Stepping into the world of business can be exciting at first, but it’s only a matter of time before you realize that not everything will go according to plan. Regardless of industry, all businesses will have to contend with unexpected challenges. Customers complaining, sales dropping, employee productivity going down – it’s an endless struggle that will push entrepreneurs well beyond their limits.
Amidst all the chaos, what’s important is that your business never loses its identity. If you remain true to a single value statement, everyone – including employees, customers, and competitors – will give your brand the respect and recognition it deserves.
What is a Value Statement?
A value statement, also referred to as “mission statement”, describes an organization’s core beliefs. It often gives potential customers an idea on what to expect, which in turn may impact their purchase decision. Within the organization, value statements are declared to provide motivation and guidance to the staff.
Below are the four most important parts of an effective vision statement:
• The problem – What is the specific problem your company is trying to solve?
• The solution – What services or products can you offer to solve this problem?
• The audience – Who will benefit mainly from your proposed solution?
• The commitment – Lastly, what are the core beliefs that make you different from your competitors?
Examples of Effective Value Statements
Time after time, industry leaders come up with powerful value statements that boost the popularity and authority of their brand. For example, social media giant Twitter has a simple yet inspiring statement:
“To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
L.L. Bean’s statement, on the other hand, revolves around providing value to customers and the importance of business ethics:
“Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.”
Other than businesses, entrepreneurs must have their own personal brand identities that can guide their future ideas into fruition and mold the way they function as business leaders. Of course, powerful value statement messages also work wonders for PR. For example, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda highlights this statement in Gates Foundation:
“…And so we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals around the world. From the education of students in Chicago, to the health of a young mother in Nigeria, we are catalysts of human promise everywhere”.
The Benefits of Having a Value Statement for Your Business
For some companies who overlook the importance of a value statement, it’s just a string of words that hang on the wall. But for others, it’s a method of empowerment for many reasons:
It Simplifies Decision-Making
By getting your priorities straight from the get-go, future decisions can be based on which option benefits your core values the most. In other words, a value statement creates a template for future decision-making, allowing you to save time and focus more on developing strategies.
It Diminishes the Fear of Failure
The amount of money made is often used as the measure of success in an endeavor. But if every decision you make aligns with your value statement, then every outcome can be just as rewarding – knowing that it brought you closer to fulfilling your company’s purpose.
It Motivates Employees
The low employee engagement rate is a lingering issue in workplaces worldwide. According to statistics, only 29% of the U.S. workforce are fully engaged and committed to their organization. This is mainly because paychecks become their sole motivators in companies that lack a concrete value statement. But if they know they’re contributing to a bigger cause, then not only will they work harder, they’ll also feel more connected with the company culture.
It Fosters Customer Loyalty
Surveys reveal that 34% of consumers will spread the word about a brand that is fair, honest, or pursues ethical actions. 48% says that a company’s ethics is determined by employee treatment. By creating a value statement that resonates with both your employees and your target audience, you will surely win their trust and loyalty.
How to Write a Powerful Value Statement for Your Business
If you can get employees working towards a common goal and customers believing in your cause, then success will surely follow. Here are some additional tips on creating a value statement:
Get Everyone Involved
If you’re in the early stages of a startup, then there’s still plenty of time to gather everyone’s input and identify a vision that everyone is willing to share. Try asking every member to explain why they think the company exists. As a rule of thumb, prioritize a private meeting with board-level members before consulting everyone else.
Revisit the Identity of Your Brand
In the brainstorming process, try to focus on basic questions that help get to know your brand. For example, what is the story behind the company’s founding team? What do you want the company to look like in 5-10 years? Answering these questions will help you learn what has worked out for your brand so far.
Use the Three-Step Method
In the world of blogging, a core message is often condensed into one editorial mission statement, which can be created using three simple steps: addressing the audience, specifying the deliverables, and describing the desired outcome. For example:
“This article helps business leaders and entrepreneurs (the audience) with practical and actionable advice (the deliverables) on developing a powerful value statement to elevate their business (the outcome).”
Review, Revise, and Clarify
A value statement isn’t something you can easily change in the future. That said, try to come up with several drafts at first and let everyone vote for the best one. Make sure it’s succinct, attention-grabbing, and memorable.
Finally, try to include your value statement in all touchpoints – including your company websites, product packaging, and various forms of branded content that are readily available to potential customers. Employees are typically made aware of your statement during the onboarding process and every day through in-office posters, ID tags, and company computer wallpapers.
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|||^||Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: All Lives Have Equal Values|
|||^||Dale Carnegie Training: Engaged Employees Infographic|
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