PRODUCTHEAD: Living your brand values

true product managers wait

Posted on Monday, 21 September 2020


What happens when words and deeds don’t align

More than office decoration: taking a stand on core values

When our values are aligned to the things we create, work doesn’t feel like work

What is meant by the word “brand”


Hot news this week: celebrity outed as being unpleasant IRL! Yes, not exactly a story that would usually even register on my product management radar. Nonetheless it did because it gives us an unintentional object lesson in why your product has to embody your brand values.

For those that have never seen Ellen DeGeneres’s show, its core value is about being nice to people. So when she’s called out by her crew for apparently being mean, it sets her at odds with the brand values of her show, and undermines the implicit trust between the show and its viewers.

In much the same way, your product and company’s actions have to embody the brand values you claim. There’s no point in claiming to put customers first if in practice your service does no such thing.

When behaviour analytics company Hotjar recently discovered that one of their customers was the merchandising website of the Trump-Pence re-election campaign, they deactivated the account and donated the proceeds “to fight racism and injustice.”

Regardless of your political leaning, can you say truthfully that your product and company honour the brand values you speak about publicly?

Speak to you soon,


what to think about this week

Be kind, rewind: Why the tables have turned on Ellen DeGeneres

Less than a year after an awkward interview in which Dakota Fanning called out DeGeneres’s economy with the truth, Ellen’s ratings are reportedly at a 17-year low amid widespread allegations of a toxic workplace culture.

Don’t sell a lie to your customers


Putting our core values to work

“We believe that the values displayed by this organization as a customer of Hotjar are clearly not aligned with our values as a company, and in the spirit of living our value of working with respect, we have decided to take action.”

Stand up for your values


The road less travelled

How do we design more distinctive, credible, and memorable products? Should we work more responsibly, more ethically? What does it mean to solve the problems worth solving?

This is your brand


The power of branding

An organisation’s brand is a whole set of associations which people make when they think about or encounter that business.

A common misconception — and one that designers are always at pains to correct — is that a brand is simply a logo or identity.

What’s the big idea?


Product management coaching

Whether you’re new to product management or have been a product manager for years, a coaching session can help you to step up your career.

We’ve coached people wanting to get into product management, product people with nobody in their organisation to manage them, and experienced product managers preparing to apply for a promotion.

We can help you prepare for your product manager interview, including mock interviews.

A proportion of the fees from every coaching session is donated to charity.

“Jock’s unique blend of soft skills and professional expertise has helped me improve in so many areas around product management.

“He took time to truly understand my challenges, helped me create a plan of actions, and then measured my progress along the way.

“He supported me with valuable information resources and made sure I understood what the problems were and how to solve them. Thank you, Jock!”

Razvan Braghesiu
Razvan Braghesiu
Product Manager, Safebridge

Find out more about product management coaching

recent posts

5 product leadership lessons learnt from the UK’s Ministry of Justice Digital team

Video, slides and transcript of what I learnt about digital transformation and working with autonomous, empowered delivery teams.

If government can change culture, any organisation can


You wouldn’t drive blindfolded, would you?

Imagine yourself jumping into your car, strapping in, and firing up the engine. You have a quick look around then pull on a blindfold before launching yourself into traffic. Likelihood of an accident? (Quite high.)

So why do so many take the exact same approach when it comes to creating products?

Take off the blindfold


Save yourself from product management hell

You know you’re in product management hell when you realise corporate strategy is absent or dysfunctional. I’ve certainly been there. This video shows you how to define your product strategy and use it to (hopefully) influence corporate strategy.

‘Get of hell free’ cards available here


can we help you?

Product People is a product management services company. We can help you through consultancy, training and coaching. Just contact us if you need our help!

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Product People Limited logo

Helping people build better products, more successfully, since 2012.

PRODUCTHEAD is a newsletter for product people of all varieties, and is lovingly crafted from 1980s pop videos.




PRODUCTHEAD is my free curated newsletter of the best articles, videos and podcasts from product leaders and commentators all over the world. All neatly packaged up in a weekly email delivery for your reading, viewing and listening pleasure.

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Jock Busuttil

Jock Busuttil

Freelance head of product, author & founder of My surname tends to come up as ‘Bushtit’ in spell-checkers. I also blog at

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