Can you pick apart why a particular brand might be a go-to business for consumers? Whether you know it or not – it's related to a brand's core values and the degree to which they resonate with a consumer.
So, what are the core values of a brand all about?
Core values are ideologies, philosophies, and principles that help a company or a business highlight its vision and mission. Your strategies, operations, and even consumers eventually revolve around these very values. These simple values can help you differentiate yourself from a plethora of competitors and be the go-to brand for your consumers.
Core values are a company's culture – as they serve to educate potential clients, stakeholders, and investors of the essence that the company is built on. If you look across the room, you'll see many aimless organizations with no core values – these spur-of-the-need organizations will dissolve just as quickly as they came to light.
Whether you're a freelancer, business owner, or an entrepreneur, a timely definition of these values is the most crucial subtask of branding. Let's have a look at why your core values might be your key success drivers and why you should practically be prioritizing them over everything!
Why Are Core Values Important to An Organization?
They can help your employees stay dedicated, engaged, and motivated enough to their cause and work diligently in a healthy and supportive environment to bring the brand to the limelight.
They help in differentiating your business from its competitors and other companies in the industry.
They can help you boost loyalty amongst your users, along with helping your brand stay authentic.
That's not all – but it should give you a rough idea of how you should proceed. Next, let's jump into how you can discover, define, and document your brand's core values!
How to Define the Core Values of a Company?
Before a company sets its core values, like-minded people must sit together and discuss how each possible option can help them achieve their respective goals. This very discussion can be extended to speculate how these can help you and your employees think of efficient strategies to use.
One important consideration before you get down to it is to think of these core values' nature. They ought to remain unchanged throughout the lifetime of your business. Therefore, you must conceive then carefully by keeping all their potential positive and negative outcomes for the company in the future.
So, how to define the core values of a company? Here are a few ways to do that:
Reflect and Evaluate: If all the co-founders and directors of the company do this exercise together, it will yield great results. What is important to you as an executive and other key people in the company? Answering this question must be personal, and it should reflect what you expect from your business. Also, keep in mind that this reflation(s) must remain useful to you in the long term and not just for the time being.
Elaborate Listing: Get hold of a whiteboard and let the brainstorming begins! List all of the essential values for you and the other executives, personally, while thinking about the business. When co-founders and decision-makers sit together for this exercise, the list can and should go to as high as 20-30 values vital to you.
Scenario Elimination: You just put together an exhaustive list of values that you and your co-founders care about. This list is reflective of all the values that have touched your lives and have made you what you are. But you know that running a company is a tricky business. Now it's time to focus the list to fit your business. Start imagining different business scenarios and think about which of these values you may forgo if the company desperately requires you to forget them. Just for an example, you may end up slashing out 'Environmentalism' from that list, but none of you or your co-founder might be ready to let go of 'Openness' from that list. For some other organizations and set of founders, it might just be the opposite of that.
Core Values: After completing the scenario elimination exercise, what you should be left with are the values you and your team would never compromise regardless of the situation. These are your core values, and this entire drill helped you arrive at them organically. Ideally, these should be around 3-5 core values. Rarely they go beyond 10.
Show, Don’t Tell! Once you have set up all your core values, make sure that you implement them as well. It would help if you created an environment of seriousness surrounding your core values in such a way that nobody should think of deviating from them or even ignoring them.
Feedback and Rewards: To effectively make your core values known and implemented, you should make it a habit to involve your employees' feedback. Ask about your values' usefulness, worthiness, and what improvements they might want to make. This constant journey to seek feedback is what a business's success depends on. Of course, the final decision is yours. But, feedback will encourage your employees to stay dedicated to your values while letting them know that their opinions matter. Mind you – I'm not referring to drastic changes but just small tweaks.
The Bottom Line: Importance of Core Values in Businesses
Your employees and, eventually, your customers identify themselves with your core values. Core values are not just representative of what you are as a company, but they also indicate what kind of customers you would end up attracting.
Core values are so critical for your brand that you must give this exercise an outstanding amount of time, something it truly deserves! Some of the most exceptional marketing campaigns for the best of the companies rally around their core values. At times, your campaigns may not even discuss the product but the feeling of being associated with your brand. This feeling emanates from your core values.
The importance of core values in business needs to be correctly identified, and for this, efforts should be made to set up cause-effective and robust business values that are useful in the long term.
So, why should you define your brand's core values? Success!