Bravely’s Boring Brand Values

Photo via Twenty20

I’ve been looking forward to defining Bravely’s brand values since we came up with the idea almost a year ago. I’ve always LOVED this part of forming a new company: you get to map out this ideological blueprint and North Star that informs and guides everything you do, from building your product’s next feature to creating content to defining how team members work and make decisions together.

This time it was clearly feeling extra special and exciting. Given the sensitive and stressful nature of the workplace conflicts we’re helping people tackle, we feel (rightful) pressure to build an experience and brand that inspires confidence and comfort. Plus, this is my first CEO title, and the first time I’ve served as the ultimate guardian of those brand values — a responsibility I don’t take lightly. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, which has fueled my excitement, and the weight I assign the exercise.

Because of this level of ownership, I’d also been fantasizing about how Bravely’s brand values were going to be GROUND-BREAKING. People would be clamoring to write about these earth-shattering, enlightening, well-articulated and highly inventive brand values for decades to come. We’d cleverly invent language that upon hearing, everyone would nod or offer a soft “wow”, and quietly appreciate our genius.

This week we codified our brand values, and it turns out they’re actually pretty non-inventive. Maybe even a little boring and straightforward. But I’m really excited about this turn of events.

We ended up with values that everyone will recognize — but that doesn’t mean that they speak any less to who we are and who we will be. I realized that they should speak to the people we serve everyday, and not become this overly academic or esoteric exercise that only we understood and felt good about. They should be the anchors, the pillars, the bedrock of everything we do, and as such, they should speak simply and directly to our purpose.

Having pre-ambled and pre-rambled long enough, here are our kinda boring but awesome brand values:

TRUST

No amount of writing could ever fully capture how fundamental we consider trust as a primary driver of our business. Employees have to know that they’re protected, that everything they share with us is confidential and can never come back to bite them. Similarly, companies need to know that we’ll serve their organizations during difficult times, and be a trusted steward of their culture.

EXPERTISE

We know the circumstances in which we’re helping our customers are stressful and fraught with complex challenges. Because of that, it’s fundamental that everything we do is informed by the knowledge and experience of the Pros with whom we work. These situations leave no room for amateurs.

OPTIMISM

We genuinely believe that whatever someone is going through, there is a path forward that we can help them identify. With enough diligence, thoughtfulness and positivity, we believe that we can define a game plan that works for employees that their employers.

INTEGRITY

We debated leading our list with this value, but we’ve always relished a strong finish. At the end of the day, we seek to do the right thing and stand up for what’s right. Even if that means making tough decisions (or giving people tough feedback that will absolutely help them in the long run). It might not always be easy, but it will always be what we’re committed to.

There you have it. These principles are Bravely and Bravely is these principles. They’re not earth shattering, but they set the stage for great things to come.