So in today’s episode I want to go back to the basics, and help you do a brand value exercise. If you’ve already done one with me I’ll be actually doing it a made it better suited for one-woman business owners, so it’s worth sticking around for.
Firstly what the heck are values?
Brand values should be present through your business touchpoints and felt by your people. Not only do they help you mould your identity in business but also acts as guide posts to help you make aligned decisions and as always attract the right people to your work. It’s tempting if you haven’t got any brand values in place yet, to just sit back and randomly pick a few values…but if you want to craft a brand with strong roots Your values need to be chosen delicately and intentionally. So before you think I’ve already got my brand values, it’s always good to re-evaluate and go back through them. From year on year, your brand will grow, your brand is not a stagnant still statue.A brand will ebb and flow, live and breath through everything we put out into the world, whether that’s physically or digital.
You may think but hole on a moment, you and others have told me brand values don’t change you must be dedicated to them and uphold them always. This is all very true your value don’t change…well not drastically anyway. But they can and do evolve and sometime flourish in unpredictable ways.
For example say one of your values is quality, you will not be throwing it out the window, and just start using whatever material you like because you changed all your values.
That will back fire! It’s more about evaluating what you have and maybe seeing it in a slightly different light. For example if one of your values is quality you might not of realised at the start of building your brand that actually it’s more than just about quality of material or service to you.
Maybe you start to see that this values is more about the caring side. You of course care for the quality of fabrics you use – you always provide quality material but you also realise you want to help your buyer create how to caring instructions to better the lifespan of a product etc. Maybe this value is more about the ways in which you care, and the quality of fabric is just one of the ways you show this. Ok so firstly I like to start of writing values that spring to mind and then browse a brand values list. So either find this podcast episode show-notes and you’ll see a brand values list or just search for one on google images.
How many brand values should you have?
I get asked a lot how many values should you realistically have and usually I would advice having not more then 3 or 4 however, some people find it difficult to narrow there values into a small number like that. So really my best advice is what feels right for you and your business, but i wouldn’t go any more than 7 values.For me the less number of brand values the slightly easier it can be, It’s the same way how I would feel if I owned multiple dogs, I would very quickly start to feel guilty when stroking one dog that I wasn’t giving the others enough affection and attention. So if you can relate to that than maybe lesser number values is suit for you too! However, if you finding it difficult to decided keep both.
Brand values that your drawn too
So now go through your list of brand values and start highlighting the ones that speak to you most. Don’t judge, don’t really even question it just highlight the ones feel a connection or drawn towards. It could be your eyes is simple drawn to a word that you might circling. Don’t worry if you’re not even sure what the words even means! It doesn’t matter really too much at the stage how many so take as long as you need.
brand value exercise Phase One
Once you’ve got through the list and probably have about 20 to 30 circled. It’s time to dig a little deeper and by asking some inward questions. And maybe a little further research into the meaning behind a word. So start of going through each value you’ve circle and ask yourself what does mean to you? Maybe even write down a short sentence under each value. If you’re struggling to find a clear connection with a value and what it means to you. This might be cause by a few different reasons. The value just isn’t speaking to you, therefore maybe cross it out. You might not have a good understanding o the meaning behind the word so maybe read up on the definition. You might be putting too much pressure on sounding clever! I do this all the time, wanting to sound fancy isn’t going to win you extra points. The aim here is just put all your focus into being honest and lastly you may be trying to hard to relate it to your business at this early stage. What each value means to you can be more personal.
brand value exercise Phase Two
The next phase you should have a few less values. This time ask score you values with a scale of 1 to 10 Ask the question how important will this value be to me now and in the next 3 to 5 years? 10 Should be you’ll be just as eager to uphold it and fully committed to it and rating 1 is you may have forgot that it was even a thing you cared about. We ask the scale question too really see if the values you picked have a long-life time. If you truly believe that value will be just as important to you as it is now in 3 to 5 years you will find it really effortless to uphold it. But if you’re wavering that you may feel indifferent about it in a year or two ,well in this case it might not be as powerful or motivating enough for you. So if you’ve scored any values that are under 5 you may want to reconsider if they are right for you and possibly cross them out.
brand value exercise Phase Three
With this brand value exercise you build a small brand we need to have a balance of you inner passion and as well as choosing values that are strategic. Therefore we need to ask the last question to challenge your brand values. By asking will your ideal people strongly care or feel empowered about this value? If you really care about it but they don’t it’s going to be a long slog to attract them to you! So why bother?! This will be the perfect time to refer to your ideal people get into their minds. You can either do a yes or no answers or the a scale rating like int he last phases. This could be a good time to do a little market research, ask a handful of ideal people doesn’t have to be a long winded quiz or questionnaire just a simple message! Such as Hi, I’m Olivia in the middle of DIYing my brand, you are one of my ideal people. Would you mind kindly answer a simple question. Then be patient and wait for a response! There’s really no harm in asking an ideal person, you might be surprised on how helpful they’ll be!
So hopefully by now you’ve got some values that stood up to these questions and scoring. You can either just leave it there but what I usually like to do is get super clear about what each values means. To me, my people and my business. I do this by simple writing out a few sentences for each values.If you fancy get into the spirit of Christmas go check out my latest episode