of the brand. Something that contributes to understanding why we are here.

 

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward®

 

Photos: Shutterstock

References: https://www.ricardagustin.com/cultura-organizacional-en-las-empresas-familiares/

 

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