August 2018


The trouble with brand values

A value isn’t a value until it costs you money.

For many businesses, the values carefully typeset and hung on the foyer wall are simple statements which the business would like to be true, or would like their customers and their people to believe are true.

Until the time a business decision must be made which pits profits against values, most values go unnoticed by both the business, staff and customers.

And too often, for these businesses, in the battle between the irresistible moral high ground and the immovable bottom line, the bottom line wins.

Not that the value wasn’t good. Just that the value wasn’t right for the business.

They can and should be your secret weapon in realising your business goals.

Values are the core of the moral code.

A value is something you will not compromise on.

This is true of people.

And true of business.

The problem with many business values is not the values themselves, it’s the role those values play in business.

Honesty, Sustainability and Genuine Value For The Customer are good values.

Little wonder they’re shared by 90% of all businesses.

The question is a simple one, “What purpose do they serve?”

If they do not help a business reach its business and reputational goals, they’re just something nice you’d like your customers to hear.

Values serve a simple function. They align the behaviour of the people in the business with the goals of the business. They provide an objective foundation for judging the actions of others and provide a clear decision lens through which to determine the ideal behaviour of individuals, teams, management and the board.

The provide solid foundations for the development of behaviours which win new business and retain existing customers.

Unfortunately…

… too many businesses determine their values before they determine their business and reputational goals.

No wonder the actions of the people are counter to the promises the business is making to its market, and at odds with the drive to business success.

Determine the business goals first.

From there, determine the reputational goal.

And then ask yourself, “How must we act in order to reach those goals?”

Those action cues become your values.

If your business and reputational goals are different to your competitors, your values will be different, which means your people will behave differently, which provides an authentic, differentiating reason for your customer to stay with you.

Let your goals determine your values.

Your values are the pact you make with your people.

They are seen in your behaviour and reflected in their actions.

The actions of your people become proof of the promises you make to your customers.

 

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy the weekend