Brand Strategy: The 4Vs - Values, Vision, Visuals & Voice
There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get as a consumer when you come across a brand that captures your attention for all the right reasons.
The visual style makes you want to discover more. The brand voice and narrative connect with your values and further piques your interest. The intentionality and cohesion scream “expert,” and suddenly you’re hooked - you’re converted into a customer.
This doesn’t happen with just dumb luck. It takes strategy.
A brand strategy can help improve customer loyalty, drive brand awareness, and inspire word-of-mouth marketing.
Sounds like a dream as a business owner, doesn’t it?
When you have defined values, a clear vision, distinct visuals, and a personality-driven voice, this dream becomes a very attainable reality.
As part of our Brand Development experience, we help you to achieve brand clarity by exploring the 4Vs of impactful brand strategy: values, vision, visuals, and voice.
Let’s dive in.
Establishing brand values gives you a sense of direction and purpose. Communicating them clearly and often allows your community to connect with those values and gives them the opportunity to purchase products from brands they truly believe in. Company values are much more than just words on your website’s About page — they’re behaviours that become habits for everything you do and they’re an effective way to drive a greater sense of customer loyalty.
Brand values become the parameters that help you discern if a decision or partnership fits the goals of your business. They help you build connections with your community, and they act as a sort of North Star to attract potential customers who share similar beliefs, guiding them to your business.
Your values could be your brand’s main differentiator - more on this in next month’s blog.
Think about what makes your brand remarkable, individual, and irresistible to your audience. Ask yourself:
What kind of business do you want to be associated with?
What kind of people do you want as a part of your business?
What are the qualities that attract people to your business and keep them coming back?
Your brand vision is your story. It is the narrative you use to communicate essential moments in your business’ origin, core beliefs, and the purpose of your brand. By sharing why you exist, what you stand for, and what inspired you to get started and keep going, you create an open environment where people can get to know your business on a deeper level. Brand stories further spark meaningful connections between your business and customer base.
Your vision provides direction for where you want to go with your company’s mission or goal in mind, and values are what you build on to achieve success. Clarifying your brand purpose helps create a strong foundation for your entire brand strategy.
Questions to help get at the heart of your brand’s values and the beliefs and principles that guide your business are:
Why does your business exist? (i.e. what is your journey?)
What are the passions that drive you?
What impact do you want to make?
Are there social causes or injustices that align with your business?
What problems are you actively working to solve?
Weave in your values and connect emotionally with your audience. Remember, a great brand vision creates a lasting connection.
How your business presents visually—from colour palette to fonts to photography style—on your products, website, and marketing platforms is called brand identity design, and it’s often the first way a potential customer can understand what you’re all about.
It’s like how people say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The only reason it’s a cliché is that it’s human nature to make assumptions based on first impressions and appearances - and you should use this to your brand’s advantage.
With the right visuals, you can communicate with potential customers and cultivate an aesthetic that will resonate deeply with those who experience it. It's about creating a cohesive visual identity that represents your business' values and resonates with your target audience, including choosing colours, fonts, and imagery that align with your brand's personality.
Aside from speaking to what your brand is all about, brand design also illustrates a point of view and showcases your tastes. A potential customer might love your brand partly because of the way you package and design your products, or because of the colourful templates, you send out with an email newsletter.
A lack of design can leave your brand without a visual identity, which prospective customers will pick up on. Designing the visual components of your brand—from product labels and packaging inserts to your website’s homepage—gives it a stronger position in the market, improves customer experience, creates a strong visual identity, and differentiates you from your competitors.
A brand’s voice informs the type of brand messaging a business uses. It often plays the biggest role in forming connections with a customer base by fusing a brand’s personality with its core values.
A strong brand voice might remind you of your sarcastic best friend, kind teacher, or reassuring doctor. Whether it's quirky, conversational, or professional, finding a voice that speaks directly to your target audience helps to build recognition and trust.
Try creating a short list of three words that clearly lay out your brand’s tone. You can use these questions to help frame up your answers:
Are you sharp, fast, and pointed?
Are you or your product smooth, easy and effective?
Will you make your customers' lives stress-free, unburdened, and organized?
A brand that doesn’t carve out a personality-filled voice risks losing that connection or sending a message that doesn’t align with its values and intentions.
The language you choose to use as a brand will be integrated throughout the entire business, so it's important that you carefully craft your tone to match your brand's personality. Brand voice is essential to humanizing and making your brand recognizable.
It’s Time To Consider Your Own Brand Strategy
Successful brand strategies that combine the foundational 4Vs inspire a sense of connection through purposeful vision, honest values, visuals that reflect a business’s true personality, and a voice that captures the essence of the brand.
Are you building the best brand experience for your ideal customer? If you need a little help cultivating brand clarity, learn how to build a better-brewed brand by booking your discovery session with The Brand Brew™ today.