Your core brand values are what your company stands for guides your actions and decisions. However many companies fall into the trap of writing trite and meaningless statements that are common sense, rather than truly differentiating.

One company that has crafted their values and genuinely lives by them is Zappos. Their values are clear, specific and actionable.

Use this exercise to identify ways to truly live by your brand.

1) Brainstorm with your team on the values that your company lives by.

2) For each one, ask the team, “would we still do this even if we lost sales because of it?”

3) Set aside the ones you answered “no” to. They may be goals or best practices, but they’re not your core values.

4) For the ones you answered, “yes” to, draw 4 boxes to brainstorm:

  • DO: What are the actions we currently do to live up to this value?
  • DON’T: What are actions we don’t currently do because this value is important to us?
  • START: What are some actions we can do to better live up to this value?
  • STOP: What should we stop doing because it doesn’t align with this value?

5) Make these into big posters and place them in your employee work area for people to see everyday and add to.