You have thought hard about (and perhaps already spent a lot of money on) a mission, vision and core values. However, it is not possible to translate this into effective means of communication. Finding the right customers therefore remains a problem … Recognizable? I would like to tell you how it can be done differently.
Are your core values actually your CORE values?
Your core values form the foundation of your business. Yet it is quite a challenge for most entrepreneurs to think about what these values actually are. The most common answer I hear to the question “What do you stand for?” is “quality and reliability”. But if you do not deliver quality and you can not be trusted, you should stop doing business immediately. These are basic CONDITIONS instead of core values.
What are my core values then?
You don’t make up core values. They are in your heart and you propagate them through conscious and unconscious communication. Your friends don’t know you any different and therefore like you.
You don’t make up core values. They are at the heart of your organization and are propagated by your staff, partners and other ambassadors. Your customers know you no different and therefore buy from you.
Sounds logical … but HOW do I define my core values?
Your core values explain who you are, what you stand for and why you do what you do. This applies to both individual people and organizations. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I really stand for? What do I find important in life?
- Why do I do what I do?
- What makes my organization unique?
- What role do I want to play in the life of my audience?
- Why did I ever start doing business?
Every organization is UNIQUE in something. In its view, its motives, its talents or it’s eccentricity. Take advantage of that. After all, no other organization in the world is better at “being you” than you! Steve Jobs once put it very nicely: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Keep that in mind when answering the above questions.
Okay … but WHAT do my core values actually deliver me?
Especially at a time when we seem to be collectively looking for ‘meaning’, real brands with an honest story have the future. Only by showing who you really are and what you stand for are you able to communicate effectively and build a VALUABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TARGET GROUP.
Robin van Rossum