Katie Lake Volcof of Studio Lago Design

How to identify your core brand values

Nov 20, 2023

Ok firstly, why should you identify your core brand values?

Well, you’ll no doubt have heard a lot of talk about attracting your ideal customers and you might be wondering how on earth you actually do this. If you feel you’re not attracting the right kind of clients, then this is for you. A lot of business owners might be under the impression that revamping their visual branding (logo, colours) is the best way to do this. While your visual brand is a part of it, it’s not the whole puzzle. It’s about digging much deeper than that.

 

To stand out in a saturated market market and get the attention of the right people both off and online, it’s important to be making sure you’re speaking to their desires and passions, their pain points and aspirations in an authentic way.

 

Identifying your core brand values is a crucial step in developing a strong and authentic brand identity. Your brand values are the fundamental beliefs that guide your company’s actions and decisions. These should be revisited at least once a tear to ensure everything you do in your business revolves around them and that your current values are still relevant and true.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you identify (or re-identify) your core brand values:

 

Reflect on your mission and vision

Start by revisiting your company’s mission and vision statements if you already have these. If not, start here. What’s your business’ reason to be? Why did you start? You can get a lot of inspiration from your origin story here. What problem did you identify that needed to be solved with a solution like yours? Who do you help and why? These statements often provide insight into the fundamental purpose and aspirations of your organization. These don’t have to be revolutionary or groundbreaking. Remember to stay true to yourself and what the reality is here.

Analyze your client relationships

Reflect on the times where you excelled in helping clients you’ve already worked with. Who were the clients you loved working with and what did they have in common? Looking at clients you have already worked with and who you consider to be your ideal clients can be a really valuable insight into what your values are if you don’t already know or you feel things have become misaligned.

 

Consider the values that resonate with your target audience. What do your customers appreciate about your business and brand? Why did clients decide to work with you and what attracted them to you. Understanding the values that attract and retain clients can help identify core brand values. And if you don’t know what these things are, ask your past and present clients by interviewing them or asking them to complete a quick feedback form. The answers you get back are like gold dust as the language used in these answers can then be used to attract more ideal clients like them!

 

Identify your non-negotiables

Determine the non-negotiable principles that your brand will not compromise on. These are the values that are integral to your identity and differentiate you from competitors. What is absolutely paramount to you when delivering your service and what will you not do? Noting these things can really help you identify what those core brand values are.

 

Prioritize your values

Once you have a list of potential values, prioritize them. Identify the most critical and fundamental values that define your brand. It’s essential to focus on a core set of values to avoid diluting your brand message. I’d recommend having a maximum of 3-5 core brand values that you prioritize to avoid spreading your message too thin.

 

Create a brand values document

Summarize your core brand values in a document. This doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. I keep mine in a Google doc alongside my business plan and strategy and ideal client avatar work. I store these in a folder that’s at hand so I can check in on them often.

 What to do with your core brand values next…

 Well, I’d like to first highlight what not to do. It’s so important to absolutely not go through this process and then leave your brand values hidden and forgotten about in a document to gather dust. It’s so important to then take these values forward and communicate them in everything you do from this point.

 

Integrate your core brand values into your messaging and marketing

Infuse your core values into all aspects of your brand marketing, including social media content, website content, and any other marketing materials. Consistent messaging reinforces your brand identity and it’s important to continue banging the drum on your brand values. Think of ways you can integrate your brand values into your messaging and create a simple but effective marketing strategy based on what they are.

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Live Your Values

It’s essential to consistently live up to your identified brand values. Ensure that your actions, decisions, and business practices align with the core values you’ve established.

Regularly revisit and reassess your brand values to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with the evolving goals and identity of your organization. It’s natural that your values will evolve over time as with other aspects of your business. I revisit my values in my end of year review to make sure they’re still relevant.

 

So, why am I telling you about brand values as a branding and website designer?

Well, because before we get going on any branding or website project, I work with my clients on digging deep into the strategy behind their business and brand. I work on a strategy first business to ensure female founders have clarity around their brand and business first, before launching into designing a visual brand that reflects their goals, their mission, purpose and values. 

 

And it’s within my core brand values to empower female founders to gain that clarity in their business first to give them the confidence to get visible and promote their brand and business.

If you’d like to learn more about how I help my clients gain more brand clarity, get in touch.

About the designer...

Hi! I’m Katie. Helping busy business owners create bold online brands and stand-out, non-boring websites is my jam. I’m passionate about giving once-upon-a-time-website DIYers, ambitious entrepreneurs and founders back the time to focus on doing the things they love the most in their businesses, giving them clarity in their online presence and the confidence to grow big!

Through this blog and on social media I share my advice and best practices with  business owners on how to build strong brands that will start attracting their dream customers and website that work by focusing on strategy and business goals.

When I’m not working with inspiring business owners or designing wedding cakes, you’ll probably find me dreaming of what my next meal will be, the best fruit garnishes for a gin and tonic or where we’ll travel to on our next adventure.

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