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And how to use them as inspiration to develop your brand narrative.
As a brand, I’m quite sure you’ve been drilled on the importance of your core values as a cornerstone of your business. But they should not be left on the pages of your business plan. A string of words hanging on your wall or decorating your desktop wallpaper.You want your core values to be at the center of your content. Because you want your content to connect on a human level, and values are intrinsic to who we are. Tweet Me
Furthermore, you want a community of people to form around you, support and validate your message and your efforts (product or service.) You call out to them with your values.
Why Core Values?
Your brand and business’ core values are everything you stand for and the solid foundation you stand on. And you must stand up for something.
Being clear and communicating the principles you uphold and promote is what will bring the “right” people to you; those who also feel or want to engage with the same kind of values.
How can you connect with your values?
You have to make the best use of your content as a way to communicate those values, in your words and visuals, your perspective on real-life concerns, and your solutions.
First, you must know your core values and feel they align with who you are, your brand, your business, your goals and the way you want to achieve those goals.
Second, you must make sure those values align with the personal values of the people you are trying to reach and draw toward your brand, business, product or service.
Third, you must find creative ways to project and communicate your core values to your audience in a multitude of ways, consistently.
What if my brand/business values are uncommon or unknown?
Your core values don’t need to be upheld by the masses. You don’t have to stand for something you don’t believe just because is popular or trendy.
The point of setting and communicating your core values is precisely creating a space of differentiation, of belonging.
Your core values can include commonly accepted values, out of the box values or a unique approach or interpretation of familiar values, to weed out some or draw in a smaller crowd.
As long as your values don’t condone beliefs and behaviors that cause harm to individuals and communities, they don’t need to be upheld by all to be and feel true to you and your tribe.
Just to give you a point of reference, here are some great examples of brand and business core values:
Zappos Family Core Values (top 3):
- Deliver WOW Through Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
Ikea’s Core Values (top 3):
- Humbleness and willpower
- Leadership by example
- Daring to be different
Amazon’s Leadership Principles (top 3):
- Customer obsession
- Invent and simplify
(Read the whole article about brand and business values and complete least of examples curated by CultBranding.com)
7 Tactics to Design Content from Values:
Remember, the goal of your content is to draw people in. Every piece of content is a piece of your narrative. And your narrative comes from your experiences, your perspective, and your values.
With that in mind, let’s try these content creation tactics:
- What is different or unique about your business or brand? Highlight these differences in your content. Try to limit yourself to one unique value proposition per piece, and tackle each UVP from different perspectives, situations or scenarios.
- Why should your audience care? How do your values relate to your audience and how do they inspire them into a new, unique or transformative experience? You can achieve this by telling your story, and making that story connect with them.
- How do these values represent and showcase your passions, and how do they spark your audience to feel passionate about your message? This type of content can be highly entertaining. It also shows leadership and motivates your audience to take action. Those who act and engage consistently with your brand and business become your tribe.
- What gets you out of bed in the morning? This will be similar but not the same as the content showcasing your passions. This content will answer the question: What problems do I feel, see and know my audience has and how have I made it my purpose to connect, and generating unique and practical solutions for them.
- What about the current reality or obstacle you and your audience face makes you want to work hard at coming up with new solutions? You can use a piece of content to voice a great concern or wrong, you can point toward the negative, toward the pain you share.
- How is your brand and business there to support your values? With this type of educational content, you support your audience, you provide a solution. You want to be of service to them.
- How do your values empower your audience and how does your content give them the tools, ideas, and strategies to bring about their own transformation? Finally, you inform and educate about your product or services, and cement the relationship, moving people from followers and fans into clients and customers.
When you apply these simple content creation tactics to build your content around the foundation of your values, you’ll generate authentic content every time.
So, do you feel your brand and business is in sync with your core values? It’s okay to reassess and edit our values periodically, as your brand and business (and You) change and evolve!
On our next weekly post, we’ll talk about why your business should have a blog…Get a head start on the topic with this CreativeLive Course: Your successful creative blog