Nearly every company has a brand that communicates its culture and mission. However, most of us have never considered what our family’s culture and mission is all about. What does our family stand for to determine our greater purpose?
We are missing an opportunity to apply the benefits of corporate branding to our families—to define our values and priorities in a way that can help us strengthen our relationships, improve our communities and possibly increase our wealth.
We reached out to Chris Smith, the founder of The Campfire Effect. His latest venture is called The Family Brand.
Why a Family Brand?
Smith believes the crucial driver to create healthier connections, better leaders, greater prosperity and a stronger overall society is how intentional each family is in defining what they believe, value and stand for.
Think about the many outside influences (such as social media) that act on us every day. If we don’t consciously define who we are and who we want to be, the world will do it for us.
What’s needed is a way to build a shield to block all that out, then use that space to spell out what you and your loved ones actually care about as individuals and as members of a family.
Many families say they have stronger connections with each other when they spell out their shared values—they are happier and enjoy being around each other more than they did prior to creating their family brand.
It may be a way of getting clarity on their shared values and goals that could mitigate some of the biggest threats that families today face—like divorce, depression and drug abuse—by intentionally keeping family members on the same page.
A family brand can also potentially benefit your family’s net worth. Talking with children and grandchildren about family values and responsibilities, and how money can play a role, can lay the groundwork for smarter, more responsible habits around spending, saving and investing. Children can potentially use inherited wealth not just to live more authentic and meaningful lives but also to better support their communities—instead of letting the money ruin them.
The Three Pillars of a Family Brand
A family brand consists of three core pillars: Culture, Language and Experiences.
1. Culture is how you connect as a family. There is a culture that exists in your home right now, even if you’ve never defined it. Identify it and assess whether it’s the right culture for you.
One way to assess the mindset you bring to family situations: Do you approach family with an attitude of scarcity and complaints—or of possibility and creation?
Important: A key part of making a family culture real is leadership and ownership. Otherwise, you never actualize your culture—it just words on paper. For example, you won’t live a culture of respect, if you do not recognize that you are constantly yelling at each other.
2. Language is how you declare your values. The language we use to describe things creates our environment. If “can’t” and “what you should be doing is…” are common phrases, the environment is very different from the environment where “you got this” and “anything is possible” is commonly said.
Family branding involves the creation of three key written documents:
• A mission statement detailing what you stand for today
• A vision statement spelling out what you want to be known for going forward
• A values statement showing the principles you will live by
3. Experiences means taking a stand for what you want to create as a family. Creating the experiences using tools such as:
• A connection blueprint. A document that details the specific things going on in your family when you all feel extremely connected and life together seems to run smoothly.
• A traditions audit. Most of us are “on autopilot” with our traditions. So start by auditing what you do on a regular basis and assess whether those actions truly serve your ideal family vision and values. Traditions that might not serve your family well are taken off your list. Other traditions— like camping in a nearby state park— maybe more highly valued by your family than “blowout” traditions like big vacations.
Define your family’s values and shape your own way forward, don’t let outside forces do it for you! Your family’s physical, emotional and financial health could all be stronger if you do.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by the VFO Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group working with affluent individuals and families and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2020 by AES Nation, LLC.
This report is intended to be used for educational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation to purchase any security or advisory services. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. An investment in any security involves significant risks and any investment may lose value. Refer to all risk disclosures related to each security product carefully before investing. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Kevin Best and Best Times Financial Planning are not affiliated with AES Nation, LLC.