Category: News

05
Apr

Branding FAQs

Each and every day this week, we are answering frequently asked questions people have about their brands…  (Branding FAQs.)

Today’s question is…

Question – 4
Creating a brand is obviously an important part of business so how much should I spend on my brand?

Our Answer

Ha ha, one of our favourite questions – just like the chicken and egg conversation – what comes first a budget or a price?

We usually like to get things moving at the loft so we give costings pretty quickly after an initial enquiry. In all honesty, branding work can range from the hundreds to the thousands of pounds and much more for larger companies. There are also providers at all ends of the spectrum so there are no limits to what can be spent.

However, creating a brand should not be expensive. A lot of the character of a great brand comes from the culture of the company. The experience your customers or staff have on a daily basis – how people are greeted, how durable is the product or service itself, the quality of the after-sales process, does the company follow up well if there is a problem, etc, etc.

Each of these brilliant basics are just as impactful as great brand/marketing communications and they are completely free.

With regards to how much you should spend?

Spend whatever you are comfortable spending. You’ll know deep down how much certain things should cost and what your own budget is.

As mentioned above, you’ll find providers at all ends of the spectrum, don’t risk too much on an isolated project and look to capitalise on those moves that are delivering you results – be it a social campaign, regular website updates or some kind of video podcast, etc..

That way, a truly exceptional ROI is there for the taking.

As always, if you’d like some more information or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us…

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

<<< To see more of the loft’s brand solutions 

For more information on brand-building by Benedetto >>>

 


 

Branding FAQ’s (Previous Questions…) 
Yes, we are frequently asked questions on branding, website design, social media communications, etc – all the ins and outs of this wonderfully interesting subject – so we thought we’d wrap up some of the answers we generally give into a series of short posts.

These are our Branding FAQs.

Here goes…

Question – 1

We know branding is important, we hear about it a lot, we want to create a stronger brand and presence for our organisation but we just have no idea where to begin.

With Branding, Where Do I Start?

Our Answer
What a great question!

Start by working out what you want to do with your business first. Let your brand serve your business and not the other way around…

What do you want your business to achieve? More sales from existing clients? Attraction of new customers? Attraction of staff members? Improved reputation in the marketplace? Improved perceived value of your products/services? Something else?

The clearer you can be with the desired outcomes, the easier it will be to create ideas that boost your business and therefore your brand. You will also be in a position to give a much clearer brief to your creative/marketing agency and therefore help them more to help you.

To give a little more context, here are a few real-life examples, from clients we’ve helped in the past. 

A software company we worked with for many years was able to increase their sales with existing customers by sending out short little E-mail shots introducing them to new features of the software they were already using. By helping their operators to use their existing packages better, more people in the office started to use their software and licenses-per-customer increased significantly.

We’ve worked with countless companies and been able to help them attract new customers with just a few simple updates to their website. Small additions such as good testimonials on the home-page, less burdensome enquiry forms and a clear telephone number somewhere visible on the site. Each of these micro-details helping to transform the number of enquiries and therefore number of new customers gained by our client.

Finally, we’ve been able to help several manufacturing companies increase the perceived value of their products by simply creating and sharing high-quality, effective art-directed photography of their products. Photography which showcases their products in their best lights, being used by customers and presented in an eye-catching and seductive way. All factors which help increase the average sale value, particularly from new customers for those manufacturing companies.

Once clear on the outcome – the answers can be incredibly imaginative – sales promotions, small product giveaways, E-Books, parts of an E-Book, simple website updates, social campaigns, case-studies, bespoke newspapers, etc, etc…

At the loft, we always believe in spending a little more time in defining the end-outcome, keeping the solution light and manageable, then creating something which is easily repeatable once successful.

Helping business owners and organisation leaders to create stronger, more effective and commercially viable brands.

Question – 2

How do I make my brand stand out from the crowd?

Our Answer

Another great question and one with a bit of a historical context. The whole concept of branding was created by farmers branding their cattle to show ownership and to distinguish them from the others. In time, the profession has evolved, but the idea of differentiating your product, service or company remains the same.

The best way to help your brand stand out is to work out what is special about your product/service/organisation and celebrate that difference in the most effective way possible using all possible marketing channels.

If you’re a printer that is always on hand for clients with last-minute deadlines – find ways to communicate and celebrate your accessibility.

If you’re an accountancy firm with sector-specific expertise in one area – consider ways to celebrate this enhanced wisdom and knowledge.

If you’re an online retailer that sells rare and ‘hard to find collectable’ products – then this is the perfect place to start when crafting your message.

If yours struggling for answers for this one – ask your customers/staff or write a list – going on a journey of discovery about what is great about your own products, service, company, organisation or brand is great fun.

Question – 3
I keep hearing about Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc, etc. How can these help me to build my brand.  Where does social media fit in?

Our Answer
Another Great Question!!

All these channels are brilliant for giving you the opportunity to show off your brand to lots of new people as well as communicate with people you already know. As well as basic products and services, you can show off more of who you are, what you do and how you do it. All great mini brand-builders.

The options with social are endless – present a little bit about your team-members, showcase different ways people use your products, communicate which social causes you support, share customer testimonials, fun pics of the office, name-check people you are working with, etc…

Whether it is words, pictures or video – each and every interaction gives you the opportunity of another positive engagement with your customers, staff and others too – helping you to build and strengthen the way people perceive your brand.

As always, if you’d like some ideas in how to put this into practice, please don’t hesitate to contact us…

Benedetto

 

20
Feb

Business & Friendship

As the last part of our series exploring some magical company moments, as found as grainy photos in our smartphone… Another Awards Doo Pic, this time for the Entrepreneurial Exchange Awards one year later. This is ‘Business’ and ‘Friendship.’

One of the nicest things about business is working with great people. We’ve been so, so lucky to have met some wonderful people – people who have given advice, helped with challenging problems, opened doors, been our clients, our partners, our collaborators, but most of all our friends.

With the loft being a very open-agency with so much on the go all the time – it is very much in our interests to get on with just about everybody. In fact, we train our staff to only see the good in their ideas when designing and it’s very much how we feel about people – everybody’s different but we’ve met very few people who aren’t good in some way or another.

This shot was taken at the end of an awards doo where we hosted a table for the very first time which was an amazing experience. Clearly not letting any of the wine go to waste, every person in shot is a client but more than that they are all very good friends many years on. A magical moment and one that shows that business and friendship can be combined and combined well.

A lovely way to end our series, thanks for following…

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

Some of the organisation’s we’ve had the pleasure of working closely with over the years..

Glasgow Chamber Of Commerce >>>

Young Enterprise Scotland >>>

MCR Pathways >>>

Sisco >>>

For more about the loft’s unique culture >>> 

 

20
Feb

Enough To Feed An Army, MCR Pathways Talent Tasters

As we do this little trip down memory-lane, looking at grainy smartphone pics. We couldn’t not mention MCR Pathways Talent Tasters, we’ve now done more than ten of these wonderful events over the years. The last one just before COVID hit in March 2020.

Each and every one of them getting us a little bit out of our comfort zones, every single one of them presenting new challenges, every one of them reminding us how fortunate we are that we get to do what we love every single day.

And more than that – individually we’re the lucky beneficiaries of having had people in our lives who have believed in us and helped us nurture our own talents.

Talent Tasters are wonderful events where we get anywhere up-to 10 young people (who are a part of the MCR Pathways programme) with the charity’s co-ordinators in a room and give them as close to a lifetime design experience as possible for half a day.

We usually do some kind of self-branding exercise – sketches, some time with the designers in front of a computer and then a little mini-presentation afterwards. Very much in the sprit of the loft, they are pretty much the only time – our studio is completely closed to clients, deadlines or any other form of interruption and we do everything we can to engineer the possibility that maybe just maybe, one of the young people we work with on that day is inspired the way we were when we decided to pursue a life of creativity.

One of the funnier aspects of this great experience is the king-size breakfast that we sometimes enjoy before the creative work begins, we always over-buy and end up with the hilarious contrast of some young people not eating anything to others that are so high on sugar that they could take off and fly. On this particular occasion, our first event, if memory serves me right the full table was swiped at the end with one of the young people even taking a full jar of Nutella back away with them.

Giving something back is truly remarkable.. :-p

Benedetto

 

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

Find Out More about the remarkable MCR Pathways programme >>> 

Or the loft’s unique culture >>> 

20
Feb

Teamwork Makes A Dream work, #GYPSeminarSeries

This week, we are celebrating some of the company’s #MagicMoments tied up in grainy phone pics that we’ve collected over the years. Today’s pic is for a seminar event we co-hosted a few years back… ‘Teamwork Makes A Dream work, #GYPSeminarSeries’

One of the biggest moments of our company’s short life was a wonderful event we put together as part of the #GYPSeminarSeries with so many other wonderful, wonderful people. As anybody that knows me well, I am big into learning and just love hearing more from people who do big things and do them well. I had just been asked to be onto the committee for Glasgow Young Professionals and we decided to run a series of professional development seminars which would inspire young professionals throughout the city.

We wanted a great speaker for the first event and thankfully we got one with Russell Wardrop of Kissing With Confidence. Together with the loft team doing some amazing work on the marketing, the Clydesdale Bank in St Vincent Street, Glasgow kindly providing their stunning branch to host the event, GYP getting more than 100 young professionals out to a professional development seminar on a rainy Monday night and obviously Russell Wardrop donating his incredibly valuable time – we made something pretty special happen.

This lovely overhead shot taken from the mezzanine with Benedetto about to introduce Russell magically captures it in all its glory.

Teamwork makes a dream work…

Benedetto

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

Find out more about the exceptional Russell Wardrop and his company ‘Kissing With Confidence.’ >>> 

For more information on the loft’s unique culture >>> 

 

 

 

20
Feb

Persistence Pays – LOFT Walls, Creative Process and PETEX…

This week, we are celebrating some of the company’s #MagicMoments tied up in grainy phone pics that we’ve collected over the years. Today’s pic is ‘Persistence Pays, LOFT Walls, Creative Process and PETEX….’

We couldn’t really do one of these look backs without sharing a good old-fashioned smartphone pic of a ‘LOFT Wall.’ Over the years, the loft walls have became a bit of a legend in their own rights. At a time when more and more things are being created, shared and looked at on computers – the loft is one of the few companies that still pins thoughts, ideas and hand-drawn sketches on its wall. It allows us to take a step back, have proper discussions, see what’s working and what can be built on. They have became such a cornerstone to the loft process that, by the most part, clients have given up with formal sit-down presentations in exchange for standing up with a coffee in their hand and having a much more dynamic conversation about the direction of their project. It is one of the things we look forward to returning too the most when Covid restrictions are finally behind us.

One project that took this ‘wall-process’ to its limits was the creating of an advert (and visual identity) for Petroleum Experts. PETEX creates software for the oil and gas sector and are one of the country’s top companies – commercially, creatively and culturally. We were incredibly fortunate to be the first creative agency that they had given an opportunity to work with. Which was a tremendous honour. Unfortunately, although their software was genius, we just couldn’t get our heads around it. One of the reason’s for hiring an agency is that they help you to better communicate an idea, a message or information. We had 2-3 pretty disappointing concept presentations at their offices in Edinburgh and were really struggling. We were probably on the verge of being fired, for Petex, who had always created their own communications, we were probably going to be just another failed experiment. We knew we had one last change to get it right so we gave it absolutely everything for one last push. Over the next few days, we absolutely tested the limits of the loft creative process, our walls and our own design abilities. We must have started with around 15 potential concepts and with a small team – brainstormed-sketched-discussed-refined-sketched again over a 2 day period – each time honing ideas and concepts into final solutions. Our walls had never seen such abuse.

In the end, we finished with about 6 credible concepts which were each hand-sketched and shown as an advert mock-up, each of which I thought were just outstanding, some of the best work we had ever did and would surely, surely answer what we were being asked by Petroleum Experts. More than that, I would be happy regardless of the outcome.

There genuinely is a strange feeling of ‘equanimity’ when you have left it all out on the field, given your all and that was how I had felt. That evening, I happened to be at the same dinner as the PETEX Founder Hamid Guedroudj, ironically the Entrepreneurial Exchange Awards Doo which had so opened my eyes only two years previous and he was the current holder (at that time) of the biggest award ‘Entrepreneur Of The Year.’ I seen him, shaked his hand and asked if he had seen what we had sent through just a few hours back…  He gave me a big smile and said ‘James had said we had sent some ideas through, we may just be able to use them.’

A truly magical moment. Persistence Really Does Pay…

Benedetto

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

We did eventually go onto work with Petroleum Experts, you can check out the project (including the 6 ads we previewed with the magazine mock-ups) >>> 

Check out Petroleum Experts, an extraordinary company >>> 

 

20
Feb

How Business Should Be Done, Bridge2Business Brand Launch

This week, we are celebrating some of the company’s #MagicMoments tied up in grainy phone pics that we’ve collected over the years. Today’s pic is ‘How business should be done, Bridge2Business Brand Launch.’

We had just hired our first staff, moved into a new studio and started to take on our first bigger pieces of work with new clients. Everything was starting to move and move pretty fast too, Ruth and Alejandro were making scarily rapid progress – I could see that the work that we were delivering was getting better and better, much more creative, more interesting too. I had realised that although I was a ‘decent; designer that working as part of a team was so much more rewarding and also gave better results too. The guys could do things I just wouldn’t have the patience to do, could see things in a way I couldn’t.

I had also realised that having other people focussing on the creative part meant that I could focus more on clients, service, the business which is what I always wanted to really do. We were winning lots of work at that time and just knocking it out of the park time and time again. One project sticks in the mind – the creation of a new brand for Bridge2Business. I had personally known Geoff Leask for a few years when he was the Operations Director of PSYBT and had moved to head the new Bridge2Business Programme for Young Enterprise Scotland.

The project was about inspiring college students into enterprise. It was a brilliant initiative, one which I am glad to say is going stronger than ever. It was one of those projects that was just so much fun to do… The team had generated brilliant ideas, Geoff and his team had wonderfully contributed their ideas too and we had collectively created something that we all just loved. A new identity which was fresh, modern and packed with meaning.

What was more, with the help of others, I had realised what was possible. The final pic taken above on my old Blackberry phone is one of the more cherished business pics I have, complete with the bottles of Prosecco that Geoff had kindly bought us to celebrate. Some wonderful people, the new Bridge2Business identity on the computer, a very tired me and a tremendous sense of collective achievement.

This is how business should be done.

Benedetto

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

Check out the final Bridge2Business Brand Project >>> 

Or Bridge2Business itself >>> 

 

20
Feb

Superhero Entrepreneurs, My First Entrepreneurial Exchange Awards Doo

#Magic Moments

Last week we did a little post about our company’s culture and one of our good friends had mentioned how nice it was to see good, old-fashioned grainy pics of great company moments. Well before the times smartphones had became such good cameras. It got us doing a little trip down memory lane – thinking about some of the great events of the past, some of the magic moments we’ve experienced as a company so we thought we’d share a few of them with you…

A week of #MagicMoments starting with a small personal one…

I started the company back in 2012 and like most start-up entrepreneurs I was doing a lot of networking at the time. I must have been averaging 4-5 events a week (at least) as I looked to meet new people, gain our first clients and learn as much as possible about business. I had always heard of a mystical organisation called ’The Entrepreneurial Exchange,’ it was one of the most prestigious networking groups in Scotland, pretty much for the big boys and girls only and holding a kind of scary appeal. I had already heard about who the big-hitters in business were in Scotland and they all seem to be tied to this one organisation in some way or another.

Kind of out of the blue, one late November afternoon, I got a call on a Thursday afternoon from Margaret Gibson of PSYBT asking me if I had a black tie? Margaret, who was the Marketing Director of PSYBT, had told me that the charity had a table for the Entrepreneurial Exchange Annual Awards Dinner and somebody had cancelled last minute. Unbelievably, I was getting the chance to go to the Entrepreneurial Exchange Annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton. Excitingly, I stopped what I was doing, got into a suit and made my way to the Hotel.

Luckily enough it turned out to be one of the very best nights of my life. The Entrepreneurial Exchange was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. I met some wonderful new people, heard incredible tales of ordinary people doing remarkable things – billion pound companies being created out of nothing, multi-million pound, international deals. I was one of those people, at that time, who listened a lot to the news and it was all – recession, recession, recession or just bad news – this was like another world!

I was fortunate to be there for Maitland Mackie (of Mackie’s crisps fame) inspiring yet hilarious 20-minute acceptance speech when being given his ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’ Then hearing the equally inspirational ‘Gio Benedetti’ get up a few minutes later and say – ‘don’t worry, I won’t be as long’ with an Italian accent that I was oh so familiar with. I seen a slightly tipsy German man named Twickler (nobody could get his name right) celebrating with unrestrained joy at winning one of those oh-so hard to win awards.

So many of my business heroes were in the room that night and I even had the great fortune to meet a few of them afterwards. I truly enjoyed every last moment of this incredible experience – leaving the hotel bar as daylight was appearing at around 6AM the next morning.

That night changed my life, opened my eyes and more importantly, opened my mind, to what was possible. I remember going straight to my family home in Kilmarnock without sleep and boring my poor dad to bits about the incredible evening I had just had. Something changed that night, I realised I enjoyed being a designer but what I really wanted to be was one of those superhero entrepreneurs…

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic creative and business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

See both of the wonderful acceptance speeches of Maitland Mackie and Gio Benedetti from the Awards Ceremony here >>>

Find out more about the loft’s entrepreneurial approach >>> 

 

 

 

17
Feb

Exponential Impact with Hero Content

Why ‘Hero Content’ can multiply the effectiveness of your brand and marketing actions.

With marketing and branding activities – we’re always looking for actions that make the biggest impact for the least effort – E-Mail Campaigns, Videos, Podcasting, Blogging, Print, Old-Fashioned Advertising, etc, etc. Each of these will help us to persuade more people to do business with us, each of these can be honed to deliver outstanding results over time, each has their own specific types of benefit.

However, over the years at the loft, we’ve found that to deliver real and lasting impact – it is less a question of what but how.

We’ve learned that to create lasting change – what you produce must be able to hold somebody’s attention, should be high-quality and be something that lasts too. ‘Hero-Content’ might be a new phrase to many but creating it may be one of the biggest game-changers for any one of your marketing efforts.

Hero-Content is a higher quality of communication that can be used in a range of different places, in a range of different ways, it can be scaled up, used repeatedly and is endlessly flexible. It tends to be super high-impact, created by a specialist and can be anything from a high-quality infographic to a short 30-second video sound-bite to an effective ad. It can even be a paragraph of text successfully describing your company’s top products or services.

The advantages to your company’s marketing are many, however the real benefits of hero-content to rapidly-growing companies are more personal – having fresh, creative and high-quality creative on-file will save your Marketing Director many a sleepless night with tight deadlines looming fast. (The bi-product of any successful and rapidly-growing company.) It removes the pressure from creatives under tight time constraints and if used properly will give a level of brand consistency and professionalism that can only be advantageous to your company’s creative efforts.

Over the years, we’ve created high-quality hero-content for a number of companies – high impact infographics which industrial companies have used in brochures, websites and even sales powerpoints, abstract sub-brand identities for software companies, photographic imagery for professional firms, etc. Over the years, we’ve been an ‘On-Demand Agency’ with many rapidly growing companies and we’ve learned much about creating and using hero-content first-hand.

Here are a few things we’ve learned..

– We recommend creating hero-content as part of a bigger brand/marketing project – a company re-brand, a website, a brochure or formal campaign.

– It really should be done by a specialist freelancer or agency. Please make sure you agree to have full access to all creative outputs afterwards.

– Once you have agreement on a style that works – it is best to get as many variations from your agency/freelancer as possible – like most innovation projects – the first example takes the longest time to create. Afterwards, with a formula in place, it gets easier and quicker.

– And finally – although we’ve created lots of amazing stuff over many years to tight deadlines at the loft, beautiful creative that is still used many years after it was first produced. It really is best to take a tiny step back and give your freelancer/agency a little more time to get this spot on.

The results will be compounded, I promise…

To see more examples of ‘Hero Content’ as created by the loft.

Check out…

Altia-ABM, A Creative Partnership >>> 

Scottish Leather Group, Celebrating Sustainability >>> 

As always, if you would like a hand then please don’t hesitate to contact us>>>.

For more information on ‘Hero-Content’ >>>

 

13
Jan

Altia-ABM, A Creative Partnership, Software Marketing Tips

Over the best part of a decade, the loft provided creative services to an organisation called Altia-ABM. A fast-growing international group that develops smart software solutions to support criminal investigations and manage covert operations. Formerly, Altia Solutions & ABM Intelligence, they are an exceptional organisation with an incredibly capable team and several strong product/service offerings. We loved every moment of our ‘Creative Partnership’ which we’ve summarised with the short PDF document below, overflowing with software marketing tips, we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it.

Altia-ABM, A Creative Partnership, Software Marketing Tips

A short guide outlining our 7-8 year ‘Creative Partnership’ with Altia-ABM. Full of great software marketing tips.

For more on software marketing check out ‘Marketing for Software Companies: 3 Software Marketing Strategies to Use’ or ‘7 Key Marketing Strategies for Technology Companies.’

09
Dec

Brand Values – Getting Buy In

Brand Values (done well,) will help any organisation build a stronger rapport with their customers, improve relationships with employees, help win new contracts, provide guidance to all types of leaders and so much more. Over the years, we’ve worked with a number of different companies to help them create values – management teams, sales teams, development teams, admin staff, etc.

We’ve done it all, from interviewing highly engaged people who would talk to us all day, those who take ‘values’ very seriously, to talking to some who can’t really get away quickly enough.

What we’ve found is that ‘getting buy-in’ for values is every bit as important as ‘creating-them’ in the first place.

Here are a few different ways to make that happen…

Engage Everybody, Absolutely Everybody

’Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’

Everybody should be heard. It’s just so brilliantly useful in so many ways. For a start, it’s an act of good will to everybody in the company, it demonstrates that you do care and you genuinely want to hear more about what they think about the business, you’ll learn so much more about the people in your organisation too.

Finally, all of the anecdotes you’ll pick up will have tremendous value later on in the process, with potential for marketing ideas, sales messages and in finding ways to communicate your newly created values with future employees.

Build on Successes

Build on what’s working. Give your teams the opportunity to tell you what’s working and what they are generally doing well. Great ‘values and behaviours’ are often built from ‘the ground up.’ Your team will appreciate the opportunity to communicate what they are succeeding at.

Finally, there will be every opportunity for habits or traits developed on the factory/office/shop floor to become a form of company policy. A Brilliant morale-booster for everybody.

Ensure Management/Leadership Teams are Fully Bought-In

Make sure leaders are fully bought into whatever is agreed upon. If a company is going to document their brand values, it has to be sincere. Not every single person in a company is going to agree with absolutely everything that’s written down but leadership/management teams really have be fully on-board or there will be a lack of authenticity when those same leaders communicate something they don’t really believe in, to customers, staff or even shareholders.

Walk The Talk

Writing brand values down is one thing, living up to them is so much more important. Authenticity is everything so look for opportunities to sponsor causes which relate to who you are, support events or seminars that chime with what you believe in and look for collaborations wherever possible to further find ways to breathe life into those wonderful values you’ve created.

Practical Please

Having lofty, high-minded and noble values is brilliant. As long as you can give 2-3 examples about how you live them on a practical basis. This gives them more weight and once again help with the most important part – getting buy in from your own people and customers too.

Go Beyond The Obvious

Honesty, integrity, trust, etc are great values and ones that should really be the foundation of every relationship in business (and life too for that matter.) However, in many cases, they are the baseline of our expectations, so see if you can go a little bit further. If you really want to use them as part of your ‘Values.’ Look for ways to be even more thorough in telling us how your company is especially trustworthy, honest or high-integrity.

Get The Language Right

‘Values, Vision, Mission Statement, Purpose Beyond Profit, Beliefs, Actions, Behaviours, Who We Are and What We Do.’

Values are mainly there to help persuade and influence behaviours on a large scale – don’t miss the opportunity to be imaginative with the terminology too. It will give you one further opportunity to win hearts and minds with customers, staff and others.

ABM Intelligence Values (Who We Are and What We Do)

We created ‘Values & Mission Statements’ for ABM Intelligence. Or as we eventually called them ‘Who We Are & What We Do.’

Celebrate Them

Once you’ve created them – celebrate them – wherever and whenever possible. Have them created as a mural in the boardroom, illustrate them as part of your company website, write them into your tender documents, etc.

Properly thought-through and authentic values have real weight. Take every opportunity possible to make them commercially work for you and your organisation.

We hope that handy little guide, helps, creating values is so much fun. If you’d like to find out more about this or any of our other brand consultancy services, drop us a line.

Benedetto

Check out our very own Values & Behaviours or ‘Attitudes and Actions’ >>>

Or some more information on achieving buy-in from core-values >>>