Why Brand Values Go Beyond Words

Bringing Trust and Connection to Build Authentic Brand Identities

5 mins
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At the heart of every Red Dog project is getting to know exactly what clients want to achieve, what they're all about, and how the team can help them reach their goals. So, diving deep into their brand values is a big part of every project.

You might be surprised by this, but in today's busy and always on world, brand values are a key component required to develop a unique and strong brand identity.

Values are a company's moral compass, the beliefs and principles that guide everything they do. They shape the company culture, affecting how employees interact with each other and with customers. As Roy E Disney, the famous Walt Disney’s nephew once said, “It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

Core values can cover a whole spectrum, from honesty and integrity to innovation, sustainability, being customer-focused, and being socially responsible. And they're not just slogans or tag lines; they're the rock-solid foundation of a brand.

It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.

Roy E Disney

Why Do Brand Values Matter?

Building Trust and Credibility: Trust is rare these days, and customers are pickier than ever. Brand values build trust by showing a commitment to principles that align with what customers believe in. When people see a brand consistently sticking to its values, they're more likely to trust it and feel good about buying and recommending that product or service.

Standing Out in a Crowded Market: In a sea of similar products and services, brand values can make a brand unique. They attract customers who share those values, creating a sense of loyalty that goes beyond just what's on the shelf.

Attracting and Keeping Good People: When a company has clear brand values, it attracts employees who believe in the same things. This makes for a happy workplace, which means happier customers. And when employees really live those values, they become brand ambassadors who spread the brand's authenticity to customers.

Guiding Decisions: Brand values help a company make decisions. They help set priorities, sort out ethical dilemmas, and make sure everything the company does lines up with its core principles. Consistency like this means the brand is recognised as real and trustworthy and more protected when things go wrong.

Building Customer Loyalty: Customers stick around longer when they see a brand that shares their values. When a brand keeps its promises and stays true to its values, it creates an emotional connection with customers that goes beyond the transactional.

How Brand Values Support Brand Identity

When it comes to brand identity, a clear set of brand values provide a guide rail to developing unique brand attributes across the whole spectrum of visual, verbal, and experiential touchpoints that make a brand.

Brand Personality: Brand values shape a brand's personality. They decide if a brand comes across as trustworthy, innovative, eco-friendly, or all about the customer. These traits help people connect with the brand on a personal level.

Tone of Voice: A brand's messages, like slogans and ads, should always reflect its core values. Keeping a tone of voice that’s consistent with brand values helps people remember the brand. A brand that values authenticity and transparency may adopt a conversational and earnest tone in their communications, aiming to build trust and rapport with their audience. On the other hand, a brand that prioritises values such as professionalism and expertise might adopt a more formal and authoritative tone.

Visual Branding: Logos, colours, and designs should all match the brand's values. For example, a brand that's all about people might use bright warm colours, inviting photography or fun animation, while a brand focused on simplicity and minimalism may opt for clean, minimalist designs and neutral colour palettes to convey a sense of sophistication and elegance.

Customer Experience: Every touchpoint with the brand, from talking to customer service to using the website, should feel in sync with the brand's values. It would feel uncomfortable for a brand that had customer focus as a core value to adopt a minimalist and hands off approach to customer service.

If you believe in everything,
you believe in nothing

Putting it into Practice – Red Dog’s Values

Recently, the whole Red Dog team came together to relook at the brand values. The team worked hard to set guiding principles to help make the right calls on what truly matters. And here's what was created, to be honest the values were inherent - it's been 30 years and the values are consistent, even if the words are reworked a little. These aren't just slogans; they show the passion and dedication given to every client:

We Love Our Craft

We are dogged (sorry!) in our pursuit of design excellence. How we get there demands a combination of insight, inspiration, and craft. Our work is always concept-led; but every piece of design we make is underpinned by a strong methodology and a rigorous process that never loses sight of the client’s brand DNA and the demands of the brief.

We are restless about our craft: always learning, always upskilling – to ensure we can keep bringing an understanding of the latest and best to every project.

We Go Beyond

We don’t underestimate the trust and responsibility our clients put in us when we take on their creative project. This trust demands our full attention and care. And once we are given the stick, we run with it: researching, challenging, collaborating, going beyond the brief to the give our clients what they truly need.

This is how we deliver stand-out solutions that boost brand value.

We Cherish Each Other

Red Dog has always been about creating and retaining a vibrant ecosystem. Many of our team have been here for over 20 years. But it’s not just about the camaraderie in the studio. It’s about the clients and brands we work with; the illustrators, photographers, writers, and brand strategists we collaborate with; and the wider design community, where we are proud to play a leadership role.

It’s all part of our commitment to producing and promoting world-class design.

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Formalising the Values is only the Beginning

Reflecting on the process, Mary Doherty, Managing Director and founder of Reg Dog, noted “Formalising our values was just the beginning. Since then, we have injected new life into our brand identity, designed and launched our new website. Our refreshed look and feel are strategically aligned to our brand essence. However, our brand values-led journey is not over yet. We have now entered a longer-term phase of the project and are currently reviewing all our processes and practices (internal and external) through the lens of our brand values to ensure that they are built into and embodied in our day-to-day actions, decisions, and behaviours. This is a crucial and indispensable step to guarantee that the brand values are truly meaningful, however it comes with its own challenges. Creating behavioural shifts within organisations requires buy-in and commitment at all levels. On our Strategy Day we made sure that whole Red Dog team was involved, and every voice was heard. Our brand values didn’t come as a surprise, they didn’t need buy-in from the team as we all worked together to distill who we are at our core. Working on our brand values has not only facilitated the alignment of our brand identity to our brand essence but brought clarity and focus to our narrative and sharpened our vision.”

Brand Values Matter

They give a brand a reason to exist, help steer choices, and mould a brand's character. In a world where being real and trustworthy is vital, companies that stick to their values and talk about them stand a better chance of succeeding. When brands embrace and proudly stand by what they believe in, they can forge deep bonds with customers, set themselves apart from the crowd, and, in the long run, craft a brand that really leaves a mark. Brand values aren't just buzz words; they're the heart and soul of a brand, guiding its journey and making it stand out in the crowd.

Alison Mills

Strategy Director

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