Our values capture and express what is important to us, as we live our life and run our businesses. They are formed by our upbringing and our experiences; and they guide our decisions, behaviours and actions.
Some people have difficulty when asked to define their values. They intuitively know what’s important to them; but struggle with the abstract concept of values as they relate to their business.
While we may struggle to express our values, without values guiding our business goals, our business would only be about making a profit. Don’t misunderstand me, making a profit is vital for a business’ survival, but not at the expense of your values.
Authentic values can be successfully used to attract customers whose values align with yours, but first your values need to understood and communicated both in your “key messages” and in the outward performance of your business.
So, why would you strive to align values with a group of customers? There are numerous reasons:
- Behind every financial transaction is a person making decisions based on their values. There is interconnectedness between values and the achievement of a customer’s perception of value.
- Customer goodwill, passion, commitment and loyalty (are values and) are emotional capital that contribute to business success. Emotional capital drives creativity, ideas, insight and customer knowledge and understanding.
- Business performance is improved when you enjoy your work, it is meaningful to you and you perceive that you are genuinely contributing to the fulfilment and wellbeing of your customers through your service or product. These feelings are natural results of experiencing values alignment.
- Values helps us express what we want and improve decision making because our values determine the best choice for us. This intuitive style of decision making happens because values are emotionally based.
Authentic values provide a cohesive brand identity, which when aligned with customer values improves trust and commitment.
In simple terms, brand loyalty is long term values alignment.
“A great brand taps into emotions. Emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It’s an emotional connecting point that transcends the product (or the persona).” Scott Bedbury/Starbucks
Long term authentic values alignment is a relationship marketing approach that seeks to grow a business exponentially by cultivating customer brand loyalty and word of mouth advertising to help recruit new customers. A relationship marketing/values alignment approach provides a lower cost and a more sustainable approach to marketing for many small businesses, which equals improved profit!
I’d like to know what you think about the use of authentic values in your business?
About the writer: Teresa Bassham is an Authentic Marketing Coach who helps small business professionals be successful; while maintaining their values and their authenticity.
Available now: A new e-book that reveals the secrets to Authentic Marketing – it’s called “The Easy Steps to Creating your own Authentic Marketing Plan”: an easy to understand, workbook-style summary of what you have to do to gain greater wealth and success from your business. It’s free if you sign up for my newsletter today. http://www.zenworkz.com/index.php/free-e-book-create-your-own-authentic-marketing-plan
All or parts of this blog are able to be published with permission from the author – provided that the author is acknowledged and a link is given to the original source blog.
This blog content is influenced by Michael Henderson and Dougal Thompson’s book “Values at Work” and years of experience within the Australian business culture and may not be applicable to other countries business cultures.