5 Steps to Define Your Core Brand Values to Draw Ideal Clients

A piece of paper on a clipboard with a Venn diagram -- two circles with statements in them that define core brand values. They intersect at the phrase "your brand."

Do your core brand values define your business? The image it projects says a lot about it (and you). And the type of customers you gain. We can attract what we project. If you’re unhappy with your client base, maybe it’s time for a change.

One way to set your business apart is to define your core brand values in your marketing materials. Customers with similar views may be more likely to do business with you. 5WPR and Forrester reports show that 83 percent of millennials and 51 percent of Gen Zers want to buy from brands that share their values.

If you prefer to watch, rather than read, see this video playlist for a walkthrough of each step.

1. State your disbeliefs – Many businesses can’t serve everyone effectively. List ten values you or your business don’t believe in. A thesaurus or generative AI tools can help.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are some things I can’t stand?
  • Based on any dealings with past clients, what did I dislike about the tough customers? Which types of clients did I fail to please?

Example: Service-based professionals can despise dishonesty, incompetence, or a lack of compassion.

2. List your passions – Consider the right clients for your business. Then think about the brands you admire. Explore your disbeliefs. List ten core brand values.

Questions to answer as prompts:

  • What are my “musts”? What drives or motivates me in my work?
  • What do I like best about my customers?
  • What are the values of brands I want my business to be like? Example: Apple is known for thinking differently, through innovation and user-centric design.

Service provider example: A hospital’s core values include safety, efficiency, and compassion.

3. Check your lists – Do you see any patterns? Are any words or phrases similar? Remove the repeats. Reduce the list to five core brand values.

4. Combine like terms – Tie together words and phrases that align with your brand values. Think of them as your “what.”

Example: Some of my clients appeal to their customers through compassion, so my marketing copy includes statements like “Content that connects with respect.”

5. Flesh them out – Consider why you follow each belief. Describe how you fulfill each core brand value in one sentence each.

Example: A mental health provider could list the phrase “a commitment to care.” They might then define how or why they follow that belief through this statement: “Our therapists guide our clients to reach their own conclusions.”

What are some of your core brand values? Feel free to comment below.


“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks

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