Viewpoints heart Brand Principles and Transparency

Brand principles and transparency in your market.

Consistent delivery of your established brand principles will help build loyalty and trust in your marketplace. Taking action with intention and integrity ensures you deliver the brand experience you intend.
Brand principles.

Business objectives… along with your brand ideas — vision, mission, values, ethos, purpose. All of these are documented in your official brand guidelines. Check, check and check. While you may have all of these critical components of your brand system well documented, how do you ensure that you, your team and your business are actually bringing these important concepts to life authentically? That activity is slightly harder, but perhaps far more important.


“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.”-Simon Mainwig

Are you minding your brand principles?

Brand principles are essentially operating instructions for everything to do with your brand. Think of brand principles as bringing your values to life across every interaction with your business — both inside and outside of the organization. Your brand principles define clear and consistent parameters about what is acceptable to your brand and what is not acceptable together with what your brand stands for. Every. Single. Time.

Your brand principles are essentially how you bring the brand system together, in real life. Far more than nice words neatly organized, rather the principles are intended to actually outline the appropriate actions and behaviors — all the communications, experiences and touchpoints.

Why are brand principles important?

It’s all well and good to talk about your values, your mission and your purpose because that’s what is included in the brand guidelines and what you actually had in mind when you began your business. But in today’s business world, living these ideas — communicating and acting upon them at every engagement — is where your brand principles become reality. For your staff, customers and the market at large.


“A brand is a living entity, and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”— Michael Eisner

People may not remember what you say, but they’ll certainly remember the interactions with and the behaviors modeled by your brand and your business. Brand principles help make what you intend for your brand to stand for, authentic and real.


“Every interaction, in any form, is branding.”— Seth Godin

Brand transparency.

So now you and your team are working to ‘live’ your brand principles. How does that relate to transparency? Brand transparency is key in helping you earn trust from customers and the marketplace at large. Building brand trust and loyalty is vital to help your business grow. Principles, transparency, authenticity, trust and loyalty — it’s all very connected.


“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”— Jeff Bezos

The definition of transparency in business means being open, honest and genuine. As regards your business and your brand, it means taking every action with intention and integrity and standing behind those actions. This includes your product or service offer, your employment practices, your communications and marketing. It’s about taking pride in all that your brand does as well as the manner in which it's done.

In an era of radical visibility, technology and media have given individuals the power to stand up for their opinions and beliefs on a grand scale. This power… is infiltrating every aspect of people’s lives, including their purchasing decisions.

Accenture. To Affinity and Beyond, From me to we, the rise of the purpose-led brand

In this 2018 Accenture survey, 66% of individuals said that transparency attracts them to buy from certain brands over others. That transparency encompasses everything the brand does, from the product and service offer to internal practices and policies to brand values.

Simple activation ideas.

An equally important piece to superior customer service is the formation of a strong customer support team that delivers positive ‘on brand’ customer experiences. This includes staffing your team with the right employees who value patience and are solution oriented.

Consider these fundamentals to support your customer service team’s success.

  • Demonstrate your brand values

    Communicate your brand ethos and core values across every medium. Tell the market who you are and what your brand stands for. Importantly, choose actions and behaviors which clearly and consistently model your values.

  • Work for consistency

    Work to demonstrate consistent application in all interactions, helping every audience to understand your brand. Each decision, action, message, product or service and experience should reflect the values.

  • Prioritize company culture

    Your team is critical to bringing your brand to life, accurately and authentically — precisely as you envision. Nurture and communicate your brand values with staff on the regular. Create ideal examples for your team to follow. Your brand principles can even help drive hiring decisions. Remember that your staff are the best advocates for your brand, your business and ultimately, its success.

  • Celebrate ‘on-brand’ actions and behaviors

    How do you drive home the model behaviors and actions that are right for your brand? By showcasing and celebrating these behaviors with your team. People appreciate recognition as well as best in class examples for everyone to follow.

  • Recognize and own any mistakes

    Equally, own any mistakes you make. You are working hard to build trust with your audience so don’t let a single misstep erode that trust. Regardless of your industry, the market of buyers and decision makers is made up of people. People who will value a brand’s honesty and courage in recognizing and correcting a misstep.

  • Treat the market like people, not transactions

    That segues to our final suggestion. Treat your marketplace (prospects, customers, staff and prospective staff) like the people that they are. Businesses can build relationships and emotional connections with people. Honesty, integrity, respect and value will always go a long way to building success for your business. Your brand is not an anonymous entity — it’s likely… a bunch of people.

The takeaway.

Living your brand principles and achieving brand transparency are inextricably linked and clearly require a long-term commitment and ongoing effort. Successful brands know this and invest in these efforts accordingly.

Your brand values help inform every aspect of your operations, service and staffing. Ensure your team is on the journey with you and be sure to clearly communicate what success looks like as relates to every experience with your brand — it will be well worth it.


“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”— Steve Forbes

Lovely People helps our clients make their brand and business ideas a reality — from creation to activation to optimization. Let’s talk.