Brand Values

Our Values

If you’ve ever done it, can you remember the values your business settled on? Are they really a true part of your daily life in work, have they made their way into the culture of the firm? It’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that too often a ‘values’ project can be great fun, diverting, but simply a case of ticking that particular box: “yeah, we’ve done a value/vision/cultural statement” … tick!

As a test… we love a good test… no pressure… ask your colleague; “what are our company’s values?”. Then watch as said colleague digs around in the filing cabinet/drawer/floor/bin for that pesky sheet with it all laid out on.


“Yeah, we’ve done a value/vision/cultural statement”

A little while ago we decided that we too needed to revisit our existing brand values and then hopefully move that into a full cultural statement, which we’d been promising to do, but not quite managed to get to (same problem as my neighbours car, he’s a mechanic and his car leaves the neighbourhood with the fan belt protesting in a piercingly loud squeal most days…). 

Anyway, I digress. Straight away we said anything we did had to form and also inform how and what we do on a daily—and longer-term—basis. As a smaller firm, we just don’t have much spare time to play with, so we must always consider what will be truly useful to us and our clients.

Brand values are fantastic ways of keeping advertising copy on track, ensuring your website copy matches up with the other elements of your marketing collateral and much more.

One of my favourite approaches to brand values is to think about what we would be if we were a retail brand (or car brand, or appliance brand) and why. This gives a pretty quick filter on how you currently see yourself and how you’d like to see yourself. Then you look at the values of that brand and see what it is about them that draws you. That’s gold right there!


Who Leads?

Of course, further to this is whoever creates the culture in your organisation is the main lead here. Whoever has the power to influence the culture on a day to day basis is such a significant part of this. Brand values and by extension cultural statements must be seen right through, I can’t emphasise that enough. 

Once we’d laid out who we felt we were and who we’d like to be, we examined why that was the case. We could then start to see the sorts of values that are synonymous with that brand. As typical examples: Apple have historically been synonymous with a design led approach, as are brands such as Porsche, Nike and so forth. John Lewis are known for their approach to customer service (and you can see these values come under pressure in times of difficulties). Netflix were known as innovators in their market—and killed Blockbuster in the process (where now for them though?).

Out of this work we can then draw down words that encapsulate a brand. They usually take the form of ideas such as: Human, Approachable, Detail Oriented, Passionate, Obsessed, Client first, Joy, Ego-free, Workmanship, Craft, Listening, Imagination and so forth… (at least for us these were a selection of terms that came out of the work).

We then laid these into four categories: Passionate, Purposeful, Style, and Human. These don’t form the main values yet but help draw the disparate sets of words into more manageable sets.

Firing Line museum leaflet

Once we had our wide set of values laid out clearly, we wanted to widen things out and create a cultural statement we can live by. 

The really important part of this for all companies or organisations, is that believe they can implement it. It’s imperative to distil those values, along with how they work, down into a concise statement or a shorter list. One that could actually be remembered and used. Then it stands a chance of becoming part of your culture.


Cultural Statement

Definition of a Cultural Statement: “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”

An approachable way to start to form a cultural statement is to breakdown the segments into four key categories: 

• Attitudes (The personal bit…)
• Values (What are the values we want associated with our company?)
• Goals (What are we aiming for?)
• Practices (How things get done)


You’ll, like us I imagine, end up with a massive spiralling list associated with the above. Such a list would be impossible to remember. You should have lots of broad scope ideas under each heading such as: no 'small print', help other develop, allow staff a feedback channel, be an observer, walk in other people's shoes etc (these are drawn out of the initial values discussion and list). The trick now is to pull that down to a maximum (and if you can do it in less that’s even better) of 10 points or a paragraph with a few bullets perhaps (or even just one short line) that encapsulate all these ideas into a more succinct set.

Our massive list (and it was massive) was tough to bring down. It contained many statements that could actually be summed up in much more pithy language. After a fair bit of work we got to this: 

1. Do what’s right, always
2. Create function and then form
3. Be approachable
4. Be curious
5. Be obsessed with our craft
6. Make a difference
7. Communicate well
8. Say thanks…


Day to Day

So, this is a (believe it or not) very cut down discussion of what we went through, and what we went through then informed our copy, our images, our marketing campaign, and our every day. It informs how we respond to our clients and each other. It keeps things consistent and, in a tangible way, measurable. 

One thing we noticed was this typical example of a conversation in the office…

Designer 1: “What should I do in this situation?” 
Designer 2: “What’s the right thing for the client?”
Designer 1: “X”
Designer 2: “Is there a strong reason not to do X?”
Designer 1: “A bit of a cost in time to us”
Designer 2: “That’s fine, let’s just do the right thing for the client…”


That was number 1 in the list, “Do What’s Right, Always”.


This is a very shortened outline of how we approach brand values for ourselves and our clients. If you'd like to find out more about how we can help your business focus on its values, please get in touch with us today.


The Caffeine Creative team...
We’re a little obsessed with crafting effective designs for print and web.

Autumn Browsing

While getting in the autumnal mood and browsing artwork and illustrations with those vibes I came across the lovely work of Jess Mason.

Read More

Green Therapy

Green therapy or ecotherapy is a term for the nature based approach to help your mental well-being.

Read More

1000 Projects!

We’re celebrating our 1000th significant project… Thank you to everyone who's helped make this happen.

Read More

Mini Did What?

I'm really not picking on Mini (see our other Mini based rant), but for this US version, what's going on?

Read More

Charity Ride - Update

It was a shame to not have a group ride, but we had great weather (unlike last year) and we saw others out there supporting the charity too...

Read More

Charity Ride

I’ve been meaning to do this themed rideout forever and finally I’ve pulled my finger out and sorted my registration for the event. 

Read More

Welsh Cream Tea

In between the ever present showers we've had for summer 2020 we did a very quick photoshoot for Fabulous Welshcakes. 

Read More

Case Study: Laguna Spa

Part of the Park Plaza Hotel in Cardiff, the Laguna Spa is a city centre spa with a customer centric approach to their clients.

Read More

Colours: Yellow

Once upon a time a very straight-talking individual decided he wanted all the interiors of his planes to be very ‘on-brand’.

Read More

Designers Hate...

Welcome to a new series where we pour out our somewhat obsessive overreaction to small-but-hugely-irritating design decisions.

Read More

Case Study: Acuity Law

Acuity Law is a dynamic law company, with a modern organisational structure and an agile, fluid team-centric model.

Read More

Natura Unreal

In this post I just simply wanted to share something that made me go 'wow!' check out these beautiful surrealistic pieces by Luisa Azevedo.

Read More

Digital Zombies

Are we too depenendant on our devices? Are we just 'digital zombies' constantly glued to our phones?

Read More


When discussion with friends turns to books, when I let people know that I enjoy sci-fi novels, I get a certain look...

Read More

Designing With Purpose

One belief we’ve always held close to our heart at Caffeine is that design must not only look good, it absolutely must have purpose.

Read More

Look Big - Quick Look...

The beautiful illustration work by Jeff Östberg really caught my eye and make this a lovely book to flip through.

Read More

Brand Values

Can you remember the values your business settled on? Are they really a part of your daily life in work?

Read More

Animals of the North

A quick post to show off the lovely illustrations in the book, Wild Animals of the North.

Read More

Case Study: Firing Line

Firing Line are a regimental museum that pride themselves on engaging storytelling though their exhibits and artefacts.

Read More

Everyday Magic

A quick post for you today showing you some amazing photographs from the German photographer Lucas Zimmermann.

Read More

Case Study: Barnardo's

A third sector organisation that needs no introduction came to us frustrated at their existing external designer.

Read More

Our New Site

Typically, and this is probably true for many businesses, it took us ages to get our own new site launched. But launched it is...

Read More

Case Study: Forbes

We were approached to look at reinvigorating the brand as a whole, starting with the main element of the logo and then the supporting parts.

Read More

Case Study: FWC

Cardiff based Fabulous Welshcakes asked us to create their full brand and suuporting materials. They are our oldest client...

Read More

Attract Business

Utilise our skills and experience to help you stand out and attract business.

Read More

The Power of Colour

We are surrounded with colour. Every day our lives are enhanced by the colours of nature around us. 

Read More

Just My Type

I recently had the pleasure to come across a little gem of a book dedicated to the world of typefaces.

Read More

Delicate Paper Flowers

Pretty awesome paper flower creations.

Read More

VAT on Print Work

Did you know that VAT is zero on some print items, but not others?

Read More

The Designer Says

“I want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares.”

Read More

Information Is Beautiful

The Effectiveness of Infographics

Read More

Leica M Monochrome

Take a look at this thing of beauty and tell us you don't love the magic and romance of monochrome photography...

Read More

What Makes A Designer

What makes a designer a designer? And why can't anyone do it?...

Read More

Property Releases

Something to Watch Out for...

Read More

Social Media

So, you’ve decided to do it, or it’s been foisted upon you, or you feel you have to be involved with social media because everyone else is. Now what?

Read More

Details, Details, Details

It’s a painting right? Well it take’s a little while to accept it, but it’s actually a hyper-realistic painting by the artist Jason de Graaf.

Read More

Fab Free Font

Lovely retro font from Fontfabric

Read More

Elegant Ampersands

More a Graphic Than Type.

Read More


Really? Why do designers think that I want to be seen in this?

Read More

Design vs Style

Design & Style. Is There a Difference?

Read More


contact us

Contact Us & Let's Talk

We'd love to have the opportunity to work with you, so why not get in touch and see how we can bring something very special to your next project...

Contact Details
t: 029 2009 9550
The Studio
25 Millbrook Heights
Dinas Powys
CF64 4JJ