The Obvious, Yet Completely Underutilized Brand Magnifier
Your core values act as a compass by leading you through your daily life. The direction you are led dictates the decisions you make, and the activities in which you take part. The businesses you choose to support and hire are typically in alignment with the causes and values that you believe in. Now more than ever, consumers take time to learn about the people and mission behind the companies and services they choose to invest in and utilize. If you don’t have a clear vision of what your business’s core values are, then you are missing out on major branding and marketing opportunities.
The important thing to remember is that while being open about your core values and beliefs may push some potential clients away, it will strengthen the attraction to clients that have the same core values as you. Today, we want to share a bit about our core values at Sharp Innovations, and also give you some ideas on how to clarify and utilize your own in your business.
What Are Core Values in a Business?
Core values are the guiding principles of a company or organization. They act as the foundation upon which the company stands and provides guidance on how employees should act in their day-to-day operations. They define the culture of an organization, helping to shape how it conducts business and communicates with its customers. Core values help organizations to stay focused, grow from within, and strive for success. They direct decision-making, helping to ensure that everyone is working towards the same shared goals. By defining core values, a company can help ensure that all decisions taken will be for the greater benefit of its employees and customers.
How to Figure Out Your Business’s Core Values
Every successful business needs to have a core set of values that guides its decisions, policies, and relationships with customers. So how do you figure out what your business’s values should be? First, think about the bigger “why” behind which you started your business in the first place. Is it about making money? Providing a great service or product to your community? Providing an excellent customer experience? Identifying the reasons why you wanted to get into business is a great starting point for identifying your core values.
Additionally, one way to identify your core business values is to think about the qualities of people and organizations you admire, both inside and outside of your industry. Spend time reflecting on which qualities have contributed most significantly to their success and determine if adopting any of those values will benefit your business. Finally, consider talking through and asking questions internally such as “What do we believe in?”, and surveying existing customers to understand what they most value when interacting with your company. Ultimately, figuring out and articulating clear core values isn’t just essential for keeping employees aligned, it also helps define how customers perceive the organization overall.
The Branding Effect
Businesses that have clear core values in how they operate help them to establish and reinforce a consistent brand. Defining the core values of your business can influence every facet of your organization, from the product you design to hiring practices, and ultimately how you communicate with customers. When your core values are well defined, that informs people outside of the organization, setting expectations around what the company stands for. By understanding your core values and communicating them clearly, your business can significantly increase the strength of its brands and stand out among competitors.
Sharp Innovations Core Values & Mission
At Sharp Innovations, we don’t shy away from sharing our core values with our team, our clients and the world. We feel it is essential to acknowledge the inspiration and guiding principles that have allowed us to grow our business, honor and respect each other within the organization, and best serve our clients. “We acknowledge that our firm has been led by God since its inception in 1999, and powered by uniquely gifted and devoted team members ever since.” We have 5 Core Values that drive everything we do, as well as how we show up as a team for our valued clients. When you are solid in your values, you become unstoppable. You automatically attract your ideal clients and create a more harmonious company culture as expectations and standards are set and understood. Here are Sharp’s 5 Core Values:
- Honoring God – Honor God as a team through a culture of business ethics.
- Excellence – Relentlessly pursuing quality and excellence each day.
- Stewardship – Pursuing an impact for the Kingdom of God inside our bigger purpose & mission to bless those in need.
- Servant Culture – Serving everyone well daily with a servant’s heart for God’s glory.
- Open Communication – Communicating openly through unsurpassed customer service to grow long-term successful relationships.
And if we had to add one more value unofficially… it would have to be FUN! If you’ve not noticed, we also like to have fun! We value a relaxed atmosphere, completely free of the “corporate” feel, and one that we invite our clients to enjoy along with our team. We have several fun amenities, from an arcade (located in the basement of Building B) to a complete blaster arsenal occasionally used for office-wide battles. While fun is a major tenet of our work environment, we remain passionate about providing excellent creative solutions for our clients. Is fun a core value for you?
Take time to create your own. Make sure they are true to you and your business, and that you can stick to them before incorporating them into your company culture.
Why It Matters
When you get really clear and certain about your core values, you will tap into a deeper sense of meaning, purpose, and power. All businesses have their ups and downs, but having a strong purpose will carry you through them all. It builds a sense of commitment into everyday actions that will help to maintain focus on your overall outcome which directly relates to your values. For Sharp, it has been the guiding force for every decision we make. We can check every choice against our values making it a clear yes or no. Having a deep sense of purpose and meaning behind your business allows your clients to trust you, and understand exactly what they are getting from choosing you above competitors.
Clearly defined core values help to establish and cultivate a particular company culture. Whether it’s a new client or potential new hire, company culture is a major factor in the decision-making process. A potential new hire will research a company to see if it is a place they can fit in and connect with, as well as if it is a mission they want to help grow and serve. Potential new clients do the same, to see if they want to spend their money to further the mission of the company they invest in or buy from. Think of the last time you went to a restaurant or store, or even bought a car. Did you consider the people and purpose behind the brand? Would you want your money to go to a company led by people that were committed to a cause you felt hurt the planet or others? Probably not. By clarifying and sharing your core values, you can give potential new hires and clients even more reason to confidently choose your company, and proudly tell all their friends and family about you too!
What If Clients Don’t Align?
If a client doesn’t fully align with your core values, it doesn’t mean they won’t utilize your services, or buy your products. Often just knowing that a company has taken the time and effort to consider why they are in business, is enough to impart a sense of trust and give them more reason to choose your business over others. Most businesses start because of a need in the marketplace. By sharing the inspiring story or mission of why you started your business, and what you hope to accomplish (your Mission statement), you can invite people to be a part of it, and support it. They know their dollars are going to a good cause, even if it isn’t the center point of their life. People/consumers just want to know that a company has good intentions and that the money spent with them will go towards good.
Need Help Defining Your Business’s Core values?
At Sharp Innovations, we are more than just a full-stack marketing company. We care about everything we do and make sure to provide the best possible customer care available. We are here to help you grow your business and mission, and have a team of dedicated specialists to help no matter what you are tackling. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you clarify your core values, and tap into an unlimited source of passion, purpose, and power in your life and business.