Brand Strategy

Writing your values | Your go-to guide to writing effective brand values

Your values are one of the most important parts of your brand. They inform your decisions, help you stay on track towards your vision, and let your audience know what you’re all about. But how the HECK do you write them?! And how do you make sure they’re useful and effective?

Let me tell you!

What are brand values?

Your brand values, just like your values in life, are the things that drive you, and guide the way that you conduct business and exist as a brand. They highlight what's really important to you and they help you to make decisions that align with your vision and your values. They also allow people to understand who you are, what you're all about, and what is important to you. They're usually one-word, phrases, or short paragraphs about what's important to you as a business and a brand.

Why are brand values important?

1. Brand values tell your audience what's important to you & the type of business you are

Different brands have different values. They have different things that are important to them. And I can choose what brands to support based on what those values are. As someone who values sustainability, inclusivity, and transparency, you can find and support brands whose values match yours. Or maybe you really value quality, uniqueness, and creativity, and you choose to buy from brands who do too. Your audience will do the same with you and your brand, so having clearly communicated values makes it easier for them to find and fall in love with you!

2. Brand values help you make decisions that align with your vision

Having your brand values is as equally important for your audience as it is for you, if not more important for you. 

How you use and implement your values is going to influence how your audience sees you. After all, actions speak louder than words and it’s important that you make aligned decisions. Your values can help you make these really powerful decisions. 

There's a quote that says. "it's not hard to make decisions when you know what your brand values are." And it’s true. If you're stuck thinking, "okay, how do I market this thing?" Or "I'm not sure whether I should run this competition." "I don't know whether YouTube is a great option for me," knowing what your brand values are and what's important to you, can help you to make those decisions. 

How to choose your values

So let's talk about how the heck you can find values just as powerful as this and write them. The best way to do that is just brainstorm. Get out your journal or a massive piece of paper and ask some of these questions to think about what is important to you. 

  • What is important to me?
  • What’s important to my business?
  • What rules do I live by?
  • What values do I admire in others?
  • What will I always do?
  • What will I never do?
  • What values are important to my ideal audience?

These are great questions to start brainstorming what your brand values are. 

As a personal brand, as a creative, your brand values are probably going to be very similar, if not the same as your personal values. It's because you are the face of your brand. It's about what's important to you, especially if people are going to be supporting you specifically or working with you specifically as a service provider, they want to know what's important to you. 

How NOT to write your brand values

You might've heard in the past that your brand values should be one word like creativity, passion, integrity, or reliability. These words are not helpful because they're not specific or unique enough to you.

They're not unique, actionable, or measurable. 

1. One-word brand values aren’t unique to your brand

If my brand value is passion, for example, there's no way to distinguish between what passion means to me and what passion means to somebody else, who’s brand value is also passion. 

2. One-word brand values aren’t actionable

It's also hard for me to action passion. What does passion look like? What does it mean? How do I know if I'm being passionate? 

3. One-word brand values aren’t measurable

How do I measure passion? How do I see if myself or my employees are outworking passion in a way that I think is aligned with my vision and my mission. 

These words are great to start with, and they're probably the kind of words that you're going to have in your brainstorm. But what we want to do is turn them into action statements.

How to write your brand values

Now you know what brand values are, why they’re important, how to choose them, and how not to write them, you’re ready to write them! 

Here’s the process you will go through: 

  1. Brainstorm your brand values
  2. Narrow them down to 5–7 values
  3. Turn those values into action statements
  4. Write a description for each value

Need some examples? Here are my brand values:

  • Be creative, live creatively, practice creativity.

I'm a coach, a teacher, and a cheerleader, but at the heart of it all, I'm a creative just like the amazing people I work with. I'm alive to create, and I create to feel alive. I will always be creative, live creatively, and practice creativity.

  • Give. Give. Give some more.

None of this protective, secretive, gatekeeping for me, no siree! What's mine is yours (when it comes to knowledge, that is!) and I'm here to help creatives grow their brands however I can. So I'll always teach what I know, go above and beyond, and I will always give, give, and give some more.

  • Never stop learning – you’ll never be finished.

I am committed to giving my clients the best, most relevant support possible, and to do that, I need to constantly learn new things. I believe that if you think you know everything, you really know nothing, and that the more you know, the more you realise how much you don't know. I will never stop learning, because I'll never be finished.

  • Bring a little magic to everything you do.

I believe that no one is you and that is your power, and that applies to me too! I have a unique brand of magic that makes working with me a one-of-a-freaking-kind experience. I'm all about surprising my clients and adding wow moments along the way. I will always bring a little magic to everything that I do.

  • Be creatives’ biggest cheerleader.

I 100%, wholeheartedly believe in community over competition and I'm here to build the best, most badass community of creatives the world has ever seen. I'm all about championing, celebrating and cheerleading the HECK out of creatives, and doing whatever it takes to help creatives succeed and believe that they will succeed! I will always be creatives' biggest cheerleader.

Now you’ve got your go-to guide for writing your brand values! Go forth and create!


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Hollie stands resting her hands on the white desk behind her, wearing a black t-shirt tucked into orange pants and clear glasses, and smiling into the camera.

by hollie arnett

The brand coach for creatives, hand-lettering artist for herself, and cup of tea lover forever.

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