Is it an outstanding espresso made with sustainably curated shade-grown, fair-trade beans, exact temperatures, and loving barista expertise?
Could it be your morning bike commute that allows you to ponder the day while taking in nature and saving the environment?
Perhaps you value knowing your online shopping supports a small business vendor essential to your community who donates proceeds to a local non-profit.
You may not be able to point at exactly what your top 5 values are, with certainty, but one thing is certain… our values lead us, guide us, dictate our decisions, and often our emotions. We are driven by our values… every customer, entrepreneur, and every company too!
Noise 13 likes to focus on the positive, but for this purpose, it is useful to note that we are all aware of businesses or organizations that are failing at their values. Maybe they’re saying they stand for one thing but then participating in business decisions that directly contradict those statements.
If you stop for 3 seconds, right now… (just do it) close your eyes really quickly and try to think of a brand or organization that’s let you down…. From their services to their culture to the experience you have using their products, you can feel it when the story does not match your reality. And unfortunately, it just takes one bad experience to break the spell.
What these groups are ultimately failing at is having clear and concise brand strategies powered by the values of their leaders AND clearly communicating those values to their customer base.
It’s a simple case of unmet expectations.
The great news is that the solution is simple; get really, REALLY clear on your business values and use that to define and articulate a brand experience that is true to how your organization actually runs and will continue to operate. Sometimes you might add a few stretch goals, but you have to start from the truth; start from the inside out.
It’s always a great idea to continue to find and communicate clarity around your brand, and we definitely know the cost of NOT doing this strategic work. So what are some perks to operating a values-led organization?
When you’re clear on your values and communicate them accordingly, you ….
Side note: authenticity can not be a company value. It is a proof point customers apply to your brand to test if your values are woven throughout the entire brand experience. Authenticity is really “walking the talk,” of your values.
Just check out Patagonia, an excellent example of how living your values drive business. They’ve kept it powerfully simple on their customers from every touchpoint… including their website navigation: Shop, Activism, Sports, and Stories.
Even the headline of the Activism page: “We aim to use the resources we have—our voice, our business, and our community—to do something about our climate crisis.” This statement, PLUS their actions, make it abundantly clear what the company cares about and how they plan to serve their values.
We have a few clients who are shining stars in the values-led organizational environment:
These groups worked hard to identify what mattered to them and how they were going to make a better world with their work. We partnered directly with their teams to shape their company values from the inside out.
Oftentimes, we’re so entrenched in our own business, concerned deeply with customer growth, audience saturation, and beyond, that it can feel impossible to stop and focus on the core. We are here to help!
We’ve been there – seriously! In 2013, Noise 13 hired an outside team to help us update our brand strategy to ensure an honest, unbiased outside perspective. Let us be that perspective for you and help guide your team through the process. Learn more by scheduling a call with us today.