The values that a company lays out will shape its future, culture, community, and consumer experience. If you read a company’s core values and scoff, you’ve probably had a negative experience and aren’t buying into the company. There is no reason you have to as a consumer. The world is your oyster in this situation. If you are in control of a business in some fashion, then it is imperative that you get on board with your company’s core values or implement them. If you don’t buy into the values then find employment that’s a better fit. This is not to say that it’s a good idea to blindly drink the Kool-Aid. Everyone benefits in a business if they are all held to the same standards and emulate the core values. Here are the overlooked aspects of why it is important to have values and build on them.
Companies function similar to families but on a larger scale. The authority is top-down starting with the parents at the top and the children at the bottom. Companies have a few more levels of authority but just as parents instill their values into their children, a Founder or CEO will instill their values into their company. It's impossible to expect that everyone will buy into the values of a company. Everyone knows someone who was the rebellious child who grew up to be nothing like their parents. This doesn’t mean that values aren’t important. It's just less acceptable to fire someone from a family for not upholding and following the same values as their parents. Looking at the entirety of a company, the values they are built on become more important the deeper we get.
Employees are the driving force within a company. The values they take on will make that force stronger, more efficient, and less vulnerable to adversity. Core values set a standard for how employees are to conduct themselves. Every employee is an ambassador for their employer. For better or worse, people will make judgments on companies when they meet one of their employees. This means that the internal structure of a company should embody the core values from top to bottom. If the managers of the company do not represent the core values then the rest of the employees see no reason to accept them. If the general employees do not embody the values of a company the company will fail. This is because the consumer’s first point of contact with a company is not usually with management. With no values, each employee and therefore each encounter with the company will be inconsistent and cause the mixed appeal to the consumers.
Company values guide the expectations and narrative of the work that is completed by its employees. Values are a hidden part of the brand image. When an employee sends an email to a client trying to resolve an issue, the client already knows what to expect. These values are outwardly broadcasted every time someone encounters your business and employees. Having solid values can appeal to potential consumers and cement a long relationship of loyalty and trust. All businesses should strive for a strong appeal to their consumers because they too help shape the perception of the business. This all begins with good employees and great values.
Values create a sense of community inside and outside the company. Neighbors live in the same area and wine lovers have wine nights. The same concept applies to employees of a company. They work at the same place, at the same time, and with the same values. This sense of community is a powerful tool. If employees like the company they work for and the people they work with, then productivity and morale are off the charts. A strong companywide community makes the values shine even brighter carrying over to the consumer side.
The Nike outrage following the Collin Kapernick commercial turned an enormous profit. When a company is in tune with their values and consistently acts in a way the reinforces them, consumers get on board. The sense of community in the consumer realm keeps them coming back because it’s all part of the brand experience. It’s the reason certain owners of specific cars wave when they see someone else driving the same car. This is also why celebrity endorsements work.
Looking at the big picture, a company with deeply embedded values is stronger than a company that has weak values or none at all. Values by themselves are useful for making a company consistent. It’s when the Core values of a company are embodied from top to bottom that the organic opportunities to grow and prosper become evident. There is no one thing that makes a business guaranteed to succeed but instilling strong values early on is an integral part of a company that can go the distance.