Rise and Shine

Emotional Branding: Understanding Your Vision, Value, & Passion

Photo of Sarah GrattonI first coined the Vision Value Passion (VVP) connection back in 2011 at a speech I gave for Cambridge University.  To me and, to many others in the social media sphere, the quintessential principles of personal branding begin and end with attributes – those seen by others and those inherently understood on a subconscious, emotional level.  In essence, it made sense to conceptualize the core essence of the personal brand in this way.


So what exactly do I mean by the Vision Value Passion (VVP) connection?

The Vision, Value, Passion (VVP) Connection is the synergetic union of attributes that makes up brand you. To help you to better understand its power, there’s an exercise I’ve devised and used with many clients to enable them to understand and fully utilize their Vision, Value Passion (VVP) Connection.   Set aside at least an hour for this, as it needs your absolute focus and attention in order to provide maximum benefits in building your brand.  I promise you that it will be one of the most productive hours you’ve ever spent.



Start by considering what your vision and your purpose are in life.  And, here’s where it gets clever – I want you to look at this question from both an external (the bigger picture) and an internal perspective (how you are emotionally driven to it) to clarify exactly what is it and how you feel you might best realize it.  Now, think about one problem that you want to see transformed and improved in your life.  What role might your vision play in solving this?  On many occasions, the problem solution often turns out to be the vision itself.  Your role in making it happen is your ‘purpose.’



What are your personal values, your moral boundaries, and your guiding principles?  For example, honesty, integrity, sensitivity, enthusiasm, inner strength, and pride are all examples of the values we hold, both for ourselves, and for others.  Take time to write down your values.  Now, think carefully about where you feel your value system came from and note your conclusions down alongside your values.  


One of the best methods of achieving this is through simple word association.  It can take practice, but word association can be a great tool in uncovering your inner belief system.  Say each of your personal values aloud and write down the first word that comes into your head when you hear it, followed by the second, and then the third.  Repeat this process for each of your values and the results will surprise you.  The unconscious mind holds on to those core beliefs that drive our values every day, the ones that our conscious mind has filed away.  This exercise helps you to unlock your values and is incredibly powerful and cathartic.



What fascinates you most?  What activities, interests, and topics put a spring in your step and have you leaping out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning, or talking about excitedly with others?  Whether it’s wine tasting, bungee-jumping, music, theatre, or ice-hockey, write down all the things you are passionate about.  Now consider how your passions connect to the things you do best.  Look at your personal statement and see how it ties in with your passions and interests. Every connection you come to see and understand is another brush-stroke in the portrait of brand you


Vision Value Passion

Using the information gathered from these excercises, you will begin to develop a brand that is highly relatable.


Charging your Personal Brand with Emotional Equity

Remember that the emotional brain is far more powerful than the logical brain — we remember how people make us feel far more than we remember their actions.  It’s the feeling behind the doing that rules in life.


Dawn Leijon, Professor of Marketing at Georgetown University and former brand manager for Kraft, put it this way:


“Branding isn’t about logos, slogans, or advertising — those are just tools. Branding is about making people remember your organization, service or product and what’s unique about it.”


Your brand resides in the minds, and hearts, of your customers, clients, connections, and prospects.  It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, and can be influenced by a plethora of factors.  Branding provides true social and revenue-based value in a crowded marketplace where emotions rule our purchasing decisions on a subconscious level every day.


Your brand is a promise to your customers.  Its fabric is woven with your personal brand statement and should be threaded through all other aspects of your social and professional contact.


Understanding your Vision, Value, Passion (VVP) connection is seeing your personal brand fabric in all it’s multicoloured glory.  My exercise will help you do so and, once you truly understand it’s pattern, you’ll be ready to step onto the social media runway and make a real impact.


Extracts taken from ‘Follow Me: Building a Personal Brand With Twitter’ (Wiley, 2012) by Sarah-Jayne Gratton  #FollowMe .  Available wherever books and ebooks are sold www.wiley.com/buy/9781118336342‘”  

Sarah-Jayne Gratton
Latest posts by Sarah-Jayne Gratton (see all)


  1. Sarah-Jayne, are you living inside my head? Although not identical, your VVP resonates with my VAB – values, attitudes, beliefs – something that I’ve taught for over 25 years now. Wonderful article, focused on what is important…the importance/value we bring to those we serve. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Thanks so much Kaarina.  It seems we are synced on this concept and I’m glad that my article held such resonance for you.  It’s always great to read your insightful feedback 🙂

  2. Brenda Pancratz /

    Insightful indeed! And could not agree more. I love this ladies/your 🙂 posts. As I watch and learn. You are truly one of my teachers.

  3. Bob Warren /

    My Comment is I’m Re posting on my blog…………:)

  4. Robert /

    Love this…….many times I don’t factor in my emotions when it pertains to my vision. The funny thing is my vision has grown because of my emotional commitment to my vision….Love this…need this today!!!

  5. Irene /

    This is a very informative and important article, in the language of social media.  Sarah-Jayne is the teacher of social media and she is always coming up with new and creative ways to help us understand our brand better.  Thanks so much, this is brilliant!

  6. Emmanuelordinanza /

    Very interesting and valuable indeed! Thanks for sharing to the world!

  7. eleanorjodway /

    A Great Excerpt!  I must say….I do not have a Brand, as You know.  But I still did the exercises, and was surprised what My subconscious mind had stored, and how that was vested within My life.  I agree 100% that people remember the way they are left feeling by their interaction with others, (whether in person, on the phone, via the written word, or by reputation/access to a brand), rather than what You actually do/or are, for that matter.  I am the “Classic” example of that really.  I am relatively obscure.  I have no Brand, No Business, no visible notoriety; in comparison to many people on Twitter.  And I have done nothing of any real importance in My life.  But, I am viewed very highly online.  I am kind, compassionate, honest and most if all…”Engaging”.  And this is what shapes people’s perceptions of Me!   Thank You once again for a Fabulous Share/peek into the new book Sarah!  🙂

    • Ellie your true engagement adds daily value to so many.  Your brand shines in every respect.  Thanks so much for your comments.

    • I have always felt a close affinity with users like you Ellie, and I would consider being a modest “engager” a very important part of the puzzle. For some people the most important thing that has ever happened to them is that somebody cared enough to engage them. For others, perpetuating their own conversation is dependent on people who don’t care to acknowledge what they’re doing.

  8. “The “pulse” of emotional concepts inclusive in branding has been taken and should in-turned be read by those interested in its social media vitality!” -Tracey Bond, published author @tracey007bond #probeautymissionpossible

  9. Thank you all for the great feedback and comments.  The concept of emotional branding is not a new one but it’s found a new identity and meaning through social media streams and I hope that I’ve managed to make that resonate through this article.  Your continued feedback and thoughts are always much appreciated.

  10. Wow, I learn something new every time I read something written by you. Thank you, as always, for your insight! xo

  11. It was so good I sent it to myself to read again!

  12. Thanks so much Diana and, likewise, your tweets and posts are not only inspirational but they always bring a smile to my face, as well as brightening the days of so many. You are truly a social media goddess.

  13. So glad you found it useful Mike 🙂

  14. Cheri Essner /

    Great way to keep yourself on track to live life to the fullest!

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