Daphne’s List of Seven–VALUES-CENTERED BRANDING STRATEGY For Visionary professionals
E.G. Nike doesn’t market shoes. The company markets values. Oh, and by the way, you can buy a really expensive pair of athletic shoes that show the world that you are all about those same values: “Just do it,” “Pledge your heart to the game,” all about endurance, character, commitment, perseverance, etc. McDonald’s doesn’t market hamburgers. Coca-Cola doesn’t market soda. The list goes on… These companies market experiences, emotions and VALUES.
(hint: they should be the same)
2. Who is your public–your customers/clients? What do they value? If you’re not sure, ask them. I promise, they will tell you.
3. Values match: Do your values match theirs? If not, work on this so that they do match.
(hint: sometimes a very progressive visionary company is in a position to attempt to amplify the existing values of its public, usually by increasing the visioning capacity of its public. Imagine a more compassionate, resourceful, sustainable and collaborative culture. Imagine homes, food and clothing for all. Imagine art and creativity is as valued in education as math and reading. Imagine teachers are paid their worth.)
4. Create the image: Imagine the future is already here–what does this picture look like? If the values your business represents become a large part of the culture, what will change? Define the image of that change.
(hint: This is not your logo. This is an image that can speak louder than words–can be a video, a photograph or something more creative. It is at least visual or at most multi-sensory)
5. Tie this into your communications strategies: key messages, elevator speeches, ad campaigns, media relations, blog and Twitter posts, etc.
6. Get feedback/research: Ask your public if they feel your brand is representing the targeted values well? Ask if these values are representative of the public’s values?
(hint: your overall business operations and practices must also mirror the values you promote. Your communications strategy must be woven into your business culture. In other words, you can’t claim to be a champion for valuing diverse voices and devalue the voices of some staff members. hypocrisy will be revealed sooner or later.)
7. Communicate: Respond to the individuals who took their time to give you feedback. Thank them for participating in surveys or answering questionnaires, etc. Most importantly, let them know you’re listening by taking action based on their responses. Be authentic, responsive, transparent and accountable. Think of creative ways to make sure this happens.