What Are Your Brand Non-Negotiables?


Today we're sharing our best thinking on how to get started with one of the essential components of your Brand Manifesto, the Core Values. Sometimes it is difficult to know where to begin when articulating your Core Values and how they help your brand succeed. Core Values are your principles, or what we call your Brand Non-Negotiables. But why do your Core Values matter to your brand's growth and success? Well, it's important to define and articulate not only because they identify your brand's beliefs, but also because they humanize your brand, enable you to create meaningful relationships, nurture company culture, and express exactly how you will create value for yourself and your clients.

If you think about climbing a mountain, your values give you strength, purpose, and motivation. They're the way that your employees add value to their job, and the way they'll deliver value to your clients, customers, and target audience. You have to not only articulate your brand values, but also execute against them, celebrate them, and keep everyone accountable to them.



To start writing your brand manifesto, you can work on identifying (or refining) your Brand's Non-Negotiables (aka Core Values.) We've created an activity that will help you:

  1. Identify and record all of your brand's non-negotiables
  2. Understand the relationship between non-negotiables and a brand manifesto

To complete the activity, download the free worksheet or simply follow the instructions below.





This activity will require some critical thinking. What's most important to you? What is non-negotiable with regard to you and your company? Examples of Core Values could be making money, being relevant, having fun, or working with the right people. These are the things that are non-negotiable, meaning, they govern everything else and cannot be disregarded no matter what happens along the way.

Step #1

Think about what is important to you and your brand (e.g., having fun, making money, giving back to society, being politically relevant, working with a small team or within a specific industry, etc.).

Step #2

Set a timer for 10-minutes and jot down as many of these as possible. After the timer goes off, re-read them (preferably aloud) and put the paper away.


Step #3

Over the next day or two, think about what you wrote and return to your list and edit it as you see fit. Repeat this until you have no further edits. Then, your list is ready.

Remember: Don’t edit yourself during brainstorming. Write down everything that comes to mind. Whenever you discover or think of an additional touchpoint, add it to this list.

This list of non-negotiables probably won’t make sense as a Brand Manifesto just yet, but continue with the course to see how they fit into your Mission, Vision, and Values.

In the meantime, if a difficult decision arises, refer to this list to help guide your decision.


Recommended Reading

If you want to learn more about writing a brand manifesto, check out some of these resources:





If you need help developing your Brand Manifesto or accelerating the rate of your current growth, we're here.




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