People in the branding industry always talk about finding your WHY, your WHO and then defining HOW you will convey that WHY to that WHO. Confusing I know and too many W H questions involved. However, there’s no way around it. The design process should only come after that work has been done, first of all because it will assure the creation of an intentional and effective brand, but also because it will make the styling easier and clearer. So how do you do that? How do you answer these questions? Today, I want to assist you with finding or rather discovering your WHY which are your core values.
What are core values, really? They are the reasons why you do what you do. The ‘why’ you are in business, the things that drive you, the message and values you want to be known and remembered for. It’s as simply as that but also as key as that.
Here is a list of 10 questions to help you figure it out:
– What is your business?
– Monetary reasons aside, why did you start THAT business?
– What aspects of your business make you the most excited?
– What do you proud yourself to do very well as a business owner?
– If all you offered was an experience, what would it look like?
– When you think about your ideal client/customer, what would you like them to know about the experience described above and the product or service you sell?
– Personally, what is your business doing for you?
– If you were to add more people to your team, what three words would you tell them represented your business and needed to be preserved?
– What makes you different from your direct competitors?
– When interacting with your audience, what personality traits and values do you push forward?
Going through your answers, you will notice recurring words or concepts that can be summed up in one word. Extract three to five predominant words and there you have your brand’s core values, your WHY.
I would like to share my own core values to give you an example. Before I do, I want to say that the purpose of discovering your core values isn’t just to attract your ideal audience and ‘make millions’, it also and very importantly provides a clear and defined track for your business, your motivation, your inspiration, which is invaluable in the long run.
My core values for Reverie Lane Designs:
CREATIVITY – I cannot go a day without creating and that is also my way of connecting with others. Ultimately, I want to help my audience discover new ways to be more creative in their business and in their life in general. I believe we all have a degree of creativity although it might not manifest in the obvious artsy way, but finding your own brings such joy. My hope is that Reverie Lane Designs can be seen as a creativity oasis, where my audience can be recharged with inspiration.
RELATIONSHIPS – As I mentioned above creativity is my way to reach out and developing relationships is very important to me. Either with my clients or fellow creative entrepreneurs, connecting with other people and facilitating others connecting with each other is one of my goals.
INTENTIONALITY – This one goes beyond my business, it’s a way of living. In my opinion there’s no other way to brand but to brand intentionally. Unless you have a clear vision and you choose to tell your unique story you are cheating yourself and your brand. Intentionality assures not compromising one’s authenticity and that is priceless to me.
I really want to encourage you to do this exercise. If you’re at the beginning stage it will be such a great base to build upon. If you have been in business for years and feel burnt out, it will help to shed some light and find some answers to understand why you feel that way. In any case, it’s a great reminder of why we work so hard and of why we do what we do everyday.
REVERIE MINGLES: LET ME KNOW IF YOU DO THE EXERCISE AND IF IT HELPED YOU. EITHER WAY, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR CORE VALUES.