As customers gain access to more information about brands’ activities in the marketplace and on the global stage, they naturally develop affinity with brands whose values align with their own. An organization’s values help them develop principles which serve as guideposts for its internal operations, the products and services it offers to the community, and the way in which it communicates to all stakeholders who have a connection to the brand.
Each brand has its own story and therefore its own value system. Without a well articulated value system, brands can find themselves chasing fleeting trends or reacting to the whims of highly vocal groups. This type of wandering about in the market leaves a brand open to being perceived as average to everyone and lovable to no one. Brands that steadfastly uphold their principles provide customers with a sense of stability and honor that they can relate to and respect.
Brands that show leadership as the redesigning of commerce gains momentum will continually seek a course that combines the worthwhile activities the brand is currently engaged in with efforts to manifestly improve the lives of its Most Valuable Customers.
Examples of brands who have taken principled stances include Whole Foods, Chipotle, Patagonia, Chick-fil-a, Zappos, LL Bean, Apple, Toyota, and Method.
It’s important to note that not every brand with strong values and principles appeals to a wide spectrum of the population. They don’t have to. They just have to serve the customers who resonate most with their values. Need evidence? See the story of Apple for inspiration.