The Essential Guide to Defining Your Core Brand Values

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

In the simplest terms, your values are the things that you, as a business, care about. They are literally what you value – but curating that can be tricky. As a small business, you might not be sure how to define yours or what effect they might have on your business. Let's dive into why a value system is so essential and how you can define a great one.

What are brand values?

As mentioned, brand values are simply what you, as a business, care about (or value). Values stand at the very core of your brand. They’re the center from which everything radiates— including your brand’s look (design), message (voice), and relationships (customer service). There is an overwhelming potential for how you may begin to define your brand. So, let me give you an example of one of my personal brand values to assist in tethering this concept:

For myself, I know timelessness is one of my brand values. I bring this core intention into my internal operations and use it as a standard to guide my conversations with my clients. I create and interact with sustainability and classic quality in mind. Everything I design and every practice I partake in must be able to stand the test of time.

With this example, you can begin to see how a brand value can be put to use. It’s about so much more than saying that you will offer “good customer service” but really considering how and what you’re going to do with your values and finding the specific language that suits that best.

In my experience, small businesses create the most impact when their brand values are tied directly to their offering. Whether you are a product or service-based business, chances are your values are closely linked to how you operate or the products you sell.

How do you define and create your own values?

  1. Start with the interesting aspects of your products or services. What makes them unique-- or something someone would want to give you money for?

  2. What matters to you and your team personally? Is there a cause you are passionate about that can be brought into the day-to-day of your business?

  3. What do your customers care about? Is there a value you share or a problem you can solve for them?

  4. Look at how you want to show up in the world as a business. What are the things that create integrity for you and would help you be proud of your business?

If those questions don’t spark any ideas for you, browse through this list of words I shared in another post and see if any of them resonate.

My clients and I define their brand values before we embark on a design project together. I assist where I am needed, and the process itself often helps businesses to get clear on their goals. Get in touch-- I’d love to hear your core brand values or work with you to develop your branding.

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