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4 Ways Your Core Values Influence Your Brand Message

Years ago I was playing the lead in an English Restoration comedy – think mistaken identity, heaving bosoms, the works – and despite a deep conviction I was right for the part, I was struggling. No matter how I played it, I couldn’t seem to get to what the director was after for the role.
And his direction to help me get to what he was looking for?
“Just play the text.”

*cue the eye roll*

I mean yes, this is indeed a valid statement.
But to think I wasn’t attempting to play the text? My guy, I’m gonna need a little more direction since it seems my interpretation of the text isn’t cutting it for you.

I may not grace the stage anymore, but this much remains true:
There has to be motivation.
There has to be a through line.
There has to be a reason your character has decided to play along with a farce that she knows is a farce and that her opponent knows she knows is a farce but doesn’t know she knows that he knows that she knows.

When the only advice people give for infusing your marketing with your core values is ‘make sure you have a strong brand message”, that’s the biz equivalent of my director saying “just play the text.”


You know you need a strong brand message.
You’re pretty sure it’s related to your core values.
And yet – it’s still a struggle.

A huge part of the struggle is this: talking about your values isn’t itself brand messaging. However there are 4 distinct ways in which your values influence your brand messaging. Get those on lock, and your messaging won’t just land with your audience, it will become unforgettable. 

Buckle up, because we’re about to explore the four incredible ways your core values influence your brand messaging: context, positioning, tone, and delivery.

Context: Setting the Stage

Picture this: You’re at a party, and someone starts talking about UTIs out of the blue.
Awkward, right? Same goes for brand messaging.

Values act as a set of circumstances for what you do: they are the environment in which all the work of your business is done. They lay the foundation for your brand story and help your customers understand why you’re in business in the first place. Whether it’s your commitment to sustainability or passion for innovation, by making sure your core values shine through, you set the context for your messaging.

An easy way to use your values to set the context for your brand’s message?

State your values plainly and clearly.

I’m talking website, email footers, social media, podcast interviews, pitches – weave those values into every touchpoint of your marketing.

Start right now – yes, today! – by drafting a section on your about page that clearly – and concisely – states your core values. Then refer back to this page (and link it!) in at least one piece of content marketing this week. In doing so you’re not only informing your audience about what matters most to you, you’re also providing some necessary context for your brand message.

Back to that party, let’s add a little context – let’s say you’re at a Christmas party at the hospital your partner works for. Suddenly talk of UTIs is significantly less awkward, thank you context.

Positioning: Stand Out from the Crowd

In a sea of competition, how do you make your brand stand out? You guessed it—core values!

Your core values help you carve out a unique position in the market.

Let’s say your core value is service: you deeply believe in the necessity of being of service to others, and using one’s talents to serve their community. It’s not a leap at all to say that as part of your value of service, you have a deep commitment to customer experience. By integrating this value of service into your brand messaging (and obviously into your customer experience), you’re not just another faceless business. You become the go-to service provider that offers a unique, genuine experience for their clients.

An easy way to use your values to position your brand messaging?

Create a list of verbs that relate directly to your values as you understand them.
Next, pull up your market research on your competitors.
See that clear gap between the verbs of your values and what your competition is doing?
Ding ding ding! There’s where you can position your brand and message.

Seize the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the rest and let your core values guide your positioning.

Tone: A Dash of Personality

Why be boring when you can be bold?

Ok, not necessarily bold, but whatever joi de vivre you bring to your business, your values inject personality into your brand messaging.

Are you playful and witty?
Serious and professional?
Direct and wry?

Your core values inform the tone of your brand message, which takes your core message from a handy piece of marketing language to a statement your target market has a deep emotional connection to. But if the tone is off (even if the message resonates)? You’re slipping through the minds of that target market. 

An easy way to use your values to clarify the tone of your brand messaging?

Personify your values. Like “Inside Out” did with emotions, create a unique little character for each value, emphasizing the personality and who you imagine might voice the character.

Now that you’ve got all those voices in your head (in a good way), what do they all have in common? This is the intersection of your values and the tone of your brand message.

Embrace your brand’s unique personality and let it shine through in your messaging. Remember, a little bit of sass or sarcasm never hurt anyone. 

Delivery: The Power of Authenticity

Let’s be real—consumers have a nose for inauthenticity. Your core values act as a compass, guiding your brand messaging to be authentic and genuine in how – and where – you deliver that gorgeous message.

Say one of your values is aesthetic. You deeply value not just the visual beauty, but the experience of that beauty in all senses. Odds are, Twitter or Threads is not going to be the most authentic platform for your message. Sure it may be part of your marketing strategy, but delivering your message in a purely text format is neither playing to your values or your strengths (and probably doesn’t feel very authentic to you either).

Instead, a primary platform for you to share your brand message is probably Instagram, an app that’s alllllll about the aesthetic. You’re in your element, you’re in line with your values, and more importantly your brand message is far more likely to land because of this alignment of values and delivery (the method by which you share your brand message).

An easy way to use your values to clarify the tone of your brand messaging?

Let’s use those personifications of your values one more time – where would each of these characters hang out? Where are they most likely to feel seen and heard? How do they confidently share their viewpoints? 

These are your primary methods of delivery for your values.

Use them as the bedrock of your marketing strategy, and your message is sure to land authentically.

Strong brand messaging doesn’t happen in one go

Congratulations, you’ve unlocked the superpowers of core values in shaping your brand messaging!

Or more accurately – you understand how your values inform your brand message.

By harnessing the power of context, positioning, tone, and delivery, you can create messaging that resonates with your audience on a deeper level. And just like I remind clients that values are continuously evolving, so is your brand message. It’s ok if it’s not perfect the first go at it. Far more important that you craft an initial strong message to use in your marketing than fail to communicate any message at all.

So, go forth, fellow business owners, and infuse your brand messaging with the essence of your core values. Let your values be the guiding light that sets your business apart from the pack.

Remember, the world needs more authentic and value-driven brands. If you’re eager to play with your brand messaging and marketing, check out Next Step Navigator and let me help you develop a strategic marketing narrative for your next 3 months.

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