How I use principles to guide my life and creative thinking

As the new year unfolds, many of us make resolutions—promises that often wane as the initial motivation fades. You’re not alone if you’re familiar with the struggle of keeping these promises. Personally, I discovered that relying on resolutions often leads to disappointment when reality sets in. 

However, there’s an alternative worth exploring: crafting principles instead of promises. Integrating principles into our personal lives becomes a powerful tool, fostering authenticity and helping us stay true to ourselves.

In my own journey, I’ve embraced four guiding principles, serving as my compass through life’s twists and turns: 

“Be kind” is a reminder to approach every interaction with empathy, understanding that kindness creates a ripple effect that extends far beyond the moment.

“Keep learning” is a commitment to continuous growth, recognising that the pursuit of knowledge enriches not only my understanding of the world but also my capacity to contribute meaningfully.

“Embrace change” underscores the inevitability of life’s transformations, encouraging me to adapt with resilience and find opportunities within every shift. Lastly,

“Inspire others” is a guiding light to share insights, experiences, and encouragement, creating a positive impact on those around me.

These personal principles transcend mere mantras; they form the foundation upon which I make decisions and navigate the complexities of life, providing stability and a sense of purpose aligned with my core values. 

Just as these guiding principles shape my life, a similar philosophy underpins my approach to branding. In the realm of branding, a set of principles becomes a profound guide, steering the crafting of a brand that is meaningful, purposeful, and authentic. Let’s unpack this…

Crafting Brands with Purpose

In branding, guiding principles are often drawn from the core values and mission that a brand aspires to embody. Similar to the personal principles shaping my life, these brand principles serve as the distilled values and beliefs that underpin a brand’s existence and purpose. Importantly, principles can be influenced by insights.

Discovering these insights requires a deep dive. At the Brand Pool, we delve into the intricacies of our clients’ businesses, unearthing insights that provide a comprehensive understanding of their challenges and audiences. These uncovered truths become the bedrock for defining guiding principles that, in turn, direct our creative solutions.

We use them specifically to influence our work, from selecting the right colours and fonts to crafting a compelling brand story. When guiding principles are well-defined, they feel authentic, resonate with customers and set brands apart from their competition.

For Newcastle’s destination brand, ‘Visit Newcastle,’ we developed a set of principles that ensured the work we produced felt genuine, compelling and authentically Newie, these were:

  • Curious – Playing to the mindset of the Curious Pioneer archetype by positioning Newcastle as an exciting destination to discover.


  • Offbeat – Capturing the flavour of Newcastle, the essence that differentiates it from its neighbours, Port Stephens and the Central Coast.


  • Compact: Unlike other cities, there are a huge variety of experiences on offer in such a compact destination. It’s 15 minutes to anywhere in Newcastle.

These principles serve as the foundation of our creative process, defining Newcastle as a unique place where old meets new, where post-industrial heritage meets creative coastal culture, and where curiosity is rewarded with unique experiences across a range of key themes. It’s a destination where everything is on your doorstep, from a stunning coastline to vibrant nightlife, bush walks and mountain bike trails to city markets and boutique shopping.

Through these principles, we extend an invitation for the curious to immerse themselves in the vibrant essence of Newcastle and to shift perceptions, transforming the city from an industrial hub to a thriving community of artisans, creators, innovators, and influencers.

Use principles to blaze your own trail

Principles, acting as a compass for decision-making, not only streamline processes but also contribute to a cohesive brand direction, often resulting in genuine differentiation. When a brand adheres to principles that authentically reflect its values, it effortlessly sets itself apart from the competition in a truly authentic manner.

Take, for instance, Lake Macquarie City, where the principles of Community, Nature, and Opportunity played a pivotal role in crafting a brand that stood out in a competitive destination market.

This carefully defined framework allows the brand to spotlight the people, environment, and economic opportunities inherent to the region. It serves as an open invitation to discover, invest, work, collaborate, live, play, and explore.

Foundations for Stability and Adaptability

Brands anchored in strong guiding principles achieve long-term success, providing stability and adaptability. For ASIC’s Employee Value Proposition, we shifted the principles of ‘Trust,’ ‘Accountability,’ and ‘Teamwork’ to principles of ‘Innovation,’ ‘Transformation,’ and ‘Purpose,’ positioning ASIC as a 21st-century employer. The EVP brand became an invitation to become change agents in transforming Australia’s financial sector.

Ready to dive into a principle-led world?

Discovering the power of principles in crafting authentic brands and impactful campaigns has been a game-changer for us. Their authenticity and clear direction resonate with audiences seeking genuine connections, fostering trust and enduring relationships.

In both life and branding, principles are pivotal in defining authenticity, purpose, and uniqueness. Just as personal principles guide my path, at The Brand Pool, we integrate these principles into every branding project. By delving deep, unearthing insights, and shaping guiding principles, we bring brands to life, fostering genuine connections and lasting success.

If you’re looking to create a brand that genuinely resonates with your audience, let’s work together. Connect with us, and together, we’ll provide your brand with the clarity and direction it needs to thrive authentically.

Ready to get started? Let’s craft your brand’s story with purposeful principles.

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