Now, before you give me that strange look and say “hey, wait a second – you just wrote a blog post about the importance of apologizing,” take a moment and read this.
(Oh, and by the way, yes – yes, I did just write a post about the importance of apologizing. And you should apologize if you’ve done something wrong or been neglectful of what’s important or you’ve had a sucky attitude. It’s the right thing to do. And you’ll never regret it).
Melissa and I have shared a lot about branding here. And there’s nothing we love more than to walk with someone through the process of discovering all there is to know about a brand – who it serves and why it exists and why it matters. And there’s something I personally love to uncover, because it helps really craft a brand’s personality and voice.
Yes, your brand needs core values. To be clear, core values aren’t about how you’re going to create new things all the time or always have the lowest price or being the fastest or most effficient. Trust me – you’ll get trumped every single time if you go there, because there will always be someone faster, cooler, cheaper, or simply more dazzling than you. Core values are intangibles that define how you’ll respond to customers, address needs, and even resolve conflict.
And you should be unapologetic when it comes to those core values.
I think about Southwest Airlines. I used to work for a major competitor of theirs back in the day – a competitor that just couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to fly an airline that offered no seat assignments, no special treats, and no long-haul flights. They tried and tried to crack the code on Southwest’s success – pouring over spreadsheets and processes. And they refused to look at the thing that was staring them in the face:
Southwest’s core values.
Warmth. Friendliness. Individual pride. Company spirit.
Southwest doesn’t have to apologize for who they’re NOT. Because they are too busy focusing on who they ARE. Nothing’s changed in the almost 40 years they’ve been around. Every decision is filtered through their core values. If they veer off-course at all, those core values bring them back to center.
Their customers trust them because they are unapologetically committed to those core values.
Now, let me rephrase that. Because this isn’t about them. It’s about you.
Want your customers to trust you? Be unapologetically committed to YOUR core values.
So what about you? What are your brand’s core values? Let’s talk. And let’s find ways for you to be unapologetic.