How to Find and Define Your Brand's Values
Updated: Jan 25
2 min. read
I used to work for a company where the president asked everyone to print, laminate and post the corporate values in their cube. If he was in-market visiting and walked past your workstation, you had to be ready to recite them.
Did it work? Yes and no. The reciting was a memory exercise and felt old school but reminding everyone what the company stood for was not.
People there worked with a lot of team spirit and helpfulness permeated everything everyone did. It's not coincidental that teamwork and helpfulness were both values. Reciting aside, it was a great place to work because the values were lived every day.
Values are integral to a brand and can even be linked to your brand's visual identity. They’re the “how” of what you do; how you work, lead, and deliver. And most importantly, they must be more than just the writing on the wall — they must be part of the culture and everyday work life. Values can attract consumers and prospective employees as well, particularly for Millennials and Gen Z who are aligning their career choices and spending with their values.
Here are 6 steps to help you define your brand’s values:
1. Research or Google a comprehensive list of values. Which of these resonate with what you stand for and how you want to deliver your product or service? Write them down.
2. How will you act on these values? A sentence or phrase is more powerful and clear than a word. Words on their own can be open to interpretation. For example, “integrity” is admirable, but “I hold your brand, ideas and vision in strictest confidence” tells people more.
3. Imagine a few business decisions you’ve had to make and where they’ve led you. Were those values at play? This is a good litmus test on whether those are truly your company's values.
4. If you have a team, share these values & invite them to ask questions, give feedback and challenge your perspective as they may understand “how” you work and deliver to be quite different. This is your sounding board in case you didn’t see some blind spots. Values must be actionable, realistic and lived.
5. Tweak as needed.
6. Share with your team that this is how you achieve your goals and lead in line with those values. Your behaviour is more impactful than any writing on the wall.
Overtime and through consciously and consistently communicating your values in a way that connects with your audience, your clients, customers and prospective employees will come to recognize those values in your brand and this in turn will help build your brand equity.
What values does your brand stand for?
If you need help finding, defining or communicating your company's values, don't hesitate to reach out below!