business / marketing / branding
The Value Gap
“Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”
― Christopher Hitchens
Does everyone feel that there seems to be a value gap between what people tell us they believe in, versus what they broadcast via their blog/social channels these days?
Disclaimer. Now before I go on, I want to say this post is one of those no BS ones. And, any examples given are not related to anyone we know or have work(ed) with. It is just putting what I mean into context.
Falling through the gap
While the world is screaming out for businesses to tell their story and showcase their core values, it seems lots of SME’s are creating a value gap. This phrase is taken from Brene Brown (yes I am a fangirl) and is the gap between our practised values (what actually we say, do and feel) and our aspirational values (what want to say, do and feel). And while this is in reference to individuals, there are absolutely parallels to be found in business.
Sniffing out the BS
It is no secret that most are filtering what is going on in their business Gone are the days of no PR is bad PR. A filtered view of the best bits adorn grids and feeds everywhere. And this is fine – it is marketing after all. It’s when it becomes wholly un-authentic that you’ve got a problem on your hands.
You OK Hun?
Often the value gap starts to show when businesses have:
- Lost their way
- Forgotten their core values
- Forgotten what they stand for
- Become muddled with their messaging
- Sometimes (sadly) forgot what they do
- Start to believe their hype (this is different from being brave and daring to dream BTW)
- Outsourced to the wrong people/freelancer/agency
Does any of this sound familiar?
Time for the truth
So while we all do go off the deep end at some point to try something different, to rejuvenate our business (dream big or go home right) what quickly becomes apparent is when it doesn’t fit with the business voice.
It sounds off, it looks off, and people are put off. Hopefully, your loyal tribe will stay with you through this rocky patch. But if you go too far off centre to the point where you don’t seem to be “your true self” anymore, they will start to seek those that are more aligned with their values.
Redemption is here…
I am not saying that a business can’t evolve. Heck, we have grown up a lot over the years, and we will continue to do so to be able to serve our clients. But we never lost sight of our values, our tone of voice has not changed, our mission the same.
If anything we have refined and improved our offering based on what our clients wanted (not what we think they wanted). We have also tried a few things, some that worked, some that didn’t, but throughout it, all our messaging and output has been consistent.
If you have the urge to try something totally different from what you currently offer, do it away from your core/first/other business. Ensure that you provide this new venture with its own place to shine. Build a new community and speak to them, rather than forcing your current audience with you on the journey.
Whatever you may do, make sure your communications and what you do are aligned. There are too many SMEs making this mistake right now that will bite them in the butt if they don’t take a step back and regroup.
REFOCUS, REFRESH, REJUVENATE.
This blog from the archives on how to refresh your marketing may be useful at this point, here we link to the creative brief of dreams which is an excellent exercise to help you to refocus, even if you just use it internally to regroup.
WHAT ARE YOUR CORE VALUES?
We can help you discover what is most important to your business.
In previous weeks we have looked at ways to scale up and adapt quickly, and how businesses are becoming more value-driven in its messaging. This week we are going to take a look at the beautiful world of collaboration and communities.