Values-Aligned Brand Messaging—The Building Blocks For A Beyond Basic Brand
This week, our blog post comes from Ashlee Sang, Founder and CEO of Ashlee Sang Consulting; she consults conscious and caring business owners so they can grow their impact and their revenue.
First, what exactly is brand messaging? Basically, it’s the recognizable way your brand shows up in the world (*beyond* the beautiful visuals).
Think: mission statement, voice, values, audience, and core messages. All the things that allow you to stand for something in order to stand out to the exact people you want to reach.
So many of us invest in visual branding when we launch a business or level up our marketing. But the way we communicate what makes our business unique is often an afterthought. Your messaging should be front and center of everything you do though.
Values-aligned brand messaging strategy allows you and your brand to show up consistently and get visible in a way that feels and does good. It means more confidence when you talk about your brand and more clarity as you connect with people who care about your mission. Sounds great, right?
Positioning Your Brand
Brand messaging supports your brand positioning—where you sit in relation to any competitors and more importantly, in relation to your ideal customer. By clearly positioning your brand, you’re able to:
- create better content faster
- show up more consistently
- operate from a framework YOU create (rather than feeling boxed in by other labels) so that you can use your full creative potential
Basically, your brand positioning answers the question: Why would someone choose to buy my product or service instead of a competitor’s?
Take these mission statements as an example. All of the following conscious brands make it clear who they serve, how, and WHY in very few words. They attract people who have shared values and repel people who could not care less. That’s what you want. Because when you serve your IDEAL customer, they’ll tell other people just like them.
On the other hand, when you try to please too many people, you’ll either bend until you break on some of those values that you hold so dear. Or you won’t be able to satisfy your customers because you’re not exactly what they’re looking for.
Values-Aligned Brand Messaging
Injecting your brand values into your messaging is essential on so many levels.
- Create a company culture (even if you’re solo!)
- Build loyalty
- Signal that your audience is in the right place
- Set your business apart
If you’re all about that aligned visibility like I am, then values-forward messaging is the way to go.
Establishing Your Values
No values are inherently good or bad. It’s all about how you put them into practice for you and your audience that matters.
But what if you’re not even sure what guides you and what you want to stand for? Ask yourself:
- Are there any causes that I support without a second thought?
- What gets me fired up when I see some sort of injustice or when something feels out of whack?
- Which types of behavior from myself or others would I never put up with? [This helps you figure out what you DO want to stand for by thinking about the opposite.]
- What do I look for in partners or brands I support?
- What have my customers said are important to them?
Aim for 3-5 core values. Really take the time to define, prioritize, and think through how they’d play out in your business.
For some context, my brand values are:
- Contribution — feeling connected to something bigger than myself
- Freedom — space to experiment and create on my own terms
- Conscientiousness — bringing empathy and awareness to my life and work
- Exploration — staying open to different perspectives and opportunities
- Intentionality — taking and encouraging meaningful and confident action
Aligning Your Values
Reflecting on your values isn’t enough. You also need to put them into practice and start *living* your values through your brand.
It comes down to figuring out what you want to be known for. Again, it’s that recognizable way you show up—not just visually, but through your brand voice, the topics you discuss, and the way you interact with customers.
Acting from a place of alignment draws your audience closer to your mission. Values makes that pie-in-the-sky mission more tangible because your audience can see and feel how your values come into play. If inclusivity is one of your core values, your brand messaging captures that at a glance through the language you use (or avoid), the offerings you have, and the content you create.
And values push your business closer to your impact goals. You started your business to accomplish something bigger than yourself. Making decisions based on those values takes you one step closer to that impact with every single choice.
How To Apply Your Values
Here are just a few ways your unique mission, values, and audience can be integrated into every aspect of your business:
- Email signatures
- Social media graphics
- Promo videos
- Bios/About page
- Website copy
- Visual design
- Hiring decisions
- Setting your rates
- Defining your offers
- Business hours
Piecing It All Together
As you combine all the ideas you have and the moving parts that make up brand messaging, ask yourself:
- How do I want people to feel when they interact with my brand?
- What do I want people to do?
- In what ways do my mission and values relate?
- How will this serve my audience?
- How will this grow my audience?
Just remember your goals. I’m *certain* there’s nothing basic about your vision or your brand. You’re creating something—amazing impact, transformation, growth—from nothing. That’s worth celebrating and shouting from the rooftops.
So, get clear on what you want to stand for so that you can stand out. And start sharing messages that matter.
| Check out some downloadable resources to propel your purpose-driven business forward. |
You will not want to miss Ashlee’s upcoming workshop with District Bliss, Founders on a Mission: Run a Business that Feels and Does Good!
Click here to sign up 👇
Join us for Founders On A Mission: Run a Business that Feels and Does Good on Weds, 4/26, at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT
“I wanted clarity on how to put the puzzle pieces together to meet my new business goals. After our call, I had clarity and confidence. I felt like Ashlee helped untangle the web. Ashlee’s sessions are like going to business therapy. She helps you see how your messaging and business goals work together.” – CYNDI ZAWESKI, Content Strategist & CEO, Ascent StoryCraft
Ashlee Sang consults conscious and caring business owners so they can grow their impact and their revenue. Through Ashlee Sang Consulting and as host of the Purpose & Progress Podcast, she equips entrepreneurs to take confident, meaningful action in alignment with their values. She believes that business can feel and do good when it’s rooted in values and propelled by purpose. Before doing brand messaging strategy and marketing consulting, she worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including a human rights education NGO in Senegal and a local branch of Habitat for Humanity. The common thread has been sharing messages that matter. Based in Central Illinois, Ashlee has a background in anthropology and a penchant for travel. She’s a fan of one-liners, happy surprises, and taking walks in the sunshine. Learn more at ashleesang.com.
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