For startups, there’s more to come up with a set of core values than just jotting down positive words that seem good for the business. If you’re venturing into a startup business of your own, you should know that with every product or service purchased by a customer comes the potential that your brand’s core values can be endorsed to others. People will soon come to know what your brand is all about whether you prioritize social entrepreneurship or go for customer satisfaction and help them decide if they can place their loyalty on your brand or otherwise.
To help you come up with the right set of core values for your company, we’ve listed a couple of things you should consider and do to help you gain a wider customer base, increased profits, and a name that stands out in the market.
Your core values are not the same as your company culture.
Most newbies in the startup industry often mistake core values as their company culture, which are two different concepts. Like in any other unit, culture is not set in stone and is prone to evolving through time. They are changeable norms that members adapt themselves to in order to function within a framework via acceptable behaviors.
On the other hand, core values should be established as concrete guidelines that every employee should adhere to every chance they get. They are the roots that uphold and develop a company’s culture and constants that do not change for the long-term. Core values symbolize the leadership’s beliefs which should be upheld no matter what.
A good example of this is how sports apparel brand Adidas regards performance, passion, integrity, and diversity and makes sure that these characteristics are evident in every product they release to the market. If your core values reflect in everything that you do concerning your brand, the sooner customers will get to know you better.
Polish your set of core values.
In the world of business, you might have heard of the alphabetical trio VMV by now which stands for vision, mission, and values. Defining your core values is greatly reliant on your company’s vision and mission as these make up the roadmap to your goals and what type of leader you are. Start by asking yourself what your startup can do for others that will make a difference in their lives. Add your goal to that idea and you’ll have your vision. How you’ll go about achieving this goal will then be your mission.
Once you have defined the two, you can now polish your set of core values for your company by picking the top human attributes you believe can help achieve those goals. These must be easily adapted by your co-workers and filtered to what traits you prioritize for your target market. This process is indeed a labor of love because you’re going to have to dig deeper into your own heart and mind to come up with the right values that your employees can also stand by.
Address the problems.
Every startup aims to solve a problem. Identifying problems and challenges that you want to face head-on via your startup is one good way of discovering the right set of core values for your company. What is your startup’s main purpose and who are you trying to help? In trying to identify the problems, you also have to link your brand’s identity to your target market’s perception. Do you want to be viewed as an active corporate citizen?
Do you prioritize customer satisfaction over everything else? Whatever company purpose you establish, make sure that your brand can be relatable to the promises you convey to your customers. Holding a small focus group discussion can help you determine which values your target market highly regard. By personifying your brand through values, customers will know that they can rely on you and give you their loyalty.
Walk the talk.
Last but not least, you should always be adamant in influencing your employees with your established core values and make sure they apply it to every process that concerns your startup. Put your values into action and recognize the members who truly personify your brand. It’s also good to let all your customers know of your set of core values by placing them conspicuously on your digital marketing collaterals.
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