If I asked you "What do you value?" - what comes to mind? Your brand values need to provide a code of ethics - a way of existing in the world - that your brand not only endorses but actively enforces.

    Key discussion points:

    1) We made it to the Top 50 Entrepreneurship podcasts! Woohoo! Thanks everyone!
    2) What are your brand values?
    3) Why are your values important?
    4) How to write your values so others will act on them
    5) Thinking about your stakeholders attitudes and behaviours

    A quote to share

    "Your brand values need to provide a code of ethics - a way of existing in the world - that your brand not only endorses but actively enforces." - Lauren Kress

    Next Week's Episode:

    In the next episode we're going to focus on the value you create, the promises you make and how to write your elevator pitch.

    Listen to this episode here

    Got a question or have some feedback to make this show more valuable for you?

    Tweet with Lauren: @laurenkress89

    Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenkress89/

    Or you can also come and say hi on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurenkressconsulting

    Send Lauren an email: lauren.kress@thechangemakers.org.au

    Full Transcript:

    G'day everyone welcome back to Grow Your Brand where we talk about how to share your talent with the world so you can make it a better place. It's been really amazing to see all the great feedback the show has been getting after it's first week of release.

    I'm really really touched by all the lovely comments on LinkedIn and Facebook and also by people who've taken the time to review the show. Including my sister actually, haha. Thanks Elle.

    Thanks also to fellow podcaster Marty Vids for the kind words and to Rebecca Jarvis and Sophie den Hartog also for sharing how much value you got from the show.

    It's comments like this that really get me excited to be taking on a new project like this. Actually, side note, if you are thinking of doing a podcast, I have a few different shows so let me tell you - it is as rewarding as it is challenging. It's a lot of work but if you enjoy making content and you love to talk, it is just such a joy.

    Also quickly a big thank you to listeners here in Australia and also over in the Netherlands who helped this new podcast climb up to the top 50 in the entrepreneurship category on the podcast charts after it's first day of release on Apple podcasts. That was pretty amazing for me. Really feeling the love everyone so thank you.

    And like I said I'll be doing these episodes weekly from now on, but if you're really feeling like the wait is unbearable because this show is just so damn good (laugh)...then let me know, tell me what you want to hear about more - just get in touch with me on LinkedIn or Twitter, or you can even head over to Facebook if you like - links are in the show notes.

    Now without further ado today we're talking about brand values and some business people also just call this values, you'll hear a lot of change management consultants and business coaches talk about the importance of your vision, your mission and your values and really we are talking about the same thing an if you remember back to episode 2, we talked about how your vision is important for both the inside of your business and the outside of your business - and it's the same with your values.

    And all of this feeds back into that first core pillar of your purpose and contribution.

    So what do we mean by values. If I asked you what do you value? What comes to mind? If you're in the life coaching or mental health space you're probably familiar with the term values in terms of the areas of life that we prioritise. Like I value adventure or I value money or I value family.

    When we talk about brand values, we're thinking about it a little differently. So let's talk first about what the purpose of having brand values is.

    So for a brand really what the outcome needs to be is that we provide a code of ethics - a way of existing in the world - that our brand not only endorses but actively enforces.

    Now that might sound a little dictatorial but it's more about providing guidance and accountability for ourselves and for others who come into contact with our brand. It says very clearly, this is what we stand for and also this is what we stand against. And you can see why this is important for what happens on the inside of the business but also why it's important for the outside of the business.

    So, a brand value isn't something like "money" or "prestige" or "family" - a brand value starts with a verb - an action word that is concrete and sets an expectation for behaviour. A lot of the time I see brands say they value things like honesty, integrity, community - but these really aren't concrete.

    What I mean by concrete is that what we say invites people into be part of our narrative in a relatable and tangible way. Words like honesty and integrity and community have a lot of ambiguity. When you're writing your values you want to ask yourself, is this open to interpretation, are their different opinions on what this concept even means?

    When you say we value honesty, what is it that you want people to actually do. Use simple English. Maybe it's that when there's a problem you want people to speak up about it. So maybe the value is "Speak up when there's a problem" notice that this value starts with a verb - speak - and it also sets an expectation of how to behave.

    In fact you can imagine if a manager turned around to you and said "why are you talking to me about this problem?" you could point them directly back to your values.

    Now you might be thinking "ok, so what does this have to do with my brand though?" "Why are these values important for how we are perceived in market?"

    This goes back to your brand integrity that what you say and what you do need to align. Your values are what helps you to bring this into alignment. So using this same example of "speak up when there's a problem" when it comes to market perception, this is something that is going to have a big impact on the customer experience.

    Ignoring customer problems because a) we're too scared to admit them to ourselves or b) we're too scared to admit them to our superiors impacts our brand - it can quickly damage our reputation and lead to all sorts of problems. To define your values you need to think about what attitudes and behaviours will negatively impact your brand and positively impact your brand.

    And this also comes back to who your stakeholders are and what their attitudes and behaviours are. So if your stakeholders for instance are quite risk-averse and conservative, your values are going to be quite different to if your stakeholders are happy-go-lucky, let's give it a go types of people.

    In our next couple of episodes we're going to tie off the basics of our first brand pillar on purpose and contribution - in the next episode we're going to focus on the value you create, the promises you make and how to write your elevator pitch and then following on from that we're going to talk about your brand personality.

    Your brand personality is where we start to transition over to pillar 2 where our focus will be on developing your distinct and salient brand assets and as we'll start talking about in episode 8 the language you use is so so important to get right when it comes to really ensuring that everything you've just nailed down in this first pillar is actually reflected in the sensory cues you use to represent your brand - so the logo, the colours, sounds, visuals - the feelings you want to evoke.

    So lots of exciting stuff to come and if you are someone who really enjoys the style and aesthetic side of branding you'll find this a lot of fun. But before we get ahead of ourselves, what I need you to do now is go back to your brand map and have a go at writing your brand values.

    If you have any questions about how to fill this in, you can send me an email lauren.kress@thechangemakers.org.au or you can message me, tweet me, however it's easiest for you.

    I'm thinking I might read out some of the questions I get sent about these topics on the show - let me know if you think that would be useful - it's important to me that how we spend this time together is giving you the most value so please do give me your feedback, it helps me to make this show better for you and for others - because if you're thinking something would be valuable then chances are other people are as well.

    All the links are in the show notes, depending on where you're listening to this podcast you may need to click on the link that says episode website to access the full show notes or head on over to www.growyourbrand.com.au which is the podcast website.

    I'll be back next week for our next episode of Grow Your Brand, until then remember that sharing your talents with the world will make it a better place.