Our main focus at Dandelion Branding is to help brands stay cohesive with their vision and their voice.
We make sure that the brands we work with are set up to project a holistic view of their entire company to their customers and potential customers across all of their marketing channels.
When a brand is new, there is a focus, a problem that is being solved—and then customers happen, and design is an element and emails and articles and ROI and ads—and what was that again?
Even if you can stay focused on your company’s goal, it’s easy to start to see everything as individual tasks, missing the connection between elements, and separating the company into pieces, rather than maintaining an ecosystem.
That’s why we suggest defining your company’s Brand Value System.
What is a Brand Value System?
In essence, it is very simple. A three word phrase that emboldens a brands nature and vision.
A company’s Brand Value System is a beacon—a centerpost for defining what is and is not the brand. It is unquestioning, unshakeable, and true of your business.
Everything that comes through your brand should hold up to this simple value system—internal decisions, images, emails, ads, article content, website design, affiliated and influencer companies, communication with your customers and anything else connected with your company will embody these three words.
Why You Need It
Every company that is building a brand needs a Brand Value System because it takes the question away, removes the guessing game.
It’s simple—if it doesn’t adhere to all three word standards, it doesn’t belong in your business.
Having this singular golden thread running through your business is the easiest way to assure that your team is prepared to make decisions that uphold the standards of your company every time.
This is highly effective when it’s coupled with a holistic marketing plan. This golden thread allows you to choose imagery and language that defines your company without worrying about being off brand.
Decision Making Made Easy
When we first heard of the BVS, it was basically because the CEO we were working with wanted his team to be able to make simple decisions that upheld the company’s standards.
We actively put the BVS into play and saw how easy it made the process for everyone on the team and how the three words they chose shaped the company over time.
When you do it right, it becomes ingrained in the business—even if the company isn’t sharing their BVS as part of their marketing.
Before hitting send on every email, you’re running it through your BVS Filter; when you have new blog copy, your internal editor is thinking, “does this up hold with our values?;” when you’re looking at a landing page you ask yourself, “does this have the elements we define as, ‘us’?”
For every question, the answer HAS to be “yes” for it to be ready to go into the world.
When the answer is “no,” you have a starting point for what to fix and how it needs to be aligned.
Example: If your value system is Trustworthy, Pure, Fair and something you want to put out is glowingly Pure and Fair, but you’re not sure whether it exudes Trustworthiness, you know what you need to hit your target.
How to Choose Your Brand’s Value System
Unfortunately, there’s no truly easy way to do this. It takes time thinking through the brand, focusing on the problem you’re solving along with connecting with the emotions you want to convey.
Then it’s all about choosing words that aren’t too narrow or too broad. They should limit and balance each other from going too far into their own definition, but they should also be able to stand alone in essence of your company.
So in our Trustworthy, Pure, Fair example: Trustworthy is something that can stand alone, you know the company will tell you the truth and that they will be there—but “Trustworthy,” especially when coupled with “Pure” can also connote “Naivety” or be something you describe as someone that you can take advantage of—so “Fair” balances that out by offering the essence of education and reasoning.
We’ve done this a few times and we’re able to identify useful BVS for a brand after a couple of weeks of working with them.
Our process is something like this:
- Free form write down all the words that come to mind when thinking about the brand.
- Group those words into categories (lots of words will be synonyms or similar to each other)
- Choose a general idea for the BVS
- Thesaurus like crazy to find the right fit
Try it! Tell us what you come up with! An leave it in the comments.
If you’re struggling with this, reach out to us! We would love to help you find your Brand Value System.