A bit of inspiration to start the week with

Its-not-hard, typographic print by Dan at Ditto, Sevenoaks

I was recently talking to Sarah Rogers of Riverhill Gardens about the things that make Riverhill a truly special place to visit. And she really made me think. Sarah is incredibly passionate about Riverhill, and the commercial side of the gardens is very much driven by the families' own values and beliefs - to treat people fairly, be true to your word and to value family members of all ages. Her words struck a chord with me; 'I cannot bear the sorts of tourist attractions that merely pay lip service to valuing younger visitors, telling visitors all sorts of nonsense about children being catered for and thinking that installing a playground will have that box ticked. We truly care about our young visitors and treat them as young learners, not just kids'. The thing is, Sarah really does make sure that her brand values shine at every opportunity. As we map out the Guide Book that we're currently working on together, there's been careful consideration given to catering for the younger audience as much as the keen horticulturalists who visit Riverhill, and this thought process carries through to the entire experience that Riverhill offers.

Many businesses treat their values as nothing more than a marketing exercise, and that's a big mistake.

Your values help form the brand personality that your project into the world, which forms a big part of creating the type of emotional bonds that will help prospects to engage with you. And when you know what these values are, and truly live them at every level of your business, you'll have a deep understanding of how your business should behave, making all of your decisions much easier.

I'm really interested in the values by which our clients run their businesses, so I have a challenge for you: List 3 of your businesses' values today, and review them at the end of the week. Were you true to them each and every day? If not, what needs to change?