5 rules for unique brand values

Your company’s values need to be as unique as the rest of your brand. Here’s how to define values that couldn’t belong to any other organisation.

Involve your people
Your values are going to govern decisions at the executive level and attitudes throughout the company (otherwise why define them?). If people don’t know what your values mean, or the expectations they represent, they can’t be effective. Start by finding out what principles people are already holding themselves to, and expressing them in terms people recognise.

Prioritise and be proud
To value something in a meaningful way, there have to be things you don’t value so much. A company that values everything equally, values nothing. Acknowledge that the process of defining brand values also involves designating some things as lower priorities.

Let some things go without saying
At this point, we can safely assume there isn’t a company on Earth that doesn’t value innovation, trust, and people. So give yourself permission not to state the obvious, and open up space in your Brand on a page to define the values that make you different.

Keep questioning until the answers are satisfying
Ask “what does it mean that we value this?” until you feel like a toddler repeating “why”. Ask “would any company value the opposite of this?” – and if the very question seems absurd (who would value distrust?), ask whether making it one of your values is stating the obvious.

Allow for evolution
Companies, like people, change and grow with the world. Even if you’re satisfied that your values are right and they’re embedded throughout the business, you need to revisit them every couple of years. Ask whether they still describe the perspectives and principles of the people you’re asking to uphold them.

Give yourself permission not to state the obvious