Sunday, January 14, 2007

Are your brand values real?

Many times when I facilitate a focused brand session on corporate brand values, I am asked what the true relevance of the values are. After all they appear to be just words that make us look good. Of course at the out-set they may be random words representing values. But as the discussion whittles down, the true values are anchored in reality. These values are the promises to your stake-holders. Whether times are good or bad they must be the things that the brand stands for and everyone can trust.

To side-step a value is to essentially lie to your stake-holders and this leads to trouble with your brand. Reputation is your word. A good example is British Airway's call regarding a situation in the air when one of it's flights had an engine fail. It made a decision that ignored it's brand values - in favour of it's profit values.

Brands go up and down through out the life of every company. Business decisions must be mindful of long-term pain at the cost of short-term gain. Taking the high road is not for the weak, for it takes strong leadership to overcome the challenges.

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