Keep it real!




Have you ever thought what you would do if, all of a sudden, you had the chance to change a major decision you made in the past? What if: you had studied an entirely different subject, taken that job offer in Asia, followed your first love to Buenos Aires …? How would your life have been affected? Where would you be today, what would you have experienced and what not? No matter what you believe in, your life would have taken a different course. But would your values today be different too? Despite my conviction that our core values are established at a tender age and remain steadfast, I also believe that living life itself – and all that goes with it, is what forms our personal values. The personality we are is forged by time.

Dealing with values and what they stand for on a professional level has formed my strong belief that a common set of values is one of the fundamental requirements, possibly even the fundamental requirement, needed for a relationship to function smoothly. Professionally I have noticed that I achieve the best results with co-workers who uphold similar values. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not talking about uniformity: People can have entirely different lifestyles and still share the same values.

The values a brand personifies are equally important. Nothing transmits values better than a brand; a brand without values – has no value. And it is essential that a brand does more than just fulfill its promises. Image and reality should not only be compatible, they must be cut from the same cloth. Today, consumers expect a brand to display personality, it is essential that a brand can be identified with. This only succeeds if a brand represents unmistakable, emotionally viable values. Brand personalities should present a few sharp edges, as this gives them a certain authenticity and uniqueness. Important too is that the brand tells a credible story since this is the direct link with its character and identity. Credibility is essential to a (brand) personality, along with commitment, definition and clear boundaries.

In short, a personality should not represent one thing at one moment and something entirely different the next. An identity should stand out by clearly defined, unchanging core values. Whether we look at a person's or a brand's personality, the following truth applies to both: Somebody whose style changes continuously and whose opinion varies according to the current trend will never be considered a strong, dependable character. The point is not to be popular at all cost and pretend to be something different in order to achieve this, the point is to make a claim and stick with it:

In branding as in everyday life identity always requires the courage to choose a certain direction and then uphold it consequently. Nothing can be gained by being this way one day and that way the other. So if you are really convinced that you should make a change in your life – do it now. Do it today.


This article appeared in PUNKTMagazin. The Swiss magazine combines economics, investment and lifestyle and is published every two months. Branders CEO René Allemann writes a column for the publication. You'll find more information on PUNKTMagazin here:

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Comments (1)

Bühlmann Hugo | 11.06.2013

Hallo Herr Allemann

Ich schreibe in meinem Blog auch immer wieder über Werte. Unter anderem habe ich darin auch Ihr Buch "The Brander" vorgestellt.

Leider ist bei vielen Menschen heute das Wort WERTE nicht mehr aktuell. Auch das Wort KULANZ kennen sie nicht mehr. Sie wollen etwas wert-volles, aber den Preis dafür wollen sie nicht zahlen. Aber Geiz ist noch nie geil gewesen.

Werthaltige Menschen sind heute leider in der Minderheit.

Danke für Ihre wertvollen Gedanken und weiter so.

Mit besten Grüssen

Hugo Bühlmann


René Allemann

René Allemann

Born in Zurich, René Allemann founded the consulting firm Branders in 2005. With 20 employees, the branding agency creates, maintains and manages brands. The Brander journal is published by the Branders Group.

The Brander is a publication of the Branders Group