Posted by Kristine Jacobson

Everyone has values or core beliefs that drive the way they do just about everything. Every company has core values that define the soul of your organization — whether or not you make a point to publish them. However, if you haven’t taken the time to define your values and share them with your team, your clients, and in your market, it’s absolutely worth your time to do so.

Defining your company values leads to incredible shifts

When you define the three-to-five things that matter most to your company, you can use these values as a lens for all the decisions you make in your business, which can lead to stronger company culture and more collaborative clients.

As you assimilate these values into every process in your business, things run more smoothly. Moreover, they show up in every interaction — internally and externally, including your hiring process, reward and recognition activities, client engagement, and marketing efforts — so you can attract team members and clients who align with your values.

What are your company values?

Of course, the first step in using your company values to build a more effective brand is to actually define them. There are several methodologies you can perform with company leadership to define your core values. The way we got to our core values of Tenacious, Self-Starter, Collaborative, and Innovative, was to look across our organization and identify the traits that we saw across our team members that were most meaningful and encapsulated what truly mattered to us as an organization, as members of a team, as committed to our clients, and to our community as a whole. We leaned heavily on Patrick Lencioni’s article in Harvard Business Review, “Make Your Values Mean Something.”

Next, you’ll define how these are important internally and externally by considering questions like:

  • What does each core value mean to your company as a whole?
  • How does each relate to individual team members and internal stakeholders?
  • How does each relate to clients, customers, and external stakeholders?
  • How does each relate to the way you want to make people feel?

Once your leadership team defines these core values, it’s time to evaluate your processes to ensure that they align with your core values. If you need to make any changes, you can let your team know along with the new core values so that they begin to understand the why behind any shifts you’re making.

Using your core values as a market differentiator

Whether or not you’ve already defined your core values, if you haven’t used them in your business or your marketing as a key differentiator, you may be wondering how to get started. The possibilities are endless, so it makes sense to take things slowly, possibly even with a slow metered rollout. Here are some things to consider before making a broad announcement to clients:

  • Do your mission and vision statements need updating?
  • How can you integrate your values with your visual branding?
  • Do you need statements for each to include in your web copy?
  • Review your existing marketing efforts across the board to see if you need to adjust any ongoing efforts, paying particular attention to account-based marketing, a content strategy, your marketing funnel, and more.
  • Are there any prospective clients that don’t fit with your values? (Consider pausing your pursuit of them.)
  • Are there any prospective clients you could increase focus on winning because they’re in total alignment?

Now it’s time to create buzz around these changes. Use what you’re already doing to highlight your excitement and create a story around your core values. Some of the tactics you’ll want to consider include:

  • A blog post announcing the changes you’re making in your business that explains your process and why you decided to embark on this effort
  • Emails to your clients explaining the changes and why you’re excited (link to your blog)
  • An email to your entire database to let them know about the changes (with a call to action to work with you)
  • A series of social posts that tease the update like: “changes ahead” or “coming soon”
  • A series of social posts that define the core values and explain how you’re living them out in your business
  • A series of case studies showing how you employ each core value in client work and have used it to get results. (and in turn, some blog posts, email marketing, and social content with each)

Your values matter

The bottom line is that when you and your team are in complete alignment with your company values, using them as the lens for how you do business, you’ll create a more authentic company from the ground up. By highlighting your company values as a differentiator in all of your marketing, your clients and prospects will notice, and you’ll see your business grow.

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Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson

Kristine Jacobson has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience with notable corporate leaders as well as emerging market contenders. She offers expert marketing strategy with a touch of creative flair. Her extensive knowledge of strategic marketing, marketing plan execution, and branding illuminate the big picture without losing sight of the details.