As any small business leader knows, there’s no shortage of competition in today’s digital landscape. Now more than ever, people have endless choices when buying products and services or supporting organizations. As a marketing director, you must ensure your brand shines. But how?
In a sea of competitors, infusing your brand values into organizational content is the best way to stand out and make an impact. Values also act as your guide when making strategic decisions, finding the right team members, and connecting with your audience.
This article explores the unmatched power of brand values. You’ll learn what brand values are, why they’re essential (in marketing and beyond), and how to ensure they’re reflected in all the content your team creates. We’ll also dive into how Quillbee can support your branded content strategies.
Covered in this article
- What are brand values?
- Brand values in action: Saturday Drive
- How to ensure brand values are reflected in your content
- How Quillbee enhances value-driven content
What are brand values?
Brand values are the core principles your organization lives by. They shape its identity, culture, and actions.
You may be familiar with author and thought leader Simon Sinek. Sinek is best known for his concept of company purpose. Your products and services are WHAT you do, but your purpose is WHY you do it. Sinek says,
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”Start With Why by Simon Sinek
How do brand values fit in? They’re your HOW — the ways you act upon your WHY and carry out your mission. Establishing values is essential for several reasons:
Values offer clarity for decision-making
Marketing directors — and business leaders in general — are no strangers to decision-making. You’ve likely had to make some tough calls during your career, and knowing which choice is best for your organization can be very challenging. Brand values are your roadmap when you come to a crossroads, revealing the solutions that fuel your WHY. They’re also the best way to ensure your decisions stay consistent, no matter how your company evolves and grows.
Values attract like-minded employees
Experience and talent are vital aspects to consider when hiring people for your content team, but they aren’t the most significant factors. You can teach people how to follow your company’s practices, but it’s much harder to teach them how to fit into the culture. Clear brand values allow you to hire people aligned and inspired by your purpose and vision. When someone shares your values, they’re already equipped to collaborate with the team and share your vision with the world.
Values foster customer connections
As mentioned, consumers have plenty of options, but brand values set you apart from the rest. According to research by Zippia, 82% of customers want to support brands that share their values. When you clearly define your guiding principles, you’ve already got a ready-made customer base — the people whose values align with yours. Promoting WHAT you do isn’t enough. For a loyal, engaged audience, your WHY must be clear, and your values must champion that WHY.
Brand values in action: Saturday Drive
At Saturday Drive, the company behind Quillbee, Ninja Forms, and a few other brands, we have our own set of brand values. They are:
- People first
- Be a cheerleader
- Embrace fun
- Make it better
These values inform everything from our employee benefits to the innovations we pursue and the content we produce. For example, as a people-first company, our priority will always be human beings. When it comes to employees, this value guides us to offer life-enhancing benefits like comprehensive healthcare, generous time off, and work-from-anywhere flexibility.
People-first also includes our customers, so it dictates the kind of tools we create. Take Quillbee, for instance. Designed with the users’ needs and pain points at the forefront, this AI writing partner embodies our values. We want to streamline your work and champion your creativity.
Without our brand values, forgetting WHY we’re in this business would be far too easy. When it’s time to make crucial decisions, focusing on profits or taking the path of least resistance could be tempting. But our values ground us and keep our eyes on what truly matters.
How to ensure brand values are reflected in your content
You’ve learned about brand values, why they matter, and how we put them into action at Saturday Drive. Now it’s time to focus on how you, a creative director, can ensure your team’s content reflects brand values.
Brand value awareness and education
Before they can effectively write content according to your values, the team needs to know them, believe them, and live by them. Take strategic steps to ensure brand values are front and center.
Educate your employees on your values and continually lead discussions about implementing them. Incorporate values into your KPIs, and talk about them in your one-on-ones. These strategies can change the way team members think and inspire them to reflect on values before taking action.
When living by brand values becomes second nature through awareness and education, they guide everything from dealing with interpersonal conflicts to crafting content marketing campaigns.
Model brand values
As the creative director, you’re the first person team members will look to for inspiration. Talking about values is beneficial — living by them is transformative. Behavior and decisions flow from the top down, so leaders must consistently model brand values.
Act according to your values as you work with team members, lead marketing campaigns, and make decisions on behalf of your organization. Talk openly about how those values shape your choices and policies. You may fail sometimes — we’re all a work in progress, after all — so be open about it, own up to your mistakes, and discuss values-driven solutions.
This transparency will inspire content creators to consistently consider your brand values throughout their lives and work.
Create values-based brand guidelines
Brand guidelines are a cross-functional blueprint — a clear roadmap for everyone from writers to designers to remain unified and embody your brand. But these guidelines go beyond tone, syntax, fonts, and colors. They should also clearly explain how to incorporate your brand values.
Start by defining your brand values. Give examples of how to bring them to life in content. Remind your creators that values should inform everything from campaign ideation to article topic selection. Your brand guidelines can also include audience personas or target consumers, showing how your values solve their pain points.
In essence, your brand values should be a consistent presence in all marketing guidelines. Make them the bedrock of everything your team produces.
Tell authentic stories — and back them up with proof points
Authenticity is your greatest strength in content creation. People want to connect with your brand — they want to feel seen and believe in the products and services you’re championing. Brand value storytelling builds trust and loyalty.
Your team should craft content that’s honest and open about your values. But at some point, talk is cheap. Back up those stories with action. Include proof points about how your organization lives by its principles. For example, if one of your values is “Be generous,” an article about the benefits of generosity is nice, but a case study about how your team allocates X% of profits to community outreach is far more impactful.
Connect values to products and services
Consumers want to share your values, but this alignment can go further than you think. Don’t just communicate relatable values — connect them to your products and services.
TOMS Shoes is a fantastic example. TOMS’s values include “serve and support others,” which they reinforced with their “One for One” model. For years, TOMS gave away a pair of shoes for every pair sold. Today, they invest a portion of all proceeds into other social causes. All of TOMS’ content — including their tagline, “Wear Good” — highlights how consumers play an active role in championing their world-changing values.
Use your content to share how your customers support your values when they buy from you. Your articles, social media posts, and emails can enforce the message that by choosing your brand, they live out worthy values daily.
Brand values analysis
You undoubtedly already have an editing process in place for your content. If you’re concerned about reflecting brand values, include values analysis in your editing process along with the usual suspects like brand voice, grammar, syntax, and formatting.
Whether you use a peer review process or have a designated editor, discuss brand values as a significant aspect of their edits. They should be able to connect one (or more) of your values with every piece or post; otherwise, your brand’s foundational principles may become hazy.
How Quillbee enhances value-driven content
Creating your brand’s content is a highly involved process. There’s strategy and ideation, cross-channel communication, performance tracking, managing diverse content creators, and more — and that doesn’t even account for writing, arguably the most time-consuming step of all.
Perhaps you contribute by doing some of the writing yourself, or you want to help your content writers streamline their workflows. Either way, Quillbee is your greatest asset yet. As an AI-powered content generator, Quillbee saves time and creative energy. Even better, it does so without stifling your writers’ unique perspectives.
Point of View and Tones
While other AI tools tend to generate generic content that anyone could publish, our Point of View feature brings each writer’s voice — and your brand values — to life.
Encourage your team members to spend time crafting their Point of View (up to 300 words), including their insights and the elements discussed above that will make your brand values stand out.
They can also include up to three tone descriptors, aligning the content with your brand. For example, if one of your values is “Be tenacious,” your writers could use tone descriptors like “confident,” “persuasive,” and “unwavering.”
By taking full advantage of Quillbee and its powerful features, your content team can spend more time living their values and brainstorming ways to communicate them in content.
Champion your brand values with Quillbee
You’ve got your work cut out for you as a busy marketing director navigating a highly competitive world. Standing out is challenging but not impossible — especially if your content embodies your brand values authentically.
Brand values aren’t mere words on paper; they’re the soul of your organization. They offer clarity in decision-making, attract like-minded individuals to your team, and foster meaningful connections with your customers. For these reasons and more, everything your team creates must reflect and support those values — and invite your audience to do the same.
Quillbee is here to help. Writing content that highlights brand values doesn’t have to be intimidating. Use our intelligent writing partner to craft authentic stories that champion your principles. Try Quillbee for free today!