How can trust not be a value? Isn’t trust a beautiful way to describe what your business is build on?
Yes, of course it is, but it doesn’t mean a thing. Let me explain why.
To start, what are values in the first place?
Brand values are (moral) filters. You will need them when making decisions about your business. Do you have any values in place? Any standards that you are not willing to let go of?
Values are principles that are so essential to your company that when you remove one, you basically disgrace your brand—it won’t be the same. It’s part of your core, your identity.
Why are values important?
Identifying brand values can help to streamline decision-making and provide direction in everything you do.
Your brand and way of doing business is being built on these values. If you don’t have any of these, how can you make sure you are in alignment with your core brand in everything you do?
Plus, values are not only important for decision-making and direction but also for customer loyalty. You want to create deep and meaningful relationships with your customers that last for years.
They will bring you repeat business and raise the value of your brand.
To do that, you need to clearly define your brand values so that your audience can have something to connect to. Something to stay loyal to.
Therefore, showing your values through your marketing and communications is vital. Sharing your motivation about why these things matter to you creates common ground between you and your ideal client. When your values resonate with them, they are more likely to keep on following you.
“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz
That’s why values are important.
How do values work in practice?
Let’s say, customer service is important to you, how do you make sure it’s represented in everything you do? How does customer service translate to reality?
Or, when sustainability is one of your principles, how do you allow it to affect every choice you make for your business?
I’m sure you can come up with something.
My point is though, there’s a connection between value and doing. Can you see that connection? Values are about doing things a certain way.
When I say, trust is our value. What does that actually mean? How do I apply that in my way of doing things? It becomes a bit fuzzy, eh. It’s an abstract noun that I want to apply to my actions.
The thing is… A noun can’t provide context for handling things. If you want your values to be more actionable and clearer, why not use a verb? Or a small sentence?
Integrity is one of Coca-Cola’s values. What about saying always doing the right thing instead?
What if innovation is one of your company’s values and you work for customer support, how would you go about it? It seems logical for R&D, but it might be vague for you.
What if you replace that word with looking at the problem from a different angle? Wouldn’t that give you more context?
From Customer service to Giving the client the best experience possible
From Trust to Being open and honest about everything
From Sustainability to If it hurts the Earth, we won’t do it
See why I think trust isn’t a brand value? It’s not specific enough. It’s not workable. Actionable. Or providing context. Therefore, transform values from nouns to verbs! Verbs are about action, as are values.
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