Defining your brand values will help give your business purpose and direction, but let’s break it down into bite sized chunks of goodness.
What does your brand represent?
Just thinking about what your brand might represent is a great exercise in itself. It gives you a chance to take a step back from working in your business and, instead, thinking about how you want your business to be portrayed.
Your brand values will help you define your brand identity or make sure it’s aligned. For example if you want your business to ooze luxury and elegance, yet your branding is quite fun and energetic then your brand is probably misaligned. By doing this exercise and realising that, you can now do something about it.
Help with social media
Knowing what you stand for helps you create content for social media. Whilst it’s ok to have lots of different interests, sometimes it can be confusing to your audience if you’re sharing lots of different messages. Let’s say you have 3-5 defined brand values - Then the next time you want to share something on social media - just do a quick check to see if it fits within one of your brand values.
Attract and repel
Once you declare your brand values you'll, more than likely, start attracting like minded people and businesses. You might also lose followers who don’t align with you and you know what? That’s ok! It’s actually good. One of my brand values is ‘fun’ and to a corporate suit this might repel them. They may only want to work with ‘serious’ designers who use the golden ratio (don't ask). But I don’t want to work with those people (no offence) so I hope I do repel them!
You’ll build trust
People who choose to follow you, will want to hear more from you. If you continue to echo your values throughout your brand, then your audience will get familiar with your content and your brand messaging. If it’s harmonious and speaks to them, they will trust your business and want to buy from you.
Like with anything in life… It’s good to have a plan to help keep on track. But if you want to share something that doesn't necessarily align with your brand values, don’t worry! If 90% of the time you’re sticking to the plan and singing from your brand values song sheet; it’s perfectly ok to be spontaneous and random for the other 10%! Another thing - your brand values might change over time and that’s ok too! A business (and brand) should evolve over time. As you continue to learn... and your business continues to grow - it's practical and sensible to allow flexibility within your brand.
Put it into practice
Below is a starter list of typical brand values. Without thinking too much, circle any words that you feel drawn to. If you have loads of words circled, narrow them down. Do this by grabbing a highlighter pen and picking 3 - 5 words. This will force you to choose your absolute top values. Having up to 5 brand values will be easier to focus on when you're planning what to do next.