Why Values Matter to Grow Your Business and Your Impact

December 6, 2021
feature image

So, you’ve launched your business. Congrats! You know you can have an impact in your customers’ lives—and maybe even on an entire industry—but it’s hard to make other people see that big vision in your head and heart. Enter: brand values.

Basically, your brand values are what you stand for as a business. And bonus: they’re what make you stand out from all the other brands who offer the same type of product or service. By clearly sharing your brand values everywhere your brand shows up, you’ll connect with the exact types of customers you’re wanting to serve. And at the same time, you’ll repel people who aren’t the perfect fit. Because at the end of the day, good business is about solving problems and making lives better.

Here’s how getting clear on your values will help grow your business and increase your impact in the process.

Defining (and Refining) Your Brand Values

If you’re like most founders, you want to do *all* the things and help *all* the people. You might even be afraid of feeling boxed in by defining anything too specific about your brand. But when you sit and reflect on your brand values, having a values framework actually gives you the freedom to expand with intention. Falling back on these values as anchors and a gut check makes it so that new opportunities and bright ideas become an easy yes—or a quick no—without wasting time, energy, and money. 

So, how do you even choose what you and your brand value most? Ask yourself what injustices or problems really get you fired up. Connect the dots between the biggest issues your customers face and how you’re creating a unique solution. Think about what you want to be known for when people interact with your brand. Consider why you even started your business. Basically, get those introspective juices flowing and see what ideas bubble to the surface.

Shoot for three to five core values. Anything more won’t give you enough sense of direction as you start living out your values.

Note: no value is inherently good or bad. You can aim for inclusivity if you’re wanting to amplify and connect diverse perspectives. But it’s equally amazing to have an exclusive community if you’re wanting to cater to underrepresented people who need a safe space to step into their shared identity. Either works perfectly, depending on your mission and ideal audience.

Leveling Up Your Marketing

Just like a logo and brand colors are super recognizable, your brand values and brand voice should be too. Besides a run-of-the-mill “Our Values” blurb on your website, where can your values show up and stand out in your marketing?

Email Signatures: Subtly demonstrate your values by including a quote, your personal boundaries (like times you’re available), an affiliation, or anything else that signals “this is what we care about and you probably do too.”

Social Media: The types of images and graphics you share, your captions, and even the platforms you choose show what matters to you and your audience. Let your creativity run wild here, then use your values as a filter before you post.

Promo and Explainer Videos: Videos are all about setting a vibe—the music, cadence, imagery, script, and subtitles all tell the viewer who you are as a brand. So make sure it looks, sounds, and feels aligned with everything else you’re putting out into the world.

Bios and About Page: This is where you can explicitly say what’s important to you as a founder and a brand, and share WHY! Drive home that consistency in your messaging everywhere you show up. (Both online and in-person.)

Other Content: At the end of the day, you want content that represents who you are as a brand and hits on topics your audience cares about. That’s why a green beauty skincare company can talk about zero waste kitchen tips, or a bamboo toilet paper brand with a give-back program can write about International Women’s Day. If it connects to your values, mission, and audience, then that seemingly out-of-left-field idea is totally relevant.

Optimizing Operations

Brand values don’t just pop up on your website and in your fancy campaigns. They should be part of everyday operations.

Collaborations: If you’re going to hitch your proverbial wagon to another brand, they better be aligned, or you’ll lose all the trust you’ve built up with your customers. These collabs could be via an affiliation, networking group, joint venture project, retail store or online marketplace, the vendors you contract with, conference you speak at, or anything else that connects your brand with another.

Hiring Decisions: Entrusting your business growth to a team member is no easy task for most founders. So make sure whoever you hire understands, can represent, and maybe even enrich your brand values.

Setting Your Rates and Crafting Your Offers: Cheaper isn’t always better if you value providing luxury experiences. Or on the flip side, maxing out your price point isn’t ideal if you value accessibility. Think through your values when you make these important pricing and offer decisions.

Logistics: From your product and shipping packaging to your business hours, these seemingly unrelated decisions should definitely tie back to what you stand for and what your customers care about. For example, sustainably-grown Fair Trade cotton clothing that’s packaged and sent in plastic raises big red flags for conscious consumers.

Living Out Your Brand Values

It’s not enough to simply brainstorm your brand values. You have to live them out through every aspect of your brand. That’s where the magic happens.

Every decision you make should go through a filter of your values and your ideal audience. If these two things stay in check and at the center of everything you do, you’re gonna be able to show up more consistently and in alignment with what you, your team, and your customers care about most. That means you can avoid chasing “best practices” that don’t sit right or the shiny objects that distract you from your visionary goals. 

And you have full permission to let your values evolve with your brand. Your customers will give you feedback along the way. Listen to them! You’ll learn fresh approaches and technologies, or see new problems over the year. Pivot as needed! Your values and your overall mission are your roadmap but re-evaluate every quarter or every year to make sure your destination is still the same as when you started.

Basically, connect with customers on a human level. The more you can make your brand and your message feel good to the people you’re aiming to reach, the better. Lean into your brand values so that people remember what you stand for and how you make them feel…not just that you have the best product or service out there. (Because, of course, you do!)

Image: Courtesy of Ashlee Sang

About the author: Ashlee Sang is based in Central Illinois with a background in anthropology and a penchant for travel. Through Ashlee Sang Consulting, she works with visionary founders who want to grow their impact and their business in a way that’s rooted in values and propelled by purpose.

Before doing brand messaging strategy and consulting, she worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including a human rights education NGO in Senegal and a local branch of Habitat for Humanity. The common thread has been sharing messages that matter.

Ashlee is passionate about small, personal changes anyone can make to improve the environment and other people’s lives. She’s a fan of one-liners, happy surprises, and taking walks in the sunshine. Learn more at ashleesang.com.

Featured image: Smith House Photography

Return Policy

All sales are FINAL. No refunds on purchases, no exceptions. By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to this policy.

Terms of Service

By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to our Terms of Use and forfeit your right to dispute charges.

Privacy Policy

By completing this purchase from Create & Cultivate, you agree to the terms of our Privacy Policy.

Small Business, Big Influence.
Order Summary
The HR Bundle
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Venture Capital Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Bootstrapping & Budgeting Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Marketing Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The PR Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Branding Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Launch Your Business Bundle
$24.99
$18.74
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Grow Your Instagram Bundle
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Podclass VIP Download
$399.00
$199.50
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Growth Hacking Bundle
$17.99
$13.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The WFH Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Job Hunting Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Grow Your Email List Download
$9.99
$7.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Career-Boost Bundle
$14.99
$11.24
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Podclass Download
$299.00
$149.50
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.
Order Summary
The Self-Care Bundle 2.0
$29.99
$22.49
Billing Address
Review your information and purchase when you're ready.