Ethos: The Value of Values in Brand Building

06.23.13 / David Lemley

Brands, just like people, have values –principles they stand for and hold near and dear to their heart.

These principles form the reason brands exist. Brand values influence two important business assets – relationships and reputation. Relationships are built on trust and reputation is built on delivering on your promise.

In our over-crowded, me-too marketplace, points of difference that are function and feature based are no longer sustainable. Consumers today are tuning out marketing and tuning in to those brands that represent shared values.

Clifford Geetz, the Godfather of Cultural Anthropology… put it something like this… Ethos and worldview describe how cultures create a seamless, unified system. The ethos (an understanding of how we should act in the world) is supported by the worldview (a picture of how the world really is), and vice versa. In a sense, ethos and worldview are what differentiate one culture from another. And it is the culture that traditionally gives individuals their definition of self—who they are, what they believe, and how they should act.

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