When you’re starting out, you are in the process of gathering ideas for your brand identity. You’re probably reading this post because you’re trying to align your brand with your personal values, but you might be feeling stuck. You’re in the right place! If you’ve been listening to the Aligned Action Podcast or reading the Clear Quartz Creative blog, you might have noticed that I am a big fan of having core values to help you align yourself with your business. Brand words can help!
Entrepreneurs sometimes use the terms ‘brand words’ and ‘core values’ interchangeably. Whichever term you use, having a sense of what is most important to you gives you insight on how to be aligned with your business AND can inspire your brand identity in terms of visuals, messaging, and other marketing.
If you’re in need of achieving alignment, this brand words list is a good place to start. When you’re reading the list, know that later on in this post you’ll be carefully selecting words that represent you and your beliefs.
These brand words will become your core values. You’ll choose your values based on what is important to you, and that will determine what your business culture is like.
If you’re wondering how your core values fit in with your mission and vision, here’s my take: when they are aligned, they will help you create a world and an entire experience of your business. All the Instagram posts in the world can try to instill the importance of being aligned with your business, but this won’t make sense for you until you know what you’re aligning to. That’s where your selections from this brand list will come in handy.
1. Read the Brand Words List
2. Write Down the Brand Words That Feel Aligned To You
Reading a list with more than one hundred brand words and choosing the ones that reflect the brand values that you want to establish can be overwhelming. But this activity can be fun!
Try to be present in the moment by making this activity special. You can surround yourself with crystals, or you can light your favourite candle so you feel relaxed and ready to tackle the brand words list.
Start the process by writing down the brand words that are in alignment with you in a notebook using your favourite pen. Don’t limit yourself at this stage, and just focus on writing words that feel right, for whatever reason. This process will help you achieve clarity on selecting brand words that reflect your mission, vision, and what you offer to your clients, and you will achieve a better outcome when you focus on what *feels* right.
You can consult other lists as well for additional inspiration, if you want, and brainstorm words that aren’t on any list but do feel right for you. Don’t forget to consider your unique business, your point of value, and your personal values to achieve alignment.
3. Group the Brand Words into Categories
After writing down the brand words that are in alignment with you, group the brand words into categories by putting similar words and synonyms together. By categorizing your brand words into groups, you can start to narrow down your choices. Try to use words that are representative of a category, ones that feel more all-encompassing. At this time, you can also remove words that do not feel quite right, or add words as needed.
Notice which words are outliers, and which ones don’t match as well. It’s a good idea to find words that essentially mean the same thing and combine them, in order for you to make choices about which one is a better fit. This is simply a process of refining the list of brand words that you curated back in step two.
Pause, and take a moment to reflect on the mood that all of these words together are creating, then reread them to have a clear grasp of their essence. Have one last read of your list to Identify which ones are more or less important.
4. Challenge Yourself to Describe Your Brand in 4-7 Words - These are Your Values
Meditate on the words that you selected, and test out writing different sets to see which combinations feel good. Look at the list that you have so far, and re-write it from your most favourite to your least important. Once you have this ranked list, you can conduct a process of elimination in order to identify which brand words will be established as your values. Leave 4-7 words on the list.
The time you’re taking now to sit down and curate your list will help you in all of your future business decisions - it’s totally worth it!
5. Use Your Brand Words in Your Mission and Vision Statements
If you already have a mission and vision statement, reread and review them to check for alignment with the new brand values you just determined by following the steps in this post.
If you don’t have a mission or vision statement yet, use your brand words as a springboard to begin writing them.
If you don’t have a mission statement yet, listen to the Aligned Action Podcast Episode 17 so you can get started.
Or, if you don’t have a vision statement yet, you can listen to the Aligned Action Podcast Episode 18 so you can gather insights on how to create your own vision statement.
Your mission, vision, and values should all be aligned and have the same feel. That’s why it’s okay if some words come up more than once across these three foundational brand pieces. This only means that you are consistent in terms of envisioning and creating your brand.
Now that you have aligned your new brand values with your mission and vision, your brand can be more meaningful and marketable to your target clients or audience.
Example 1: Social Media Manager Brand Words
Brand words: Growth, Heart, Connection, Inspiration, Service
Mission: To help solopreneurs improve their brand engagement strategies, so they can grow their reach in a heart-centered way and inspire their audience.
Vision: To create a world where connection and service go hand in hand and entrepreneurs are endlessly inspired.
6. How You can Use Your Brand Words List to Create Service Offerings
Reflect on the world or vibe you’re creating in your values, mission, and vision. Think about what kind of services will help you live that mission and achieve that vision. Start by examining your current offers - check if there is alignment between your brand words and your service offerings.
Then, use your brand words list to brainstorm new service offerings by thinking of the value behind each word, one at a time. What other services can you offer that fit the vibe of the brand words you’ve chosen while furthering your mission?
7. Use Your Brand Words List to Create Content
With only a few hours in the day and so many platforms to create on, content can feel overwhelming. The good news is - after using your brand words list to reflect on your current offers and to create service offerings, you can then use the list to create content!
Think of what platforms you’re on, and what kind of content your ideal client likes. Here are a few examples of values-based content. You can share:
one value at a time in a deep dive
your whole set of values
how you apply these values in your daily life as a business owner
your clients’ experience of these values
how your values affect your business’ mission statement or vision statement
client stories and testimonials through the lens of values
the reasoning behind your decisions through your values
This clarity and insight regarding your brand identity will help you run your business in a way that feels aligned. By using the brand words list to establish your brand values, you’ve already taken another big step in establishing your brand identity.
You now have the inspiration and motivation from the brand values list, and have gone from reading a brand words list to having a set of values.
Achieving alignment in your business is easier once you have turned words from a brand words list into values you can live by every day in your business.
You have succeeded in creating an important piece of your brand foundations - you can now use those values in your offers and your content. If you need more insight regarding establishing or using core values in your business, have a listen to Aligned Action Podcast Episode 19!