The value of values

Brand Voice - a service by Honest Communications, a garden and home PR agency, social media management, content creation and communications

Brand values are the heart of communications. They are the fundamental beliefs that drive a brand or company forward. They are the North Star of everything you put out about your brand or business, leading you on the path to success (join us for one of our Brand Voice workshop and you’ll soon discover just how pivotal they are!)

Yet we often see so many brands without them, or perhaps that have them saved in a long-forgotten location, most likely tucked away in an outdated handbook that the current team have never seen…

Sound familiar?

Let’s explore why you should be digging out that handbook and giving things a refresh!

What are brand values?

Like personal values, brand values are what you stand for and (often more importantly) what you stand against too. They determine what causes, ideas and messages you align with, which in turn helps to shape your brand, your voice and all your communications. Brand values need to resonate with your customer base to create a sense of community, a following and strong loyalty.

In crowded marketplaces, people seek brands they align with. Brands with a purpose. Brands that stand for something.

Brand values not only ensure you are attracting customers and aligning with likeminded people, but they also help attract the right people to be working with, all with a shared ethos and goal.

However, brand values aren’t the same as personal values and that’s a difference that many people don’t understand. They needn’t be the values of the business owner, managing director or marketing manager. They are the brand’s values – while they often align with those of the owner/manager, they can be different.


Live and breathe them

Defining them and writing them down isn’t enough. They need to be genuine and evident in everything a company does – people will soon realise if not!

Take Honest for example.

At Honest, we are driven by our values. They were defined on day one of the agency and have remained the same ever since. We have them framed in the office, they are part of every team member’s induction, they are on our website and we include them in all our proposals to new clients.

Our leading value? Well, the clue’s in the name.

Always be Honest. No matter what.

Our industry is based on relationships and the very best way of building these is by creating trust, which can’t happen without honesty. From our relationships with our clients, to working with journalists and how we interact as a team, honesty is critical for growth.

We’re not the only ones who value honesty. One of our longest standing clients, Hillier, also has honesty in its values! Which again shows the importance of aligning with the right people. Values help you determine who you want to work with and help you know who is the right fit and who perhaps isn’t. If your values are polar opposites, it’s probably not going to work out.

Our next value is grow together. Pun absolutely intended here – we work in the gardening industry! But, in a nutshell, our role for clients is to help them grow – which could include their sales, their social media following, and their media presence.

It also spans to our team. Personal development is a big part of life at Honest. We invest in our team, hugely value them and want to help them grow for the future too.

Similarly, an appreciation of this value also extends to helping Honest grow. As a young business, this is key. We are growing and want to surround ourselves with people who also hold this as a key value.

This feeds nicely into our next value, to always go above and beyond! We believe this value is what sets us apart from our competitors. We hear so often of other agencies simply churning through a to-do list each month or charging by a list of deliverables. We don’t work like that; we’d hate that approach (we like to stick our oar in as much as possible!). We want to be viewed as an extension of our clients’ teams, working alongside them to reach the same aims and goals. To do this, we have to go above and beyond our remit and we’re happy to share our input and expertise to help. That’s why at events, you’ll often see us lugging boxes around as well as mingling with media, or why we’ll always go the extra mile in our research before approaching a task. It’s why clients often pick our brains or ask us to cast an eye over something that they’ve been working on. And we love it!

Finally, we have to be creative and innovative. This is what keeps our jobs interesting! We’re in a creative industry and our ideas need to reflect this. We have the freedom to do things differently and we don’t want things to stand still, or our ideas to become stagnant. To truly deliver value for our clients we are constantly coming up with new campaigns and ideas, and encourage creativity and innovation in all that we do. No idea is too small or too stupid – they will always spark something! In fact, we regularly hold sessions for each client which include the whole team, where we all come together to generate new ideas, campaigns and ways of working – which keeps things fresh for both us and our clients!

Thinking it’s perhaps time to dig out that old handbook and review your brand values? We can help. We’re well-practised in helping brands refine and define their values, and we lead workshops in helping business owners and managers clarify their values and what that can sound like. Get in touch to find out more