Using Your Brand Values To Communicate Better With Your Audience
We've talked often about brand messaging and defining the key messages of your brand, but where do they come from? How do you find the messages you want to communicate and actually communicate them? It might all seem confusing, but it's actually a simple concept.
Communicating with your audience (i.e potential customers) all starts with knowing your business, knowing your audience, and discovering what matters to you both.
KNOWING YOUR BUSINESS AND WHAT IT VALUES
Finding your brand values should, hopefully, be reasonably easy for you. Chances are there are few things that really really matter to you and your business, that either effect the way in which you run your business or are the very reason you started your business in the first place.
Those things you care about? They can become your brand values.
Good communication + good customer service might sound like the typical values of a company, but they're boring, vague, and honestly should be a pillar of your communication standards regardless. Your potential customers care about these things, yes, but they expect them to be the norm in all businesses.
So here's an example of some of our own values, which are not only specific in their wording, but specific to the way in which we use them in our business.
We believe in feminism that is inclusive of all people. We aim to bring a range of voices to our community, and support charities and NFP's that believe in taking the same action as us.
Life long learning
No one knows it all, and there's always a thing to two to learn. We believe in life long learning and continual growth - through whatever resource or avenue that is. By staying curious we are never arrogant and assume we have all the answers, but are eager to hear new ideas, see another person's perspective and have a better understanding. This also means that we’re open to making mistakes and learning from them; nothing is failure, everything is a lesson!
With transparent communication and loving honesty, we hope to demystify the glam of entrepreneurship, breakdown the jargon that confuses and overwhelms small business owners, and support in our clients with our expertise.
Internally we care about the growth of our community and the voices of our team - encouraging everyone to share their opinions, ideas and bring their voice to the table. Externally (to our business) we value the people in our community, our clients, and the support and ideas they bring us. We are nothing alone, but everything together.
As you can imagine, everyone's take on a value might be different. The way one company will refer to and use a value like community, for example, could be very different to the way we think of it. This is why it's important for you to think about the things that matter, and then give them a title of sorts. Write out how your values will be brought into your business on a daily basis – how will you be taking action on them?
Really think about what matters to you and why. Take some time to reflect and write, and then pull all your ideas into a concise list of the top 3-5 values you hold near and dear.
Once you've got them, you can start to figure out your brand messaging!
CRAFTING YOUR BRAND MESSAGING
What is brand messaging?
It's the way in which you speak to your audience; it's the language you use, and the key messages you're trying to communicate to your people in order to represent your brand.
These key messages are often linked to your values, the problems of your customers, and the special way in which you help people.
Let's start with an example of a business that uses one it's values to create messaging
'Fitness Now' values confidence and knows that the number on the scale isn't the most important factor, but that confidence comes from how you feel.
Because of this, they are careful to always create communications (brand messaging) that centres around this, never referring to the scale, using images of scales, or mentioning weight loss in a way that might affect their clients confidence.
Their messaging might say:
"Sliding your jeans on with ease is so much more satisfying than seeing a number on a scale!"
"You don't have to feel self-conscious running around with your kids - get fit enough to play with them, and feel comfortable as you do it"
This kind of messaging does the following things:
It links to one of their company values (health + fitness over a number on a scale)
It resonates with their ideal customer, who they already know are tired of weighing themselves, obsessing over a number, and still feeling like crap
It also allows the customers to see themselves and their current situation, and see the solution to their problem (and how the company at hand is going to help with it)
Without knowing their values, 'Fitness Now' wouldn't be able to craft these messages that enable them to connect with their clients in this way and therefore would just be trying to sell a generic fitness/ weight loss program to them. Bleurgh, right?
Once you know what you as a business care about, you can find the people that care about that too - and those are going to be easy sells, cause you're on the same page from day 1.
Pretty awesome right? If you need a little further reading or a post to refer to, check out this post to start defining your values and come back to tell us what you discovered about your brand!
Now in no way does this cover all of the ways in which you can communicate with your people, but this should be the baseline you're creating for your business and the way it connects with it's audience. From there you can begin solving their problems (or showing them how you're going to do that) with your messaging, but you need to have connected with them in the first place.
Defining your brand and creating an identity to it is one of the most valuable things you can do for your business. Comment below if you have any questions about this!