Inspire Authenticity Through Powerful Brand Values

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The values of a company serve as a guiding force for its culture, strategy, and overall direction. They represent the company’s aspirations and beliefs, and provide a framework for decision-making and action. A well-defined set of brand values can inspire and motivate employees, foster a sense of community and purpose, and help to differentiate the company from its competitors.

In addition, strong company values can also be attractive to customers and partners who share similar beliefs and priorities. By communicating its values clearly, a company can build trust and loyalty with its stakeholders, and establish itself as a responsible and trustworthy player in the market.

A company’s values are critical to its success in the long term. They provide a foundation for growth and innovation, and help to ensure that the company remains true to its core mission and purpose.

Company values explained

For our purposes, we will define company value statements as:

A set of guiding principles that define the company’s culture, ethics, and approach to business. They represent the company’s beliefs and priorities, and provide a framework for decision-making and action at all levels of the organization.

The purpose of value statements is to create a shared understanding of the company’s expectations and standards, both internally and externally. They help to establish a culture of trust, respect, and accountability among employees, and provide a basis for building relationships with customers and partners based on shared values.

In addition, value statements can also serve as a tool for attracting and retaining top talent, as they provide a clear picture of the company’s culture and priorities. By aligning with the company’s values, your future employees can feel a sense of purpose and belonging, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and performance.

Use-cases for your values

If you’ve ever seen a professional athlete endorse a fast-food chain or cigarettes, your alarm bells should have started ringing. For professional athletes, their values are often physical excellence, health, determination and success – the polar opposite of what fast food and cigarettes represents these days. This is a case of going against your values (in return for money, partnerships etc).

The same goes for businesses who act again their values. This can come in the form of hiring employees, signing partnerships with questionable entities or generally making decisions that go against the values you have come up with.

While this may not kill your business, it certainly will be to its detriment in the long run.

Examples of company values

Below, you can find some excellent examples of brand values from well-known companies. All of them have experienced great success, because of the key foundations built including their cohesive mission, vision and values.

Patagonia:

○ Build the best product
○ Cause no unnecessary harm
○ Use business to protect nature
○ Not bound by convention

Apple:

○ Innovation
○ Simplify everything
○ Focus on design and user experience
○ Environmentally responsible

Google:

○ Focus on the user and all else will follow
○ It’s best to do one thing really, really well
○ Fast is better than slow
○ You can make money without doing evil
○ Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful

Salesforce:

○ Trust
○ Customer success
○ Innovation
○ Equality
○ Giving back

Microsoft:

○ Empower every person and organization to achieve more
○ Inclusiveness
○ Honesty and integrity
○ Openness and accountability

These company values reflect the unique identities and priorities of each company. They are designed to guide decision-making and behavior, both internally and externally, and serve as a framework for building a strong culture and identity.

The process of creating company values

Coming up with company values should be a collaborative process that involves input from various stakeholders within the organization:

1. Define the company culture: It’s important to understand the culture of the company and identify any values you wish to be evident.

2. Identify the company’s mission and goals: The values of the company should align with its mission and long-term goals. Identifying these can help determine what values will be most important in achieving them.

3. Brainstorm potential values: Hold brainstorming sessions with employees and other stakeholders to generate a list of potential values that align with the company’s mission and goals.

4. Evaluate and refine the list: Review the list of potential values and narrow them down to the most important and relevant ones.

5. Test the values: Test the values by communicating them to your cofounders, employees and mentors, seeking feedback to ensure they resonate with everyone.

6. Finalize the values: Once the values have been tested and refined, finalize them and integrate them into the company’s culture and decision-making processes.

It’s important to note that company values should be authentic and reflect the true beliefs and priorities of the organization. They should not simply be aspirational or generic, but rather reflect the unique culture and identity of the company. Additionally, it’s important to periodically revisit and reassess the company values to ensure they remain relevant and effective in guiding the company’s culture and decision-making.

Next Steps

Now that you understand what your brand values represent and how to create them, we recommend the following steps:

○ Review this reading
○ Conduct a Values Statement Workshop
○ Finalize the Values Statements for your venture
○ Proceed to your Brand Keywords

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