Why really strong brand values are important for your outdoor business
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
If you want to achieve those big business goals you’ve set, you need to deep dive below the surface of your business. When you put the time into understanding your brand, you’ll have more clarity in which direction you want to go and the confidence to build a solid strategy that gets you to your final destination.
However, before you even set off on your voyage, it’s essential to have a rock-solid brand foundation. We’ve talked about why your brand purpose matters, and we’ve explained the difference between your brand vision and your brand mission – but today, we want to talk about one of our favourite pieces of a brand foundation: your brand values.
Behind every successful purpose-driven outdoor business are strong brand values that ensure everyone on your team (including you!) shares a higher purpose and works towards a common goal. Those core brand values are essential if you want to create a sustainable business that actually achieves the business goals and brand visions you’ve set.
Imagine a captain trying to navigate his schooner towards the ultimate treasure, but the treasure map in question contains unclear landmarks or weak navigational points that cause mayhem for both his crew and himself. Without clear directions, that pirate ship will never reach its destination, much like a business without solid values. Because your brand values are integral to the direction you want to take your outdoor business –and without them, your business will flounder.
Like your brand vision, brand mission, and brand purpose, your brand values are the fourth and final element that make up your Brand’s Foundational Compass. And today, we want to focus on and explain your brand values, how they tie into your brand purpose, and why having core values help your purpose-driven outdoor business achieve sustainable success.
What Are Your Brand Values?
Your brand values are what you stand for as a human being and a business owner. They are the fundamental beliefs that guide your brand story, behaviour, actions, and, ultimately, the decision-making process. In simple terms, they are the reason your brand exists.
A question to help you establish your brand values is:
WHAT values motivate your brand?
As you ponder this question, think beyond the values that should come standard with every business (such as integrity) and find ones unique to you. Remember that, unlike other branding elements, your brand values should never change, no matter what business situation you’re in.
Think of your brand values as your treasure map when you need guidance in sticky situations that will inevitably arise for you as a business owner. Brand values help you determine if you’re keeping to the course that leads to your treasure, otherwise known as your business goals.
Why Your Brand Values Matter
There will be times during your outdoor business voyage when you have to make tough decisions. But when you have rock-solid brand values representing your business and what you stand for, you have the opportunity to make the right decisions as you navigate tough choices or encounter new situations.
If you have to compromise one of your brand values to achieve a short-term gain or profit, you should hear internal alarm bells going off. Instead of making decisions that have short-term gains, your brand values serve as a guide map or compass to help you make decisions that benefit your brand and your customers in the long term.
Not only do your brand values help you connect with and stay true to the brand promises that you made to your clients, your team members, and yourself as a business owner, but they are key to building a sustainable branding strategy that differentiates your outdoor business from the sea of others out there.
How Your Brand Values Tie Into Your Brand Purpose
Brand values help clarify what your brand is all about. They also articulate what your brand stands for –and as a purpose-driven business, your values should stand for something way beyond making a profit or even the products or services you offer.
Your brand values should embody your brand purpose because it is the core of your outdoor business. We actually talk more in-depth about what a brand purpose statement is and why it matters in this blog post. But the important thing to know about your brand purpose is that it stems from your values. Or rather, your values lead you to your purpose.
By now, you (should) know that your outdoor business is so much more than the products or services you offer and the money you make from them. According to a study by Accenture, 62% of US consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues like sustainability and fair employment practices.
Like all brands in this day and age, your business needs to stand for a higher purpose –and your values not only help define what this higher purpose is but keep you on course to reach that higher purpose.
If you’re interested in learning more about using your purpose-driven branding for business growth (with stats!), we have a post.
An Example Of Tortuga Creative Studio’s Brand Values
To help clarify brand values from brand purpose, we want to explain what Tortuga Creative Studio’s brand values are and how they inform how we do business to shape our brand.
We came up with five core brand values that aid our decision-making process and help us develop a solid brand strategy that trickles into the WHY behind the Tortuga brand (brand purpose), the WHAT (brand vision), and the HOW (brand mission). Our five brand values are purpose, clarity, confidence, passion, and growth.
We prioritize having a strong purpose beyond the profit we make by building meaning into everything we do. For example, we teach our audience about business and branding in the form of this brand values blog post, social posts, free resources, and our branding services. But our main under-the-surface goal is to teach you about brand values because your values lead to your purpose –and your purpose is everything.
We value being clear, relatable, helpful, and relevant in our communications and messaging. We don’t want to lose people by using jargon and exclusive wording or phrases. Don’t get us wrong, we do love throwing in pirate and ocean references and puns when and where we can!
We always strive for results that make others feel confident, empowered, and optimistic. Everything we do in our own business and in the work we conduct for our projects is meant to leave our customers and clients feeling confident in their brand. Not only do we want to feel confident in the choices we make as business owners, but we want our clients to feel confident in choosing us as their brand strategists and designers.
We take passion very seriously over here at Tortuga Creative Studios. We’re super passionate about Tortuga and the work we do for our clients. We’re passionate about ocean advocacy and protecting ocean wildlife. We’re passionate about sustainability and making changes that positively impact the planet.
Most importantly, we’re passionate about working with outdoor businesses that are passionate about what they do. We revel in sharing the joy, spirit, and passion that our clients experience for their business.
We value growth in two capacities. The first is how our work allows our clients to grow their impact and do more good in the world, whether through growing their purpose or growing the positive ripple effect they have on the planet through their branding.
Secondly, we value the personal and business growth we achieve as brand strategists each time we work on projects with purpose-driven outdoor brands like yours! Every project we work on inspires new ways of thinking and more industry knowledge that helps our current and future clients flourish.
An Example Of How Tortuga’s Brand Values Lead To Our Brand Purpose
By establishing those five core brand values, we built out a brand purpose that epitomized the WHY (brand purpose) behind Tortuga Creative Studio. You can see all five values woven into our brand purpose statement here:
Tortuga’s Brand Purpose Statement
We are dedicated to helping (1) purpose-driven outdoor business owners (2) clarify their path through branding so that they can (3) confidently (4) grow their business and increase their impact on the planet.
We are committed to supporting life underwater by focusing on sea turtle conservation.
We support our higher purpose through adopting sea turtles with every project and offsetting
our plastic footprint each month.
While we don’t explicitly call out our brand value (5) passion in our purpose statement, our messaging implies our passion for our purpose-driven clients and the opportunity we have to help them find brand clarity. In the second part of our brand purpose, we highlight our passion and commitment to supporting ocean advocacy, sea turtle conservation, and offsetting our plastic footprint through our branding work.
You can see how solid brand values can flow into a strong brand purpose, further ensuring you have a solid foundation to build a sustainable and successful outdoor business. When you have a firm understanding of the beliefs and values that your brand stands for, you’ll inevitably have more clarity and confidence in every decision you make as you sail your brand forward towards business growth and success (read: a treasure chest full of positive impact).
Ultimately, your brand values (along with your brand vision, mission, and purpose) help guide you in the direction you want to take your business and keep you on the path you’ve set a course on. This is the magic and beauty of your Brand’s Foundational Compass.
If you don’t know what your brand values are or aren’t sure if the values you do have are serving your outdoor business, book a Brand Values Audit! Inside this 30-minute audit, we’ll deep dive into your brand values to uncover which ones are working (and optimize them further), which ones are not, or discover new values that better serve your brand.