Stick to your values (and everything else will fall into place!)

Nima Falatoori
Nima Falatoori, 25.05.2023

Whatever you do, stick to your guns, as shifting from one POV to another will unnerve your audience, and therefore destabilise your brand.

Currently we’re submerged by waves of sensationalist news, preoccupied with the end of our existence due to the onset of Artificial Intelligence. So, obviously, when I received an email from my daughter’s school the other day on how they will integrate AI into the curriculum, I went into ‘Prepper’ mode and started the build of my doomsday shelter in earnest.

However, upon reading the aforementioned email, my fears were calmed immediately. Her school inherently prides itself in being open to new educational systems, integrating new models into the old and creating a holistic approach to learning. It’s a value they hold in high regard, and is often referenced as being the bedrock to their decision making. It was clear from reading their latest correspondence that these values had directed how the school was going to integrate the use of ChatGPT. There was no fear-mongering. No worries about its use potentially creating a mass of undeserved A+ grades. Instead, there was an outline, based on successful trials and research, of how it will be used to further learning and development in debating and essay writing.

This measured response, from an academic institution faced with a very complex societal curveball, was completely ‘on-brand’. While I explicitly didn’t know what this could mean for my child’s education, the people who I trusted to make these informed decisions had done so in a manner that was expected. I, as a ‘consumer’ to the school’s brand, felt calm and reassured because of this.

This consistency in behaviour reminded me of a recent branding project we completed for Blank Beauty - a digital platform where you are able to scan any image or colour, and then receive, almost immediately, a single bottle of nail polish that is a perfect reproduction of that colour.

As a start-up company, Blank Beauty is primed to change the industry it occupies. But how it was going to do that was always a little unknown from the beginning when we first met Charles, the charismatic founder.

Charles always wanted to disrupt the beauty industry after discovering the astonishing truth that almost all nail polishes are fundamentally made up of the same substrates, and where they differ is in the tiny percentage of colouring agents that sit within the formula. However, it wasn’t always clear what the end ‘product’ would be. Along the project, our collective focus shifted from this being anywhere from a desktop device for home dispensing, to a B2B offering for nail technicians, to an instore experience — and everything in between.

However, the brand itself never wavered during the development. Why? We always knew the personality of the brand was a given (much of it based on Charles himself who was left-field, naturally disruptive and highly energetic), and who the end user would be for the product (typically, a Gen Z audience who likes to have the world around them customised to their wants and desires). And we also knew that the product itself was instant, affordable and, therefore, liberating.

“Liberate the Unconventional”

So we used the creative concept of “Liberate the Unconventional” from the start to create a set of values for the brand, which in turn helped us to filter, edit and dictate our concepts and design development.

We were always able to continue this development process for Blank which in turn helped the brand whilst they were manoeuvring into a position they could own in the market. We never felt we had to start again or put the project on pause while they were determining how to get a foothold into this very protective industry. Even when presenting their different models to investors and potential partners, the brand felt so ingrained to the company outlook, that it helped create a solid narrative to the product, bringing confidence to all who were part of these discussions.

Consistency will help to bring a sense of order and clarity to the inevitable flux.

So, it’s evident, by creating a series of true values from the start and developing from these a solid brand voice, you are able to scale, grow, and adapt without a need to change the narrative and in turn create unneccessary shockwaves. That way you are seen as reliable and honest by your audiences, and when the world around us changes as it constantly does, your own consistency will help to bring a sense of order and clarity to the inevitable flux.