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How Do You Know if it’s Time to Update Your Brand Messaging?

Author: Wan Kim, Smoothie King CEO on: Mar 17, 2020

Core values inspire your team to live your brand’s mission and vision and represent what your business strives to be. But times change, and what represented your core values five years ago may not ring as true or be accurate today. More to the point, it is unacceptable if your core values and brand messaging are confusing to your guests or uncertain among your corporate team and franchisees.

In Smoothie King’s case, we recently knew it was time to push our brand forward and update our core values and adopt a framework that more closely aligns with our new direction:

  • We do the right thing
  • We live the mission
  • We keep evolving
  • We focus and finish
  • We are better together

When we began discussing revising Smoothie King’s core values, we started with a look at our mission and vision through the lens of becoming the easy, delicious and nutritious alternative to so many unhealthy meal options.

At the same time, “Smoothies with a Purpose” has been Smoothie King’s tagline for the past six years. It’s a brand promise that seeks to align with our mission to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

However, when we noticed our brand messaging wasn’t coming across through our tagline or our core values, we realized both needed to be updated.

How We Knew It Was Time

No matter what we update and change, our mission remains the same. Our vision may evolve over time, but it always aligns with that same, consistent mission. The job of our core values is to reflect where we’re headed.

We issued a survey asking how the public interpreted “Smoothies with a Purpose,” only to find that our guests weren’t understanding what we were trying to say. It was too ambiguous, and people weren’t believing it. Based on the results, we knew we needed to develop consumer-facing brand messaging that more clearly reflects our mission and vision.

Not only did we find our guests were confused about our tagline, but our corporate team weren’t completely aligned with our core values as well. This needed to be addressed. Our corporate team, franchisees and individual store team members should be hired because they are highly skilled, but also because they live and breathe our core values. These are the people creating Smoothie King’s strategies and evolving our brand. If we don’t have the right people in place that believe in our core values, operations will suffer as a result – damaging the brand.

Moving Forward

In many ways, the future is shaped by millennials, a generation largely aligned with health and wellness. Millennials want to take care of their bodies and be associated with brands they care about. They want to support businesses that promote a healthy, positive lifestyle.

That’s why we came up with our new mantra: Rule The Day™. It summarizes everything we’re trying to do. We’re putting the power to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle in our guests’ hands. We’re giving them the tools and asking them to think about how they can Rule The Day.

Rule The Day is more clearly imbued with our core values and helps us communicate more directly what we want our team and guests to know. Without this clarity, we can’t attract the right talent to our organization, which can lead to many issues down the line. We need to be disciplined about who we bring onto our team. Using an updated set of core values gives us what we need to evaluate our team and bring Smoothie King into the future.

We will continue to revise our core values. They are a fluid tool that will change over time, and it’s important to evolve them as they get stagnant or if they ever confuse our team and guests as to what our company represents – promoting a healthy, active lifestyle across the country.