Nailing down your brand values is important, but if you don’t take action, they mean nothing. Learn how to embody your core brand values and communicate them to your ideal audience for maximum impact.
Determining your core brand values in and of itself can do amazing things for your brand. However, in the grand scheme of your brand strategy, it’s only part of the brand pie. The other half? Taking those brand values and implementing them within your business.
Yes, you can throw them up on your website or sprinkle them into your Instagram captions, but they won’t hold any weight if you’re not actually following those words up with action. When you truly embody your brand values, it shows, and you build trust.
However, the flip side is also true – if your values don’t mean anything to your brand and they’re just words that sound good, you end up eroding the trust between you and your community.
So, how do you implement those values in your business, in a way that’s not only effective but is also aligned with your brand vision and personality?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Let’s dive in!
In This Article
Why do brand values matter?
Think about the last networking event you attended and who you connected with right off the bat – it probably had something to do with finding a shared belief or quality that you could further discuss. As humans, we naturally connect with others who share the same beliefs and values that we hold sacred. And guess what? The same is true for the consumer-brand relationship. Consumers, community members, your audience – they more easily connect with a brand when they find shared values and beliefs. And that connection means trust – and if you’ve been here for any length of time, you know how important trust is to building a strong brand that supports your business.
In addition, brand values can guide your business in making the next right decision. This can be everything from whether or not to hire a contractor/employee, to embarking on a new partnership. When you make a decision by filtering it through your brand values, you are making sure the decision is made from a place that will serve your business, rather than what you may be feeling in the moment.
Where to start with brand value communication
The first step in understanding HOW to communication your values is to first gain clarity on the potential communication opportunities. Said another way: where are all the touch points that can be used to communicate (written, verbal, action-based) your core values as a brand?
Grab a pen and a paper. Write down one value and then brainstorm alllllllll the ways in which that value can be expressed or communicated. Repeat for all your brand’s core values until you have a pretty solid list and understanding of how your brand values can show up.
For example, let’s say your brand values communication. That value can be portrayed through a quick response time, replying to all comments on your blog and social media, making clients feel comfortable enough to ask questions, asking for feedback and actually listening to the responses.
You might be saying to yourself, “Well, that’s overwhelming. Because the possibilities are endless.” Yes, that’s true but here’s the thing – there is no right or wrong answer. The point is to understand your options when articulating how your brand COULD embody and communicate the core values that you have defined.
Also, keep in mind that even if you and I share the same brand value, our responses may be different. And that’s totally okay! Those communication differences are what make your brand unique.
Brand value communication audit
Now that you have the big picture of potential brand value communication within your business, it’s time to do a brand value communication audit.
Similar to the brand strategy audit, this process means you’ll take a look at every brand touch point and ask yourself whether or not the experience aligns with your core brand values.
The high level question to ask yourself: Is the experience clearly reflecting what you value as a brand?
Remember, your community is smart. They can smell the bullshit a million miles away. So if you say communication is your number one brand value but you consistently miss emails and don’t respond to messages in a timely manner, are you really embodying that core value?
When we talk about the mismatch between action and words, actions will always overpower what you say. And if there’s a discrepancy between the two, trust goes down and confusion goes up. Which of course isn’t doing your brand or business any favors.
Key tips for effectively communicating your core values
Okay, you identified the various communication opportunities and have also audited your brand’s current communication efforts. Now what?
Now, it’s time to implement. I have a few key suggestions to walk through that will help you with this process, and similar to defining your brand’s values, communicating them to your audience isn’t something that has to happen over night.
Which brings me to my first tip. You don’t have to plaster your values everywhere, all the time. If you haven’t been intentional about articulating your core values, it might seem uncomfortable, awkward or out of integrity if you start sharing them everywhere. Instead, ease into it in a way that’s aligned with your overall brand experience. Perhaps you start sharing them internally so you can get your team on board. Then, pick a marketing channel and work them into your content. From there, build them into other aspects of your brand strategy.
Second, communicating your core brand values doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually say ‘this is what I value’. Instead, think about whether or not the value can be assumed based on the actions. Because actions, more often than not, speak louder than words and can be a lot more effective in establishing trust with your community.
On the flip side, it can be as easy as posting them on your website. Your business’s about page is a perfect spot for showcasing what you value as a brand. Think about how you can expand on that value – not just posting the word and leaving it at that but really diving into what the value means for your business and why it’s a value in the first place. The more clarification you can provide, the more opportunity for connecting with the reader.
Tip number four? Work them into your client experience, process and/or system. Building on tip number two, actions do speak volumes for what your brand represents so having your values come through while working with a client can do wonders for building that trust. In fact, I would argue that the client experience is a great starting point for brand value implementation.
And tip number five – remember to hold regular check-ins on the communication plan. What I mean by this is communicating your brand values isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ type of thing. Your values play a significant role in your business so doing a quick audit every few months is a great way to make sure you’re fully leaning into their support.
All my best,
Haven’t defined your own brand values yet? Check out this post!
Still not sold that brand values are important for your business? This post walks through how values guide business decisions.
Catch the branding bug and want even more brand-building information? Read this post, all about building a strong brand foundation for your business.
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