If you’ve spent time on this site, you’ve probably seen a shoutout to the Consciously Method. It’s at the core of who we are at Consciously and why we’re different. It’s how we build purpose-driven marketing platforms that communicate authentically and inclusively. It takes some work, but it’s worth it.
What’s the method exactly? Good question. Read on. We’ll be brief, promise.
At this point, we all know (or should know) that companies need a purpose greater than simply making profits. The Business Roundtable finally embraced stakeholder capitalism last year—customers, communities, employees matter too! The problem is that while some companies now have a stated higher purpose, and maybe even a clear set of values, there’s often a big gap between those values and stakeholders’ values. In other words, companies aren’t making their values meaningful—they’re almost useless in practice because they don’t jibe with the values various stakeholders live and breathe every day.
The Consciously Method aims to bridge this chasm, to turn missed connections into deep connections. It connects your company’s values to its value prop, then to what stakeholder communities care about, so people understand who you are. It’s a process that moves from value discovery all the way to marketing platform creation, so that your team can communicate values across all brand channels and experiences every day.
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Connecting Values to Value™
This first step is about helping your business get to know itself better. Authentic and inclusive marketing approaches grow out of a conscious foundation: a clear sense of your company’s values, offerings and story. You’ll never meaningfully connect to stakeholders without that.
Building a conscious foundation is a mindful process. Look inward to understand why the business exists. Define its values. Think through what its products are and how they’re delivered. You’ll know this step is complete when you clearly articulate your company’s values, can demonstrate how they’re tied to your offerings and the brand story can be shared in ways that can engage all stakeholders.
Main deliverables: Principles and Philosophies doc, story and myth docs, practical purpose and shared vision docs, product map, context and positioning, doc, values taxonomies, values style guide.
Step 2: Mapping The Ecosystem
The next step is thoughtful and inclusive community engagement, research and discovery. Look and listen outside your walls. Observe different stakeholder groups, find aligned communities and sit with audiences with the goal of understanding unique roles and values. Create community personas and a stakeholder map, then define your company’s role within each community.
How do company values align with community values? How does the value (prop) you offer play a vital role in a particular community? When you’ve answered these questions, you can create mutually beneficial relationships that matter and last. The end goal will be transformation, not optimization of the brand, messaging and business context.
Main deliverables: Community personas™, stakeholder maps detailing where communities congregate (channels), shared pillars (aligning values), DEI audit (diversity, equity, inclusion), community roles docs, community values docs.
Step 3: Internal and External Placemaking
The final step is all about expression and reflection. It’s where we combine and codify the findings from previous steps into guidelines, tools and processes. We call this internal placemaking and the goal is to produce a marketing platform filled with experiences and campaigns that articulate values and demonstrate value. This is all about steeping your teams in what matters to your company and your stakeholders, so staff can speak and execute authentically, in their own voices. Like jazz musicians, they need to be able to improvise on themes to create great connections with audiences and communities.
It’s also about unique expression for those outside the company, which we call external placemaking. We take the principles of traditional placemaking and build them into activations, content, digital design, development and all other experiences involving the communities to be served.
Lastly, we build in custom reporting on the KPI’s that matter in order to stay true to our goals and values, helping with regular reflection.
Main deliverables: MarTech stack to reach audiences, brand guides (identity, voice, style), semantic keyword list, brand pillar content list, sales guides, tone and voice docs, touchpoint maps, content schedules/calendars, and more.
We hope so. So much is changing out there—what people expect from companies, how they interact with them. You need to prove not just that you understand stakeholder communities, DEI and style guides but that your values align with theirs.
We’re here to help—let’s chat.
“Engaging stakeholder communities authentically to consistently communicate values.”
To learn more about applying these learnings in your organization, check out our magazine, find us on Facebook and Twitter, or drop us a line at email@example.com.