How to Embed Values in Your Business
What do you believe in? Why did you start your business? Why do you work for your organisation? What mission are you on?
(Tip: it’s rarely about money!)
The values you have in your business are so important to you, your team, your brand but more importantly your customers. In his famous TED Talk ‘Start With Why’ Simon Sinek explained to a global audience why people buy from companies like Apple and why you should care.
It comes down to believing in the companies and brands you buy from. You only have to look at the recent PR disaster with Nike caused by them simply aligning their brand with a quarterback who did something many of their fans and followers disagreed with. When customers find out the business no longer aligns with their values, they don’t like it, they leave… and they get rather upset as shown with burning trainers and socks!
Your values need to be embedded in your business.
They need to be weaved through everything you do so that your marketing, branding, messages, social media, emails, letters, talks and EVERYTHING you do follows your core beliefs, and ultimately your company’s mission.
First of all, you need to work out what your values are. This takes a little time and effort but we can certainly help you with it. What we want to do here is help you make your values the centre of your business and brand so that you’ll attract more of the right customers by ensuring your messaging is on point, aligned and congruent throughout.
Values are a key part of your company’s DNA.
Differentiate your business
One of the main reasons you’ll buy from one company over another (apart from them having the product or service you need) are their values.
Take the Apple example from above. Many Apple users freely admit that their devices are not the best and that they really don’t warrant the ticket price alone. So why are they so immensely popular?
Simon Sinek explained it when he said:
“Every single organisation on the planet knows what they do, but very few know why they do what they do”.
Apple know why they do what they do and they translate that perfectly through their products, marketing and branding.
Apple believes in challenging the status quo and they believe in thinking differently. They challenge this with beautifully designed products that are so simple to use, you can’t help but enjoy using them.
The legions of Apple fans buy into that. Apple also play this out with their famous product launches, their adverts, and their branding.
Apple is Apple through and through. That ‘simplicity’ is in their stores, their branding, their staff clothing, their packaging, their adverts, and of course their products.
It’s like a stick of rock – no matter where you look – it’s written through the business.
Should inspire great behaviours
To continue the Apple example, the core values and beliefs of the company then play out to the way they behave in the market and in store, on the phones and live chat support. If you’ve ever communicated with Apple you’ll notice something – it’s always on-brand.
With the obvious few exceptions, when you interact with them, buy from them, or engage with them, Apple are thinking differently and keeping everything simple to use. Bringing endless music to your pocket, phone calls to your watch and making tablets a true competitor to the laptop is just what they do. What you’re really buying is the culture.
Apple stores are designed as beautifully as the devices and the branding. That’s what billions of people are buying, the products are the what, not the why. Apple got it right.
Align your team and future hires around specific actions in order to be to the company you want to be
When it comes to growing a business the company culture should be at the core of it. Why should people buy from it then changes to why should other people be a part of it? Looking at another large US giant, Google, we can see this culture playing out there too.
The huge HQ building in California stands on 2,000,000 sq feet of farm land in Mountain View. ‘Googleplex’ has its own campus, free push bikes to transport people around and has water pools, plazas, and open spaces.
Google hasn’t created a building – they’ve created a city. But they’ve also embedded their values into it.
Here are Google’s core values:
- We want to work with great people.
- Technology innovation is our lifeblood.
- Be actively involved; you are Google.
- Don’t take success for granted.
- Do the right thing; don’t be evil.
- Earn customer trust and user loyalty and respect every day.
- Sustainable long-term growth and profitability are key to our success.
“Be actively involved; you are Google” is interesting, isn’t it? They include their employees in Google by making them Google. They then play this out on their service by ensuring that their users are a core part of the company too. This is hugely empowering and motivating for their employees.
Achieve the goals and vision you aim to reach
Your values are far greater than your brand and business – they’re your mission! They help you achieve your goals and realise your vision. When you know why, your team know why and your customers know too, you grow together.
Embedding your values into your everyday culture and ethos helps you to grow and achieve far greater success because everyone with you understands what it is they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
When your team and your customers can rely your values and your mission to others without you having to intervene, you know you’ve got it right.
It all starts with knowing why and then it moves into your brand, which for many is the cornerstone of everything they do. We often meet with companies who have little in the way of a mission statement or beliefs laid out, but when we build a brand for them and help them work out their mission (we all have one) it really starts to make sense and change things for them.
If you’re ready for that to happen to you, let’s talk. We know that’s why we do what we do as well as bringing integrity, openness, consistency, and fun to the world of branding.