Monica Cost

*Excellence. Consideration. Connection. Status. Credibility. Balance. These are just a few of many values that one can have. Understanding your values will give you a great compass for your brand message. Since your Brand Message is your promise to the world about what you stand for, identifying these is critical to authenticity. What are your top five values? For a complete listing, go to Tools at

If you truly value integrity, then your brand should convey it. The same goes for values, such as, consideration, altruism, fairness, sensitivity and all of the others. Sometimes the values we claim are not always the ones we hold our actions up against. Congruency and consistency are both common traits of great brands. Can people expect these from you at a minimum?

If you find it difficult to choose your top values, here is a way you can assess them. Think about situations and circumstances that make you behave in ways uncharacteristic to you or make you keep coming back to a point you want to make or simply make your blood boil. This usually happens when something is causing friction with what you believe. And, since our thoughts and feelings affect our behavior (what people identify as our character), having a good grip on them is important to your brand message.

If you have any doubts that your brand message is important to your success. Take a look at Charlie Sheen, Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Janet Jackson, Angelina Jolie, John Mayer, Kobe Bryant, Tom Cruise and others. These individuals appeared to make decisions without consulting their true value compass, which ultimately led to the sacrifice of their positive personal brand message.

What are your top values? What is your brand message? Do make decisions that support what you say your personal brand message is? What can people expect from you, at a minimum? Begin with understanding your values.

Monica Cost is communications strategist, brand manager and respected corporate and motivational speaker. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a brand & talent management firm.  Email her at:  [email protected]. Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and