You’ve probably read it somewhere before that we’ve moved from a B2B era (business to business) to an H2H era (human to human, heart to heart), where people buy from brands they like and that share their own values and beliefs. And it’s true! It’s becoming more important than ever to be able to create deeper connections with your audience and create long-term relationships with your customers. Here at Kind & Ivy, we believe that a big part of achieving that is through your brand values.

In this blog post, we’re sharing why brand values are important, how to discover your business’ values and different ways to present them to your audience and customers in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.

What are brand values?

Brand values are the beliefs that your business unwaveringly stands for; it’s the true core of your business and what it represents. They are the foundations on which some of your biggest business decisions are made, such as which products or services you offer and how you want to structure them; how you approach marketing and advertising; or about your company culture and future staff.

Sharing your brand values openly with your audience can help you create more authentic connections. Consumers are now, more than ever, spending their money with brands that share their own beliefs and values. Whether it’s on the About page of your website or as a little leaflet they get with each order, sharing what your business stands for will let your customers know why they should care about your business and create a more trusting relationship with them.

How to determine your business values

Defining your brand values without guidance can sometimes be challenging, so here are 3 questions to help you determine the core values that your business stands for:

  • What really matters to you and your business?
  • What is your company culture?
  • What is essential to how the company runs and feels?

Whenever I create brand strategies for my clients, I like to test these values, to make sure they are the right fit for their business and can stand the test of time. Some of the questions that help me understand that:

  • Will these values help you make big decisions in your business (such as product or marketing decisions)?
  • Will the company be willing to uphold these values for a long time? Even in stressful or difficult situations?
  • Are the values open enough to leave room for future expansion of the company?

4 mindful ways to share your brand values

Be specific about what the values mean to you

Business values such as sustainability, equality, ethical, inclusive and so on are becoming more and more widespread among businesses (and nothing makes me happier than this!). But sustainable means different things to many different people. It varies greatly from business to business, in the way that we understand what a sustainable business is, how it looks in practice, how we tackle sustainability and so on. So it’s important to let our audience know what we mean by each of our values and what they look like “in practice” in our own business.

For example, one of our values at Kind & Ivy is leading with kindness. The way we understand it and apply it every day to the way I run my design studio is: “Kindness for the people and the planet. Everything we do is driven by our desire to treat everyone and everything with kindness and respect. From our clients and peers to our working environments and nature, we believe in being kind and respectful of all people, creatures and the nature around us.”

Make talking about your values part of your marketing efforts

People won’t know your brand values unless you talk about them. I encourage you to include talking about your business values in your marketing strategy, whether you have an Instagram account, a blog or a newsletter. Your values can go much more beyond being a forgotten section on your About page to something you’re proudly sharing with your audience.

You can either share them within one post (on whichever platform/s you choose) or create a series if you have quite a lot to share on each of your values. You can go as in-depth as you wish (and feel comfortable sharing), but the more information you have about what the values mean to you and how they are implemented in your business (whether that’s a picture of a recent beach cleanup or a graph of all the trees planted monthly for each order) the more trust you can create between your business and your audience.

Be transparent

Your audience can see right through you, so they will always spot when you’re not being honest with them about your business. If you’re on a journey of making your products or business more sustainable, inclusive or ethical, share your plans and journey openly with your audience. They love to see the honesty behind it and what you want to accomplish, but it also allows your audience (and yourself) to hold you accountable for your plans.

If one of your business values is sustainability, talk about what exactly makes your business or products sustainable. Just putting a sustainable tag on your products and calling it a day is not enough anymore. If you’re a product-based business, share how your products are manufactured (if possible) or where you source your ingredients from. If you’re not as sustainable as you’d like to be and are working towards a better alternative, that’s ok. Be open and share that with your audience – we’re all on a journey to creating a greener and kinder future.

Don’t be afraid to re-share your values

Just because you’ve shared your values on your website and created a highlight on Instagram, it doesn’t mean you’re done talking about them. Share them as often as you can on your marketing channels, especially as your follower or subscriber numbers grow and new faces appear within your audience. Your customers see and read so many things in a day, it’s hard to remember everything, so help them along by reminding them of your business and values.

For example, we send two emails out every year to our mailing list that shares Kind and Ivy’s values – usually one that talks about our values and why they’re important to us, and another one that shares more about how we’ve been implementing them in everyday life in the studio. While we also have them in all the usual places, such as the About page on our website and our Instagram highlights, we also share them in the Proposal we send out to potential clients and talk about them (when relevant) in most of our conversations, whether that’s for a podcast episode or with a fellow business owner.

With so many customers nowadays looking to spend their money with brands they trust and share their beliefs with, it’s important to be open and share your business values. Tell your audience and customers what your business cares about and you’ll find that you can create more meaningful connections with them, leading to more long-term customers as well.

We’d love to hear what your business stands for, so feel free to email us at denisa@kindandivy.com so we can learn more about you and your amazing business!

4 mindful ways to talk about your brand values with your audience

Business, Sustainability