24 Apr Are Core Values Really Important?
I have to admit, as I’m working on my rebrand I find myself getting caught up obsessing over all the design bells and whistles. As a designer, I have to have all the latest and greatest on my own site so that others know what I can do for them, don’t I? But if I look back at my Core Values, the answer becomes much clearer.
Core Values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization.
(You’ve probably also heard them referred to as Brand Values or Brand Pillars)
We all have many values, small and large, that define who we are and what we stand for. Core Values allow us to pave the way as we make decisions for our business. How? Glad you asked ?
Defining What Is Truly Important
I’m sure there are many adjectives you can use to describe yourself or your business. Consider things like how you want to be perceived, how you want your clients to feel after your time together and how they’ll describe you to others. Defining 3 – 6 Core Values will ensure that you’re focusing on what matters most to you.
Making Clearer Decisions
You probably know about Marie Kondo’s “does it spark joy?” method. Core Values work in a similar way when making decisions for your business (and life).
Earlier I mentioned getting sidetracked with bells and whistles when designing my brand. It’s hard to design for yourself, and I find that as a designer who “knows what they’re doing,” it’s doubly true! When I take a step back and remember that Simplicity is one of my Core Values, all the excess elements naturally fall away. I then end up with branding that is a better representation of who I am.
The same is true when looking at partnerships with collaborators, adding a new service, selecting topics for your blog and posting to social media. You have those Core Value to use as a guide to ensure you’re in alignment.
Attracting Your Tribe
When you’re clear on your Core Values, others have an easier time understanding your brand and connecting with you if their values align with yours. People who aren’t a good fit for you begin to self-select out.
Note: Don’t get scared at the thought of losing a portion of your audience. It’s better to have a smaller group of qualified clients who are seeking for what you offer than a huge audience that’s just browsing or kicking tires.
Action Step: What Are Your Core Values?
Hopefully you already have Core Values in mind for your business. Even if you don’t have them formally written down somewhere, you likely have a sense of what matters to you. If you don’t, I encourage you to give this some thought.
Start by free-writing any and all adjectives that describe who you are, what you stand for and how you’d like to be described. These should be aspirational and positive!
Then, start to narrow it down. I recommend choosing 3 – 6.
Take it a step further though, and write down what each value means to you specifically. Freedom can look different for you than it does to me or someone else. Why that value? What does it mean to you?
I’m sharing a screenie of my Core Values which you can also find on my about page.
These are client-facing descriptions but you get the idea. Describe them for yourself first, then you can adapt to client-facing language if you choose to use them in your marketing.