First thing is first, what are company culture and values?
The best way to answer that is to understand your values and cultures are (as the business owner). Values are, at their core, what the company deems as important or having worth. They can be the company draws its priorities, whether profit-motivated or intangibly-motivated.
Company culture is the environment and personality of the brand, which is a reflection of the values within. It can include policies, holidays, goals, and more.
Definitions Aside: Why are Culture and Values of an Organization Important?
Without culture or values, an organization tends to have far less impact on its people, its community, and consequently its clients. The culture and value of an organization are the life blood that makes people passionate about the work they do (and the people they do it for).
They keep the company ethical when there are values placed on the ethics of the entire organization. Given the continuous news stories on Monsanto’s processes, for example, we can assume they are more profit-motivated than ethically motivated. From using highly poisonous chemicals to practices that contribute to the decline in bees, the company seems to take an indifferent stance to the effects they have on the environment as long as their products remain commercially successful.
But I digress. Ultimately, organizations without clear company culture and values are easily led astray by sheer profit. So when picking a company culture it is important that everyone in the organization agrees with the culture, and fits that mold, to perpetuate a stronger front against cultural offenders and opportunists.
Making the Culture and Value Visible to the Target Market
Once we have the values and culture identified for the organization we want that to reflect in the message to the customer. This does not mean to go out and print it on every piece of marketing collateral we own. What this means is to embody the culture and values in the day to day life of the company – we do this through emotionography.
For example, if you own a firm that has strong values on innovation, every member or your team should be in a position to contribute new ideas, test theories, and provide insight and feedback to others’ ideas and theories. This would reflect the culture and value of innovation since every member of the organization is working on creating new solutions for the clients every day.
How about another example?
Say you own a firm that values transparency to clients. It is therefore part of your company culture to be forthright and honest with the client about their project/account/purchase.
Your employees are not simply employees; they are your first level clients, and they should receive the same transparency as you expect your clients (people buying from your firm) should receive.
What this does are 2 things. First, you eliminate micromanagement. This form of management is typically top-down in nature. The CEO/CFO/president (whatever you call yourself as the owner) does not direct a team on what to do and how to do (boss), but rather works along with the team on what to do and how to do it (leader). There is open communication where everyone is heard, and active change occurs laterally withing the firm as opposed to top down or bottom up. With lateral communication, there are no secrets and there is ultimate transparency which is then passed on to the clients.
Is this helping?
From here we share our story with our target markets through our emotionography. Remember emotionography is all the photography, videography, and imagery that tells an emotional story.
WAIT!!! What is a “Target Market”?
A target market is a term we use to describe your perfect client. If I could introduce you today to your ideal client, what do they look like? Do they have a college education? Are they employed? Are they married? You get the idea.
We use defining terms to identify and describe who we think our best client is. From there we use what are known as focus groups. These are people of your defined target market. Once you have completed your focus group you are able to confirm if this is indeed your ideal client, and if the culture and values are a match for those clients.
If that is the case you are ready to make some money because you are not just working with clients, you are working with raving fans! More on focus groups and converting clients to raving fans later 🙂
Please share your thoughts below! We love to hear from you and your experience with choosing your culture and values for your company!