Your brand values are the guiding principles that help you connect with your target audience. These five questions will help you define your brand values.
So, you’ve started asking the right questions that will help you define your ideal client. Next up is nailing down those brand values.
Why do they matter?
Oh, I am SO glad you asked!
Your brand values are the north star of your company; your guiding principles; the heart and soul behind your why. They are how you connect with your audience and build trust.
Drawing an Even Deeper Line in the Sand
Defining the values your brand stands for is similar to defining your target market; that line you drew in the sand when claiming who you want to work with will become even more pronounced when you start communicating what you value as a brand.
Coming up with your brand’s values is not a quick 20-minute process. Since these are the heart and soul of your brand, I would urge you to spend at least a few hours going through the process of nailing down what you stand for, and why. The key point being “and WHY.” Yes, you can write a few words that sound great, but if they don’t resonate with you or if you don’t understand the why behind them, I guarantee they won’t stick. And if your plans include growing a team, training them to operate within your brand values will be useless if you don’t care about (or fully understand) the reasoning behind the choice.
Now that you grasp the importance of this exercise, let’s dive in to the questions!
Five Questions to Define Your Brand Values
How do you want your brand to be perceived?
What’s important about the way you run your business?
How do you want customers to feel when they work with you?
What keeps you working on your business, day in and day out?
Why do you love what you do?
Clarify What’s Most Important
When you feel like you’re ready to move on, grab a highlighter and highlight any words or short phrases that stand out to you in your answers. There’s no right or wrong answer here, so don’t think too hard. Go with your gut, your first instinct. If it jumps out at you or seems important, highlight it.
Once you’re done, write all those words or phrases on a new piece of paper with some space next to each one. Go through the list and write a few sentences about why this is a value for your brand. If you are unable to come up with at least a few sentences, cross it off. You don’t have to spend too much time on this. The idea is to gain some clarity around why that word or short phrase embodies your brand.
Narrow Your Focus
Now it’s time to cut. The goal is to select three to five words or short phrases that you want to represent your brand. Like I mentioned in the beginning, this will be your north star—the guiding force behind your brand. Anything and everything you do will be centered around these values.
Sounds a little intense, huh?
Well, that’s because it is. We live in an age where, if you’re not clear on what you do, why you do it, and who you do it for, your audience can easily find someone else that has clarity. Yes, there’s a lot of competition, but that is why it’s so important to understand your values—this is what will connect with your tribe and help you build strong relationships with your community.
Define Each Value’s Why
Now that you have your words/short phrases, it’s time to dig a little deeper into why they’re important. You should already have a rough idea, so let’s go one level down.
Draw a circle with one of the words/phrases in the center and mind-map all the reasons why this matters to you. Why it’s important that this idea carry your brand forward. When you’re doing mind-mapping, put it all together in a few sentences or paragraphs. Whatever you need to clearly identify that value and the why behind it.
And if you want to go the extra step, print them out and display them in your workspace. They should be top of mind, because they are, after all, helping to guide you in building your brand.
Up next in Build Your Brand Foundation: How to Embody Your Brand Values + Communicate Them to Your Community.
All my best,