Values-Based Business: Redefining Your Approach for Authentic Brand Meaning

A meaningful brand-customer relationship begins with leading values first.

Communicating who you are as a brand, and what you stand for, is crucial to cultivating a strong brand identity, one that consumers want to be a part of.

We have always been a value-based company and have watched with great admiration as other companies have created models of values-led initiatives like Dove.

For over a decade, Dove has made it their mission to showcase real beauty and to stand up for issues, within their industry and out, that they feel passionate about representing.

With six major campaigns revolving around issues that include: reducing their carbon footprint, to recognizing real beauty, to championing for worldwide paternity leave for dads, Dove knows who they are and what they value, and they include that in all that they do.

Check out some of their latest initiatives below:

  1. Reducing plastic waste
  2. Project #ShowUs
  3. Self-Esteem Project
  4. The CROWN Coalition
  5. Real Beauty – No Digital Distortion marks
  6. #DearFutureDads

And Dove isn’t the only one. Plenty of companies, including Burt’s Bees and the Khan Academy were founded by real people, turned leaders, wanting to make a real difference in the world. From Burt’s Bees advocating for the greater good of the planet to the Khan Academy striving to provide free, world-class education for everyone, everywhere, these companies have found success by leading values-first.

You can define what values are most important to your business and your customers and shift company initiatives around those key ideals. In different industries these values will of course vary – some will manifest in marketing initiatives, others in supply-chain transparency or work-force reform, but the shared ideals we all develop for our companies further inspire others to join the values-first movement. When a company authentically leads with a values-based strategy, that’s when true brand heritage will shine through. Consumers wants genuineness.

When MacGillivray Freeman Films was first created there were already a set of core values instilled within our founders, which included:

A never stop learning mindset.

No matter how many films we’ve produced, shot, or worked on, there has always been room for improvement. Having a “students-for-life” mentality aided in the creation of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which encourages global audiences to become active ambassadors for science, the ocean, and other wonders of the planet. And we challenge ourselves to be students every day.

filmmaker, MacGillivray Freeman Films, documentary filmmakers, Into America's Wild

An unrelenting pursuit of innovation.

Cultivating authentic and emotionally driven, positive stories has always been our main mission. It’s not enough to create a film for the sake of it. As storytellers we work to bring the important themes to the big screen. Encouraging viewers to see things in new and exciting ways. From iPhone to IMAX, the company continues to look for innovative ways to connect audiences with inspiring stories.

A blue-chip quality in all that we do.

Why start something if you’re not going to give it your all? We value time; the time of our employees, the time of our investors, and the time of our audiences, and because of this we’ve always strived to create films of significance. To us, quality filmmaking includes developing quality relationships, and working with superior talent, both on and off screen, to help inspire all who watch or have worked on one of our films to give it all they’ve got.

Greg MacGillivray, director, filmmaker, storyteller, MacGillivray Freeman Films
OWOO, One World One Ocean, 1World1Ocean, ocean conservation, MacGillivray Freeman Films

A dedication to global environmental conservation and education.

Our company was founded on surf films and Greg MacGillivray’s love for the sea. As part of a much larger mission the One World One Ocean campaign was created to help raise awareness for ocean preservation and protection and to help spark a global movement to care for our world’s oceans.

Family first.

There is a reason that nearly 60 years later, our company continues to thrive – and it’s in large part to the family-like attitude that’s been here since the beginning. As a small family owned and operated company, treating employees as part of the family and working together as a team, has helped create an impeccable bond and loyalty to the brand.

MacGillivray Freeman Films, documentary filmmakers, Laguna Beach

The Takeaway

Whether you’re just starting out, or already have an established business, it’s good to think about what you value as a brand and how those values can be a part of your everyday approach to all facets of your business. Ensure your team is aware of those values so all that you do reflects your brand’s principles. Once those are clearly defined, that’s where the fun begins, and you and your brand can start making a bigger impact on the world and all those in it.

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