4 Ways to Share Them • Financially Simple


As a business owner, you’ve likely heard about creating company core values at least once. In fact, you’ve probably got a list of a few core values tucked away somewhere. But operating a values-based organization requires more than writing a few inspirational words and inserting them into your company handbook. In this entry, I’m discussing the importance your company’s core values have on differentiating yourself from the competition and giving you 4 ways to communicate them with your customers.

Follow Along With The Financially Simple Podcast!

This week on The Financially Simple Podcast:

  • (1:33) Why core business values matter
  • (3:10) Putting your values to work
  • (4:34) How Chick-fil-A integrated its values into their culture
  • (9:35) 4 ways to communicate your company’s core values with customers
  • (9:44) Listing values on your website
  • (11:08) Displaying values through actions
  • (11:34) The power of “Cause Marketing”
  • (12:48) Values-based consumer testimonies

Why Company Core Values Matter

When creating your company’s core values it might be tempting to choose values like Communication, Respect, Integrity, and Excellence. After all, these sound like good things. And they are. In fact, you should strive for each of these values. However, your core business values can’t just be empty platitudes. They have to mean something. In the case of these values, they represented the core business values of a company called Enron.

Knowing what we know now, it doesn’t seem like these values held much weight within their corporate culture. You see, “empty values statements create cynical and dispirited employees, alienate customers, and undermine managerial credibility,” according to the Harvard Business Review. Therefore, it’s critical to develop a system of values that truly embodies the culture of your business. But what does that look like?

Well, a business with strong, foundational values exhibits their values in everything they do. From their hiring processes and customer service to employee recognition and termination practices, everything must be viewed through the lens of their core values.

Putting Core Values into Action

When I think of companies that embody their core values, I think of Chick-fil-A. I do love the Lord’s chicken sandwich and an ice cold sweet tea, but I digress. You see, Truett Cathy knew he wanted to provide guests with a world-class experience that went beyond that of the typical fast-food experience.

His core values reflected the brand’s mission “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” More than this, the company’s values are so thoroughly ingrained in every part of the culture, that their customers actually “feel” them. But what are these values and how do they exemplify them?

We’re Here to Serve

Chick-fil-A exhibits this value internationally through their “True Inspiration Awards.” They have given more than $12MM to local non-profits across the US and Canada. They also serve their local communities by hosting events like Military Appreciation days and Daddy/Daughter Date Nights, as well as providing local outreach in times of need. Likewise, Chick-fil-A serves their team members by providing scholarships and even providing generous gifts to employees and their families at Christmas time. In fact, one of my own team members received an Apple Watch from the location his wife worked at.

We’re Better Together

The company lives out this core value by creating a diverse and inclusive culture. In 2018, they received Comparably’s Best Company for Women award. Similarly, the company ranks in the top 40% of businesses with 10,000+ employees according to Comparably’s Diversity Score. The leadership understands the value provided by a diverse group of individuals, and they’ve made efforts to ensure that all people feel welcome in their ranks.

We Are Purpose-Driven

This value is exhibited with every daily interaction. The team’s operations are aligned with the business’s mission and strategy. They display good stewardship by providing a consistently high-quality product in the most efficient manner possible. This overlaps with the idea of creating a positive impact for all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A. Great food, served quickly and accurately, combined with exceptional customer service makes it easy to believe their employees when they say, “My pleasure!”

We Pursue What’s Next

Over the years, Chick-fil-A has innovated and revolutionized the fast food drive-thru. It began with providing unexpected service and has progressed and evolved to create more efficient processes like outdoor order takers, multiple lanes in the drive-thru, delivering food to the customer’s table, and even curbside service. Enough with the Chick-fil-A love… for now. The point is that a company’s core values must be an active part of its culture. So, how can you effectively communicate your core values with your customers?

4 Ways to Communicate Your Core Values with Your Customers

As more and more consumers begin to favor companies that align with their values, it becomes all the more important to communicate your brand’s values with your customers. In fact, a recent survey by Vrity, found that 60% of consumers “have made a purchase from a brand because they have values I believe in.” 82% of respondents claimed they would pay more for a value-aligned brand. So, how can you most effectively communicate your values to your customers?

1. List Your Core Business Values on Your Website

This may seem obvious but there are still business owners who believe they don’t need a website (41% of business owners who don’t already have a website). When developing Values pages for your website, use compelling imagery and engaging text that tells visitors how you live up to your core values. People want to see your values in action.

Like my momma always said, “Son, what you do speaks so loudly that your words, I cannot hear.” In other words, actions speak louder than words. This brings me to the second way of communicating your company’s core values with your customers.

2. Display Your Values Through Your Actions

Once again, I’m going to reference Chick-fil-A. They’ve so thoroughly permeated the culture within their company that their values are demonstrated in nearly everything they do. When you go to their restaurant, you anticipate fast, friendly service that’s designed to make you feel like their most important customer.

From the simple response of, “My pleasure,” to each employee having a daily budget they can use to buy meals for customers in need or who just look like they need an extra dose of kindness, Chick-fil-A puts their values on full display with each customer interaction. The result is a cult-like following that enabled the company to earn more than rivals such as Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy’s, despite having about half as many stores and being closed on Sundays.

3. Implement “Cause Marketing” that Aligns with Your Values in Your Social Media & Email Marketing

If one of your values is to serve a specific sect of the community — for example, veterans with disabilities, you might choose to partner with various non-profit groups who advocate for those demographics (i.e. Wounded Warrior Project, K9s for Warriors, etc.). You can highlight that partnership in your social media and email marketing efforts, letting consumers know that serving the community is one of your core values.

People want to spend their money supporting businesses they feel are contributing to the causes they care about. In fact, a survey by Engage for Good found that 72% of American consumers believe it’s important to buy from companies who share their values.

4. Customer Testimonies

More than ever, people are relying on consumer reviews. They look at reviews before buying anything from a new pickup truck to a tube of toothpaste. A survey by Search Engine Land hammers this point home. The survey found that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Therefore, customer testimonies are a great way to advertise. However, not all of your consumer testimonies need to be about your products or services. Including a couple of testimonies about what you and your business stand for can be a powerful means of communicating your company’s core values to your customers.

RELATED ARTICLE: Defining Your Business’s Vision and Mission

Wrapping Up…

Friends, I hope this has given you something to consider. Creating your company’s core values shouldn’t be taken lightly. Once you’ve chosen the values you want your business to exemplify, they must be used as the foundation for your corporate culture. They should be so well-ingrained, that your team actively lives them out without a thought. Perhaps most importantly, don’t keep them to yourself. Share your values with everyone who comes in contact with your brand!

I know life is hard. I do. But life is good. Effectively communicating your core values with your customers can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. With these four steps, you can make sharing your values, at least, financially simple. Let’s go out and make it a great day!

Do your company’s core values inform the culture of your business? Are they well known by your customers and staff? If not, maybe it’s time to reevaluate them. Reach out to our team to learn how we could help you take your business in the direction you want it to go.

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