Leverage Values To Grow Your Business and Your Impact
You started a business because you know you can have an impact in your customers’ lives—and maybe even on an entire industry.
But sometimes it’s hard to make other people see that vision that’s so clear in your head and heart. That’s where brand values come in.
The gist: your brand values are what you stand for as a business, a brand, a founder.
Your values make you stand out from all the other brands that offer the “same” product or service. You’re able to claim your unique corner of the internet because of how you sound, how you make people feel, and how you amplify causes you care about.
When you clearly share your brand values everywhere your brand shows up, you’ll attract the exact types of customers and partners you’re wanting to reach. On the flip side, you’ll repel people and brands who aren’t the right fit. Because when it comes down to it, good business—and especially business for good—is about solving problems and making lives better.
Define and Refine Your Brand Values
If you’re like most business owners, you want to do *all* the things and help *all* the people. But creating a values framework gives you the freedom to expand with intention.
Your brand values are your gut check. They make new opportunities and bright, shiny ideas become an easy yes or a quick no without wasting time, energy, or money.
So, the golden question: how do you choose your brand values?
Ask yourself what injustices or problems (in society or business) get you fired up. Find a common thread between the biggest issues your customers face and how—and why—you’re uniquely creating a solution. Consider what you want to be known for when people think of your brand or when they interact with you. Reflect on why you started your business in the first place and how it’s evolved. Basically, get introspective and see what pie-in-the-sky concepts bubble to the surface.
Aim for three to five core values. Less than three probably doesn’t give your brand enough richness, while more than five might leave you feeling scattered and pulled in too many directions. The goal is to get super clear on a set of values that feels perfectly aligned so that you can start living them out in every single one of your decisions.
When it comes to values, there’s a big caveat: no value is inherently good or bad. It’s all about how you define that specific value in your unique brand.
For example, inclusivity might be super important to you if you want to connect diverse points of view. But it’s equally worthwhile to have an exclusive community if you serve underrepresented people who are seeking a safe space to step into their shared identity. Either works perfectly—it just depends on your mission and ideal audience, and how you put your values into practice.
And once you define your brand values, know that you’re not “stuck” with them. You have permission to allow your values to evolve as your brand does.
Your ideal customers will give you feedback along the way—listen to them! You’ll pick up fresh approaches and technologies, or see new problems over the years—stay willing to pivot! Your values and your overall mission are the roadmap, but re-evaluate often to make sure your ultimate destination still matches that map you’ve made.
Live Out Your Brand Values
It’s not enough to brainstorm your brand values and stop there. The magic happens when you live out your values in every aspect of your brand.
Filter every decision in your business through your values and your ideal audience. If these two elements stay aligned and at the center of everything you do, you’re gonna show up with more consistency, confidence, and clarity. Values-aligned decisions mean you’ll avoid chasing after “best practices” that don’t sit right or the shiny objects that distract you from your visionary goals.
And living out your brand values doesn’t just support you as the founder—this business model affects your team and your customers too. Essentially, you’re building a business for people who care about the same things you do.
The simplest way to stay on track is to continually connect with your customers on a human level. Basically, make your brand experience and your message feel good to the people you’re aiming to reach. Lead with your brand values so that you’re remembered for what you stand for and how you make people feel. That’s how you’ll stand out.
Ready to run a values-forward business?
Join us for Founders on a Mission: Run a Business that Feels and Does Good with Ashlee Sang on Weds, 4/26, at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT.
Grab your ticket and start making an impact today! 👇
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