When we think about our friends, relatives, and colleagues, the concept of values is straightforward. Is someone honest? Are they there for you? Will they make things right when—not if—they make a mistake?
For companies and brands, this core aspect of business is not always clear. It needs to be.
The collective content shared between a brand and its customers is a demonstration of values, connectivity, and relationships in action. Content exemplified in posts, blogs, articles, and social media interactions is an opportunity to validate stated values.
Why is this important? Because values seen through a brand’s content (communications, campaigns, etc.) represent an opportunity to connect with people.
Core values for a company, and for all brands under any given corporate umbrella, are foundational to stories, dialogue, and actions connecting people.
Core Values In Action at Coca-Cola
First, let’s acknowledge that most of you won’t have the marketing resources that Coca-Cola does. It doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from them.
For years, the Coca-Cola Company has used their core values to direct their marketing strategy. As they state on their website, “Our Roadmap starts with our mission, which is enduring. It declares our purpose as a company and serves as the standard against which we weigh our actions and decisions.
- To refresh the world
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness
- To create value and make a difference.
“Our values serve as a compass for our actions and describe how we behave in the world.”
The Coca-Cola Facebook page has more than 106 million fans. They rotate four different cover photos, three of which use the words Happy or Happiness. This reinforces the company mission. They also created the #MakeItHappy hashtag to help young people understand cyberbullying. This is not a one-channel campaign. Television spots were launched during the Super Bowl, the most expensive advertising channel available, to promote the new hashtag, which remains popular today. In addition to its Super Bowl appearance, this ad has received more than 11 million views on YouTube.
While there’s no bullet-proof recipe for success, you can’t hit the target if you don’t know where to aim.
As the Coca-Cola example shows, when a company’s values are well articulated, and their marketing communications are grounded in these values, it’s much easier to create authentic and cohesive campaigns that resonate with a brand’s audience.
This post is part of the Transformative Digital Marketing series, which features excerpts from the Amazon best-selling book (of the same name) written by the co-founders of Room 214.