Choosing or reevaluating your value words is one of the most useful exercises for when it comes to clarifying your brand. It is a process that ensures all the main stakeholders are near enough on the same page and every business and design decision can be fed through them.
However, what I consider to be the most useful part of such an exercise is choosing which words could work, but don’t feel right. Whilst having a conversation around why ‘quality’ or ‘integrity’ aren’t quite the best value words for your organization may seem like an odd thing to do, the process cements the words that have been selected and provides a stronger focus on where the company is heading.
A tool to choose your value words
At a dozen eggs, we use a deck of cards full of descriptive words with our clients – an idea originally generated by branding.cards – which has proved to be a really effective way to bring teams together.
A note of caution:
As part of a larger branding workshop, this is an exercise that should be followed up by a visual clarification exercise. This exercise is designed to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page, discussions are had, and disagreements are worked through. Therefore, by the end of the exercise you will feel like everyone is on the same page. Whilst this is true, it may not be true visually.
For example, the word ‘trust’ maybe a value word, but when you close you ideas you may imagine trust as a warm handshake between friends, whereas I may think of a steel bank vault within a bank. Whilst this discrepancy may not matter if the value words exercise has been used for brand strategy, it could come undone when you start to talk about a logo, or a website.
Moodboards are a brilliant follow-on exercise in order to solidify your value words.