Why we need values in business

In the world of business, a clearly defined set of values can be a gamechanger.

Values give your team, customers and stakeholders an insight into your brand’s beliefs, behaviours and expectations.

Do customers choose to make a purchase from your brand simply because they like your product or service? Or are they so inspired by your story that they want to jump on board for the whole journey?

When it comes to values, choose the ones that define your business. Consider values that are indicative of your brand.

If your business values honesty, then it’s important that everyone on the team embraces honesty. For your values to be authentic, they need to be real and humanised on a daily basis.

At a time when we all want to engage and connect with customers and nurture brand loyalty, it’s values that can really set a business apart.

The benefits of values

  1. Differentiation
    We live in a competitive world. Your values can make a difference to brand loyalty. What is it that attracts and retains your customers? It just might be the intangible factors your values deliver: service, honesty, trust and integrity.
  2. Affirm your beliefs
    Values instil accountability. Having a clear set of values allows us to question our actions and activities everyday across the whole business.
  3. Provide a roadmap for employees
    Our values tell everyone what we believe in, how we work and what is important to us. They set a standard and act as guide for everyone in the business.

Values aren’t just a statement. They are a way of life for the business and the people who work there, so it’s important that teams and prospective employees all share the same values.

For example, global brand giant Coca Cola United has integrity listed among its values. If you are employed there or wish to be, the expectation is that “we will always do the right thing, even if no one is watching”.

This type of value statement sets a precedent for behaviour across every level of the organisation.

In this way, values can create an enduring company culture, a place people want to work, and consumers want to be associated with.

It’s through this shared set of values that consumers become part of the brand community and business family – it’s your values that inspire word of mouth referrals and ongoing loyalty.

When developing your brand values, always represent who you are with absolute authenticity.

Deciding on brand values is an important step for all small businesses. Some things to consider include:

  1. As a brand, what do you stand for?
    Are you guided by integrity, honesty, respect?
    What drives you and what are you passionate about?
    Example: If you choose to value honesty, that means you have to be prepared to be honest about every aspect of your business from employee relations to product ingredients.
  2. Why are you doing this?
    Do you want to create employment for a diverse community?
    Or perhaps, you want to highlight women in business?
    Example: If you choose to value diversity & inclusion consider how your business is making a contribution to diversity in the workplace and in the community.
  3. What are your standards?
    Are standards part of your values? What is an acceptable standard in your business practice and what does “quality” really mean to your business?
    Example: If you choose to value standards, know how to qualify what this means for your business and your customers.

The most important thing to remember is that your values shape your business, they create the very core of your existence.

Values are a guide for decision-making, allowing us to question our commitments and ensure we always deliver an authentic connection to our customers, employees and our community.