by SUSAN FRIESEN
Establishing values is an integral part of the creation of any successful brand.
But why are brand values, something which can seem so insignificant, so vital to the success of your brand?
Well, when you promote brand values, it allows you to establish an emotional connection with current customers and potential patrons, giving you the opportunity to build much-needed trust, loyalty, and familiarity.
And if potential customers identify with the values of your brand, they’ll be more likely to choose you over the competition, as their connection with your brand goes deeper than just wanting your products and/or services.
If you don’t have a solid set of values, and you’re just sort of winging it, the process of building that emotional connection, and the trust, loyalty, and familiarity that go along with it, will be much more difficult, if not impossible.
At the same time, it’s also going to be way harder to maintain any sort of consistency in your branding and marketing, which will make your business less recognizable and could make you seem less trustworthy, as it may look like you’re not really sure what your brand stands for.
Now, if you’re reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that you already know what brand values are, and you’ve probably already established some or are in the process of doing so.
That being said, in this article, I’m not going to bother to define brand values or explain how to come up with them.
For those of you who haven’t defined the values of your brand, or don’t even know what brand values are, you should start by reading our previous article, which explains Why Creating Brand Values Is Vital to the Success of Your Business.
It’ll tell you everything you need to know about what brand values are, why they’re so important, and how to start creating brand values of your own.
But if you’ve already defined your brand values, or you’re in the process of creating them, then you’re going to want to keep reading.
Because in this article, I’m going to discuss the crucial next step of promoting brand values in your marketing, explaining how to go about doing it, and offering some examples of how we’ve done this for our clients, so you can have a better idea of what’s involved.
How to Promote Brand Values in Your Marketing
So, you’ve finally figured out exactly what your brand stands for, turned that into a solid set of values, and you’re ready to convey them to the world.
Or perhaps you’re in the process of defining those values, and you’re wondering what you’re going to end up doing with all those lofty ideals.
Either way, at this point, you need to know how to actually communicate these values to your audience, and the world at large, by injecting them into your marketing.
From my perspective, there’s no better way to explain things than by example, so below, I’ve detailed a few of the tactics we’ve used to help our clients promote brand values in their marketing, so you can have a better understanding of how to go about doing this.
Why Brand Consistency (or Lack Thereof) Can Make or Break the Success of Your Business
When you’re presenting your brand to the world, you’ve got to make sure to maintain consistency.
Without that consistency, you could confuse your customers, make yourself less recognizable, and erode any familiarity and trust people already have with your brand.
So, if you’re working on your branding, and you want to learn more about how to ensure it’s consistent, then you’re going to want to read this article.
It explains what brand consistency is, why consistent branding is so important, how you can maintain consistency in your branding, and highlights some of the most epic failures of inconsistent branding.
One of the best ways to promote brand values in your marketing is by blogging.
There are a number of ways you can go about doing this, with some being more effective than others.
You could be completely direct and actually publish blogs about your brand values and why they’re important to you, or be more subtle about it by making your values known through the voice you use in your writing, what information you choose to offer, how you provide that information, and what you have to say about subjects that are relevant to what you do.
Typically, we go with the latter approach, instead of beating the reader over the head with a heap of virtue signaling.
If I had to choose the best example of this in terms of what we’ve done for our clients, I’d have to go with the work we’ve done for Dr. Dheshnie Thangavelu, owner of a Vancouver-based medical spa named Deez Skin Rejù & Pain Clinic.
Dr. Dheshnie’s brand values include things like honesty, integrity, and trust, and we keep that in mind when helping her to create her monthly blogs.
Within these blogs, Dr. Dheshnie is not afraid to be completely honest about the questionable behaviour of some of the people in her industry.
For example, Dr. Dheshnie has called out other medical spas for doing things like diluting their dermal fillers.
Some marketers may have called this a particularly risky move, as it reflects poorly on Dr. Dheshnie’s industry as a whole, but from our perspective, it was the perfect way to differentiate her from the competition, while effectively conveying her brand values by showing that she’s honest and a woman of integrity who can be trusted.
Dr. Dheshnie is also not the least bit shy about divulging everything her treatments entail, both good and bad, and this also helps her to promote brand values in her marketing. She gets straight to the point and doesn’t try to sugar-coat anything.
The first paragraph under this heading warns the reader that this is a “painful procedure” before detailing a long list of complications associated with it.
Sure, she could try to downplay this stuff, or not even talk about it at all, but at the end of the day, that would erode Dr. Dheshnie’s credibility because it doesn’t align with her brand values.
So, if you want to use blogs to promote brand values, then you should follow Dr. Dheshnie’s example and make sure the content of your blogs aligns with your brand values at all times.
In today’s world, the most important marketing tool you’ll ever have is your website, and it also offers some of the best ways to promote brand values.
A website will act as your brand’s main touchpoint, helping you to gain qualified leads, increase your customer base, and present your brand to the world in a way that showcases its values in the best possible light, ensuring you make a good first impression when people find you online.
Any website that’s worth its salt should do a bang-up job of promoting brand values, but if I had to think of a client’s website that’s most relevant to this, it would have to be Rose Marie Swanson’s site.
Rose Marie is what’s known as a spiritual coach, which means that she helps people get through issues in their spiritual life, similar to how a clinical counsellor would help a client with their mental health.
We created her first website back in 2015, and it looks pretty dated.
Then, earlier this year, she asked us to redo her website as part of a complete revamp of her personal brand, and as you can see, it looks a heck of a lot better than her old one.
Rose Marie’s new website does an amazing job of conveying the values of her brand, both through the imagery and the copy.
But I’m not going to go into all that here because there’s something more important that I want to show using this example.
At this point, many of you are probably wondering why I’m comparing iterations of Rose Marie’s website in a blog about how to promote brand values, but bear with me here.
You see, something that’s often overlooked when it comes to websites is the fact that people will make judgments about your credibility, and by association, your values, based solely on the look of your website, without even reading any of the copy.
This has even been shown in at least one scientific study, but it’s already blatantly obvious anyway.
So, how does this relate to promoting brand values?
Well, let’s face it – it’s going to be pretty hard for people to take the values of your brand seriously when they’re being communicated through a website that looks like it was designed by a high school kid or made 20 years ago.
So, if you want to ensure you can effectively promote brand values using your website, you’ve got to make sure that it looks professional.
Because if it doesn’t, you can promote whatever brand values you want, and people are still going to judge you harshly, regardless of what those values might be.
If you want to learn more about what we’ve done for Rose Marie over the years, you should check out our article on Why Building Trust is So Important for a Successful Rebrand.
Another great opportunity to promote the values of your brand comes in the form of email marketing.
Whether it’s a newsletter, auto-responder series, or some kind of promotional message, email marketing allows you to consistently convey your brand values to potential clients on a regular basis and maintain familiarity with those who have an interest in what you have to offer.
That being said, it was really tough for me to choose a client to showcase for this marketing tactic, as we do a lot of email marketing for clients, and there are so many great examples.
But if I had to choose a client we’ve worked with whom I feel best conveys their brand values in the email marketing we do for them, it would have to be Kali Dayton of Dayton ICU Consulting.
Kali offers consulting services to help hospitals implement evidence-based practices for patients on mechanical ventilation. The values of her brand include things like compassion and dedication, along with her overarching mission of improving care for ICU patients and working conditions for ICU staff.
She is extremely vocal about the positive effect these practices can have on both outcomes for patients and working conditions for clinicians, and this shines through in every aspect of her marketing.
At the same time, she’s also not afraid to call out the negative effect that a lack of evidence-based practices can have on both clinicians and patients, despite the fact that this is a very controversial topic in the medical field, not least because it has the potential to make hospitals look bad.
With that in mind, one of the most important aspects of conveying Kali’s brand values is to ensure she looks and sounds professional, while putting a focus on her expertise when it comes to this topic.
Right off the bat, the image of Kali in her newsletter header helps to show that expertise. As you can see, she made sure to have her photo taken wearing a white lab coat because this alludes to the fact that she is a clinician and therefore knows what she’s talking about on this subject.
Then, directly below the header, she’s speaking quite frankly about the brutal reality of ICU care for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, so as you can see, she doesn’t hold back, and the passion she has for this issue is obvious.
Kali’s newsletter also includes her monthly article as a feature, which typically documents some of the best and the worst examples of the care patients receive when they’re on mechanical ventilation.
She doesn’t shy away from controversy here either, refusing to mince words about how things are for ARDS patients in the ICU.
Kali’s brutal honesty on these kinds of topics, which could make her a pariah in the medical field, offers more than enough evidence that she’s genuinely passionate about this issue, has great compassion for these ICU patients, and is dedicated to improving ICU practices.
So, if you want to promote brand values with a newsletter, or any other kind of email marketing, take a hint from Kali and don’t hold back. Be yourself, convey your brand values in an uninhibited way, and let the authenticity of those values shine through.