2. Good Business
From the oldest hotel and business in the world, Nishiyama Onsen Keuinkan, to Colgate, Kelloggs, John Deere, Nestle, Unilever, and most other brands that have lasted over a hundred years, which we have studied, they all have one thing in common - brand values.
The founder(s) gave careful thought to the lasting principles that will govern the existence of the business as a brand and each successor had a duty to preserve and transfer these values to their own successor(s).
Here is a quick preview of some of these reputable brands and how values have helped them become solid brands:
a) Nishiyama Onsen Keuikan: The core value of this ancient brand is captured right in its mission statement, “it is the pleasure and mission of Keiunkan to carefully protect the benefits from this rare earth.” Preservation is an enduring principle for this brand and for over 1300 years now, it has ensured that the hot springs are preserved which implies that the hotel which was built to house the springs has to be preserved generation after generation.
b) Colgate: On their official website, we found the statement “The small soap and candle business that William Colgate began in New York City early in the 19th century is now, more than 200 years later, a truly global company serving hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide. Throughout this history, Colgate people and Colgate values have been at the heart of our success.” At the very heart of their success as a brand that is over 20 decades old, lies two things we have mentioned in these series of what makes a solid brand, people and values.
c) Kelloggs: More than 100 years ago, Will Keith Kellogg founded this brand and ever since then, it has gone on to become a solid brand. In their own words, “through our values-based culture, we create a stronger future every day”.
d) Nestle: Founded 152 years ago, innovation has been at the heart of the brand since its beginning. In their words, “ever since Henri Nestlé invented Farine Lactée to alleviate infant mortality, we have been dedicated to enhancing people’s lives.” Their value of quality is based on the commitment to enhance the quality of lives.
e) John Deere: This brand goes straight to the point on their website, “We work every day to uphold our founder’s core values. Integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation are more than ideals we work toward. They are values we live and breathe – values found in every product, service, and opportunity we offer.”
The world has over 5000 business brands that are over 200 years old (over 3000 of them are in Japan), and Japan alone has over 21000 business brands that are over 100 years old. One thing all these brands seem to have in common is the values they have held on to through the decades.
The question for you is, what principles govern your business?
What core values are you weaving through the fabric of your business that could be passed on to successors?
If you desire to build a solid brand that will stand the test of time, articulate and communicate your brand values to all stakeholders.
Building profitable and reputable BRANDS is what we love doing.
More lessons coming on what makes a solid brand.