Brand values are core to your brand’s DNA, just like mission and vision statements. If you haven’t firmed up your company or client’s brand values yet, you definitely should.
You might want to breeze past brand values and get straight to the good stuff (your marketing plan), but don’t be quick to leave them in the dust. Brand values have a huge influence on consumer buying behaviour and brand affinity.
Mastering how you communicate yours can help you skyrocket your social presence and customer loyalty.
What Are Brand Values?
Brand values are different from a company mission/vision statement. They communicate your brand’s identity, moral alignment, and personality more than mission and vision do.
They represent the personality, moral values, and core principles that guide a company. They also provide a reason for why a company does something, like support a non-profit or run a social responsibility campaign.
Brand values span across the board. They can be anything so long as they are the guiding push behind a brand’s action: feminism, sustainability, accessibility, equity etc.
These can be general or extremely niche. For example, a clothing brand that values accessibility could run a co-marketing/branding t-shirt campaign with a Toronto accessibility company because they value accessibility.
Brand values are limitless. You can use them in virtually any marketing campaign to add a creative and personal edge to your brand.
Why Share Brand Values On Social?
Clearly, social is essential to your marketing mix. What’s even more important is developing a current brand personality that you can leverage to share your brand values.
You want to come off as organic while having your content look like something your audience would naturally see in their feed.
Being active on social with native, organic content helps. Crafting a story around your brand values that resonates with your audience is even better.
Consumers are increasingly aware and interested in company social impact (which probably isn’t news to you). It’s one of the driving forces behind consumer purchases, especially in the millennial demographic.
For example, A 2017 Cone study revealed that 87 percent of people said they would purchase a product based on the brand’s values and their brand affinity.
If you’re trying to get your audience to connect with you, then you should take sharing your brand values seriously. This virtue alone will help establish the type of audience-brand affinity you (and they) are looking for.
Creating Brand Value Oriented Social Campaigns
Example One: Patagonia
Patagonia is one of the reigning champions of showcasing their company mission, vision, and brand values. Take one look at their social feed, website, or brick and mortar stores and you’ll see it permeate everything.
Core Brand Values: environmental and social sustainability, outdoor sporting
Patagonia constantly works on “operating in a way that improves the planet and its societies.”
This permeates the company culture, product, marketing, and social media marketing. They do this by supporting sustainable processes, activists, and political and environmental initiatives.
View this post on Instagram
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard reminds you that democracy requires showing up. This is our opportunity to elect leaders who listen, and who will make a difference in determining the future of our social and environmental policy for years to come. On November 6, #MidtermsMatter. Head to the profile link to check your voter registration, find your polling place and to make a voting plan.
Famous CEO, Yvonne Chouinard encouraging Patagonia followers to be more politically active.
For example, the company is committed to donating 1% of their profit to supporting environmental grassroots organizations in addition to working hard to make environmentally sustainable products.
Patagonia shares an inside look into their warranty policy by putting personality and faces behind it.
One huge reason why Patagonia is so popular in their outdoor sporting domain is because their consumer community aligns with their brand values while contributing to them and exhibiting them.
Jeremy Jones, famous snowboarder, encouraging Patagonia followers to vote in the midterm elections.
Patagonia effectively mobilizes their audience in their social media feeds by sharing stories that relate to their audience and their brand mission.
Example Two: Sephora
Sephora, the iconic cosmetic retailer, has put the pedal to the metal on its brand value marketing campaigns. These values drive their marketing efforts, their in-store aesthetic, their in-store team, and their brand voice.
Core brand values: individuality, inclusion, self-expression
Sephora makes it clear that the products they sell aren’t made for any single type of person. They also use user generated content that displays this while simultaneously teaching their audience how to use their products.
If you browse their Instagram feed you’ll quickly see how they support their community members who exhibit these values. For example, they share tutorials and masterclasses that belong to the colourful people (celebs, makeup artist icons, influencers, and more) who make up their community.
Sephora supports diversity and all the social causes that come along with this.
You’ll also clearly see what social missions the brand supports and why they do it. They cleverly intertwine makeup content with social activism and support for marginalized groups, people of colour, and the LGTBQ community. They proudly support different people by sharing user generated content and branded content that explores their complex, intersectional community.
You’ll quickly see this permeate their brand if you take a step into their stores where photos of diverse, confident people proudly show their style in confidence, and men and women (yes, trans people too) help you with incredible customer service and makeup skills.
Sephora instantly shaped itself into an iconic cosmetic retailer that celebrates diversity, pride, and confidence in the human spirit (whatever shape and colour it is).
Some of the biggest, most iconic, and most popular brands today are shifting their content and marketing strategy to reflect their brand values.
They are incorporating these values into every outward-facing component of their brand from product marketing, to in-store aesthetic, to social media content, to general brand marketing.
These brands are taking a stand and boldly saying, “this is who we are, and this is what we support.”
In doing so, they solidify their brand identities and mobilize their audience in support of their brand. Companies are effectively driving their audience’s passion and love for social issues towards their brands. It’s all about empathy and ethos.
However and whatever you choose your brand values to be, make sure you’re communicating them to your audience effectively.
Who knows, you might help your next client become the next Sephora or Patagonia😉.
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