Your values are a big part of what makes you who you are as a person. If you are living authentically they help guide you, what you care about, and what you do. Your brand is the same.
Your brand values act as the compass that guides the direction of your brand.
Your brand values are the core pillars that build your brand’s house. Your brand values will guide the reason your brand exists, the mission and purpose and vision you have for your brand, and the short and long-term goals you work towards.
Why bother with brand values?
Why are brand values important?
I’ve already mentioned that they act as the guide for your brand. They are the underlying support for all you do with your brand.
Your brand values can help you:
- Make better decisions
Know what to say yes to and what to say no to and when. Use your brand values to stay clear about your focus and where your energy needs to go.
- Assess new opportunities and potential partners
When you are clear about the values you have as a brand others will be clear too and it builds a community of support and fans that want to get involved.
- Gain greater credibility as a leader
Know who you are and where you are going so you can lead others on the journey that is your brand and inspire them.
- Hire the right staff
Not being clear on your brand values can cause confusion for everyone. But being clear can help you see the team you need and build it.
- Improve morale (and productivity)
People want to know they are working for a deeper purpose. When there is a common mission and set of values your team will be happier and more productive.
- Build stronger customer relationships
This goes back to building a community around shared values and goals. Customers want to be part of something greater too and feel supported.
- Shorten the sales cycle
When your brand and story are clear people want to be a part of it. This can help you capture the right people a lot faster.
Can You Give Me Some Examples of Brand Values?
Facebook has a brand value to move fast and be bold. They also focus on impact. This leads and guides the company to try new things and let their employees experiment.
Google had a very early brand value to do one thing well. While the company that is Google has since branched out from being solely a search engine the growth has come while still keeping the commitment to doing search well.
IKEA has a brand value of staying cost-conscious. They have not stopped that commitment to dabble in high-end furniture. They want to be the go-to for customers that are on a budget while still offering great designs.
Virgin Airlines is focused on leading the way, thinking about the customer, and doing the right thing. These values have impacted everything they do from how they book flights to how they train employees to interact with customers.
These are just a few examples of the many values that some famous brands have but you can see how they drive the companies?
I share some guiding values of entrepreneurs with their personal brands in my book A Million Little Clicks too.
You can pre-order your copy here.
How Do I Choose My Brand Values?
Maybe choosing your brand values feels overwhelming. Where do you even start?
Here are three exercises you can use to brainstorm your brand values:
- Think about your personal values and how they have guided your life and your choices in the past and today. Do you have some of the same goals and values for your brand? How will those look different in business and company culture than they do in your personal life? Write down your thoughts.
- Write down the names of brands/people you admire and want your brand to emulate. For each one, write down the single word qualities that represent them (use nouns). Identify consistent themes and characteristics that show up again and again. This likely means these values are important to you too. Use them to guide the development of your own brand values.
- Send a survey to your clients, customers, and peers and ask them to select the top five values that best represent you and/or your brand from their perspective. This can be a great exercise because others likely have a different perspective from you. You can use either a prepared list of options or ask them open-ended questions to learn what perceptions and feelings exist about your brand.
Brainstorm all the values you feel are important for your brand from these exercises and then narrow them down to your top five. You need a few brand values to keep your brand on the right track but you don’t want to have a huge list or some values will get lost in the noise.
Five is a great number to aim for.
May your brand values be strong and guide you.