When developing a brand, people often go straight to the graphics — the logo, the colors, the business card and website. This is the wrong way to go about developing a strong brand.
Starting with the logo is doing it backwards
If a brand is going to be effective, there’s some groundwork to do first. Before anything else, you need to identify your core values — your values as a person, and your company’s values.
Core values are the principles and qualities that are important to you, that uniquely define you and make you who you are. They guide you through life. They’re what you believe in, and what you live by, even if you’re not aware of it.
Your core values are your compass
Core values have a huge impact on everyday decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re working in alignment with them, they’re the “why” behind every single choice you make.
When you do things that are in alignment with those values and support what’s important to you, you naturally feel deep satisfaction and motivation. On the flip side, when you do things that are out of alignment, you become drained, distracted, resentful, and frustrated.
When you honor your values, you’re working with integrity. You’re honoring who YOU really are and how you show up in the world.
Core values and your branding
Developing branding and business practices without first identifying your core values will leave you with a brand that doesn’t feel quite right. You might not notice it right away, but after a while you’ll feel disconnected — like it doesn’t quite represent you. It will feel like you’re playing a role that doesn’t really fit you. And you’re right.
But if you develop your brand with your values in mind, your brand will be true to you and speaks to your personality, beliefs, and strengths. It’s worth the time to do this exercise and get it right the first time.
What if you’re already operating with a disconnected brand?
If you feel like your branding isn’t right, then it’s time to figure out why. Maybe you need some tweaks, or maybe it’s time for a rebrand.
Once you get this right, you will notice the difference immediately. You’ll feel more excited, energized, positive, and eager to share your gifts with the world.
Need some help determining your core values? I have something to help with that.
Grab the worksheet below, and find a time and place where you can focus and work through it without any interruptions.
This exercise will help you identify what’s true to you, what’s most important, and why. Then work these into a new brand, or see how they fit in with the brand you already have.
Which of these values would you not be willing to live without?
Once you’ve done this exercise, I’d love to hear what came up for you, and what you’re going to do with it!