What are the core values of your business? Part of effective communication through content marketing is knowing what your brand is and what it’s not. The purpose of your organisation should be the driving force behind any messages you transmit, so it’s absolutely imperative this is defined and documented to frame the rest of your content marketing strategy.
Where many brands go wrong is defining their core values based on how they see their business. This is a problematic approach that prohibits brands from engaging with their audience as effectively as they could be.
“I started this business with a vision”
How many times do you see corporate communications use the above line to begin describing their business? The thing is, a business evolves significantly from an original concept, and holding on to the same purpose from the beginning of your journey can be dangerous.
Take Hasbro, for example. The brand began in 1923 and operated for 20 years as a textiles trader. It took the company 20 years to begin producing children’s toys. Hasbro hasn’t looked back since. Imagine if they still defined their values in terms of their durable, high-quality materials.
What your brand needs to understand is your core values are not simply what your organisation defines them to be; they are also what your customers perceive and define for themselves.
The case of multiple products/services
Brands also often get into trouble when they have varying products, sometimes for varying target markets.
Kodak, for example, ran into difficulties when they attempted to market themselves as a chemicals company. Although chemicals are at the core of all of their products, this positioning didn’t match the value their customers took from their products — which was the ability to capture moments and memories.
[tweet]Holding on to the same purpose from the beginning of your business journey can be dangerous.[/tweet]
The need for an outside-in perspective
What brands need when defining the purpose and values of their brand is an outside-in perspective. Brands must consider questions such as:
- “What value do customers receive from our products or services?”
- “What creates repeat business for our brand?”
- “What is of the highest priority to our buyers?”
- “What makes us competitive in our market?”
The combination of the answers to these questions will inform what your true core values are. If you start to see repetitive qualities coming through, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
At Lush, we address a brand’s need for an outside perspective through our Messaging Workshop. In the workshop we consider organisational capabilities alongside the value they bring to each buyer. Following the workshop, we create a messaging framework addressing how to deliver your key messages to each segment of your target audience, keeping the entire team (and your brand) singing from the same hymn sheet.
If you’d like help defining and documenting your core values in a messaging framework, contact Lush – The Content Agency.