Why your values-driven brand matters right now
The world is changing fast right now and for many people, life has radically changed. We are all living with more crises than we can keep track of: the global pandemic has brought devastating loss and is changing how we live and work and how we parent and educate, the economy is in flux, climate change is accelerating, and social movements like Me Too and Black Lives Matter are making us re-evaluate everything about how our societies are organized.
If you are paying attention, then it's triggering questions and uncertainty for you, and it might be causing you to reassess many areas of your business as well.
While this is a time of terrifying loss, it is also a time of significant change and upheaval and with that comes possibility.
A values-driven brand is not about marketing— it’s about how you do business
One of the amazing parts of owning a business is that you can set the mission and purpose for your company so that it becomes a model of the life you want to lead and the way you want to serve your customers and your staff.
Sometimes it can be hard to stay true to your deepest values. You might resort to tactics for increasing revenue that you don’t even like (or maybe even make you cringe) that feel out of line with what you believe but feel like your only option. But after doing this for a while, you can end up with a business that doesn’t really serve you or allow you to create the impact in the world you want to make.
Building a values-driven brand
The challenge for any brand, large or small, is to define their purpose and then set about achieving it. Your brand purpose is about why you do what you do. And a values-driven brand is very clear on how to achieve that purpose.
Purpose is at the heart of a brand’s vision and informs every business decision. It explains why a brand exists and creates a meaningful goal for the brand. And in order to make the impact it strives to make in the world, any actions need to be aligned with values.
If you want to build a values-driven brand there are three questions you need to answer:
- Why does this brand exist?
- What challenges or problems does it solve?
- How does it make life better for my clients?
Your brand values clarify your brand’s identity and the meaning it brings to everyone that interacts with it.
For example, a value I'm working harder on now is sharing my voice. As someone who focuses on telling and listening to my clients’ stories, I have not had the time to share my own voice. Starting Story Tonic is all about embedding purpose and values deep into the practices and policies of this business. And my challenge is finding the time - and sometimes the courage - to share my truth and tell my own stories.
If you are starting to tell your story, you can also connect with me so we can support one another.
Because sharing our truth is where our impact lies.
I have so much else to worry about, why do I need a values-driven brand now?
Why is it important to pay attention to the changing business landscape and ask these questions about our brands right now?
We are surrounded by so much violence and upheaval right now, and things can feel really desperate. Change is happening everywhere and it makes sense to want things to stay as stable as possible around us.
But in a time of massive change, there is also an opportunity to imagine and build around a new vision. To take on challenges and come out wiser so that we build new structures that serve people more deeply and for the better.
Your business is a part of bringing a positive vision to light.
There are plenty of people working hard to bring things to the forefront that appall you or go against everything that you believe in. Take a stand for the things that matter to you. I believe that building business with integrity and authenticity in this time is an essential act of hope and promise.
This doesn't mean you have to take everything on. None of us can. We are all feeling overloaded.
Your business is one specific and powerful place where you do have a voice and you do have a choice.
And when you have that clear vision, people can feel it and will respond to you and your business differently. In fact, rather than taking time away from growing your business it can make a difference to your bottom line as well.
☑ Take Action
Let your values guide you to make a powerful statement for the world right now. Here are some questions to reflect on when building a values-driven brand:
- What are the values that drive your business?
- Are these values clearly communicated in everything you do?
- Authenticity check – are your products/services and communications (marketing, social posts, ads) ALL lining up with your values as a company?
- How can you be more authentic with what you offer and how you communicate?
- Alignment check– Are the values you have chosen meaningfully connected to your product(s) or brand?
- Purpose check - What challenges or problems does your business solve?
- Does your business make life better for your clients? Get specific.
- Does your business make life better for you and your team? Does it inspire you?
Once you can answer the last three with a resounding yes, it will transform your business, establish you as a leader, and make your vision that much more possible.