Values are your brand's compass. They are the beliefs that you stand for. They guide the decision making, behaviours and actions of your business.
It is the thing that should always guide you and keep you steady and help you make decisions in your business.
How Do You Define Your Brand Values?
In many ways as a small business your brand values are your own values, but pertaining to your business.
Your brand values need to consider:
- What impact do you want to have on the community? (local, industry, audience, the world)
- What will you never do as a business? Consider what you see other businesses doing that you don't agree with.
- What culture do you want to create within your business?
- What do you believe is important? Consider things like social justice, ethics, sustainability, quality, affordability, moral conduct.
- What do you stand up for?
Spend timing getting clear on what matters to you in business and what things you don't want to compromise on.
Think about what products you sell, what industry you are in and who your audience is, and how values can relate.
e.g If you are in the food industry, you might value quality produce, chemical-free farming and sustainable plastic-free packaging and making organic foods easy to grab on the go.
What Happens If you Don't Have Clear Brand Values?
Your business may pivot over time. You may change offers, change your audience and maybe even your business name, but what should stay stable is your values.
If your values are shaky and change all the time then your brand has no foundation.
You end up confusing and losing people as they have no idea what you stand for and what you will and won’t do. You can always add more specific values over time as you refine your mission. But there needs to be some core values that never waiver.
This makes business decisions easier and creates consistency in your branding. No matter what else changes in your business your audience feels they can trust you and they know who you are and what to expect from you.
It never looks like you have ‘sold out’ because people know what your values are you always stick with them no matter what else changes or as things grow.
For example if your audience knows your brand values quality and excellent customer experience, then even if your product range was suddenly to change, they would be more willing to try your new range and trust it because they know whatever you offer is always high quality.
It also means that when your brand changes over time, even if your visual identity changes, if your corse values remain the same, there will be a feeling of consistency, which brings trust and memorability.
People will begin to remember your brand by it's values.
When you don't have clear values and easily stray and just go with whatever feels good and everyone else seems to be doing or works as a quick fix, it leaves people confused about who you are and what you stand for and it loses trust. It makes people uncertain and wary, because at any moment you may change your mind.
How Values Makes Running a Business Easier
When you have very clear values in your business, there is a lot less decision fatigue. You don't feel overwhelmed by possible ways of doing things or overloaded by all the advice you are given.
When you know your brand values, you can look at ideas and advice and know if it is right for you or if you should instantly put it aside.
Making decisions about your business and how you want to brand it, market it and run it can be overwhelming, but having your values as your guiding light, the path feels clearer and you will feel much more confident about your actions.
Do you Know Your Brand Values?
If you have ever felt really lost in your business or disconnected from what you are doing and trying to achieve, taking the time to create clear solid brand values will bring back your confidence and give you direction.
It is a foundational cornerstone to your business and branding. Without it your brand will feel lost and messy.
It is easy to get caught up in excitement, creating a brand, making it pretty, putting it out into the world and growing it, but without the important brand strategy foundations, you are building on shaky ground.
If you want to learn more about brand foundations to create a strong brand with direction, join the free workshop below.
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