“Companies use core values to help define their culture and give weight to their brand. But for too many businesses, core values are nothing more than a collection of empty, hollow words.” I overheard this statement during a presentation at the February ADVISA Inspire Conference, and it stopped me in my tracks.

Brand values aren’t just words you believe in. They’re how you live out those beliefs every day. While some may be demonstrated more prominently than others, they each contribute to how you collectively show up as a brand. So how do you engage your team to “talk the talk” and” walk the walk” of your brand?

Train ‘em.

Don’t underestimate the value of spending time dedicated to training your team on your key brand pillars like voice, tone and values. Maybe you’ve just completed a rebrand. Maybe not? Spending time rehearsing, role playing specific scenarios your team will encounter and providing tangible, real life feedback and direction on the appropriately branded response is critical to creating genuine buy in.

And it’s not just enough to train on the “words” of our mission, vision, values. We have to train on the stories that help tell the WHY behind them and demonstrate how we live them out every day.

Looking for a way to get started in defining (or redefining) your company values? Need some help in crafting your team’s brand value stories? Check out a brand values activity we recently published here. You can also download some of our fun brand eVALUEation cards to recognize your team as they live out the values that are important to you. Recognizing and rewarding for the behaviors you want is critical!



“The training with Willow was a training trifecta: engaging, informative and highly applicable for our recent brand launch!”-
December LeTexier
Vice President – Organizational Capacity and Professional Education | Indiana Youth Institute