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Your Brand: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

September 15, 2010

Your brand is an important part of your customer’s purchase decision. No matter how hard you tell your prospective customers what your brand stands for ultimately it is up to them to decide if you hit the mark.

How do you make sure your customer’s perception of your brand is what you want it to be? One way is to make sure you have a solid set of company values and stick to them.
Need help getting started? Here are a few easy steps.

1. Write down and communicate your values with your employees

Outline all of the things you care about as a leader and then talk to your team about it. Be yourself. Remember, these values should drive everything about how you and your employees communicate and act with each other and customers. Done writing? Print them on a sign and post them on a wall so everyone can see them!

2. Practice your values everyday when you are hiring, growing, and managing your team

Practicing your values is harder than it sounds. This is why your values need to reflect who you are as a person and what you aspire your company to be. If you were true to yourself then it should be second nature. But don’t assume it’s second nature to your employees. When you are interviewing candidates, show you’re your values and see what they think. Evaluate hiring decisions on ability to uphold your values, not just skills for the job. When you need to take corrective action use your values as part of that discussion.

3. Communicate your values through your everyday actions to your customers

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customers think it is. And actions speak louder than words. No matter what, indirect communications and the way you manage your business will dominate your customers’ impressions.

Do the tools you use to run your business reflect your values? Imagine what an archeologist would say about your business if you walked out the door today and she walked in 500 years from now. What pictures are on the wall? Is the office neat or messy? Is the furniture frugal or expensive? Would she be able to tell what business you were in? What would she think you cared about? Much in the same way that the archeologist interprets the essence of a culture by examining indirect hints, so do your customers.

Key Takeaway: A solid set of values that drive you, your people and your business will ensure that your brand is what you want it to be.

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