What is the Value of Values?

Since founding our marketing strategy consultancy in 2008, I have focussed my efforts on defining and communicating the underlying values of our company. Initially I did this to help me clarify my own values when dealing with complex issues, engaging new clients or appointing new team members.

Over the years our underlying values have not changed, but we have become better at identifying, naming and articulating them. Values are an integral part of our recruitment, induction and performance management programme. More recently our values are included in all client proposals.

What’s interesting is that each time we have reviewed and refined our definition of values, it has been the catalyst for constructive change in our culture and business. By expressing our values more clearly, we have been able to understand them more deeply.

The change has been positive. Some clients, team members or suppliers have bonded more closely while others have drifted away. No major earthquakes or rifts, just the natural growth and attrition healthy ecosystems experience in change.

So what are our values?

Honesty and Respect

We speak the truth and respect every person we meet

Generosity and Approachability

We are generous with our time and ideas, easy to contact and approachable on any matter

Intelligence and Creativity

We apply our best minds and thinking to the biggest opportunities to create performance-focused solutions

Purpose and Results

We are focused on the outcome and measure our success on the results we achieve

Fun

We have fun and enjoy the challenge of what we do – even the tough stuff! The larger the obstacle, the greater the reward

You will notice that many of our values are coupled together such as Intelligence and Creativity or Purpose and ResultsThis may be infuriating to the purist or linguist who is seeking dictionary definitions of each word. We have deliberately avoided getting hung up on this as the words only have meaning in the context of our culture, people and behaviour.

I am sure the definitions of our values will continue to evolve as we getter better at expressing them and living them.

What are your values and how have they created value for you and your organisation?

What is Your Value Proposition?

What is the value proposition of your product or service? When I say ‘value proposition’, I don’t mean the tagline or slogan such as ‘Just Do It’ for Nike’.

The way to think about your Value Proposition is to answer the following question: ‘What unique and compelling, advantage or benefit does my product or service offer customers that will induce them to part with their money for my offer over all of the other choices they have – including purchasing a competitors product or ‘doing nothing’ by keeping their money in their pocket?’

In today’s market, the promise of quality, service or value simply is not compelling or unique enough. We call it the ‘butchers claim’. Which butcher doesn’t say they have top quality produce, friendly service and offer great value?

These attributes are the minimum expectations from your customers. Digging down to truly understand your unique value proposition is confronting and it takes time. If you don’t have one or don’t make the time to discover your unique value proposition, the only choice your customers are left with is buying from whoever offers them the lowest price.

What is your value proposition?

Who Are You Competing Against – Really?

Who Are You Competing Against – Really?

Top Ten Reasons why you should Love Your Competition

Seth Godin says: “Competing with yourself is more difficult, requires more bravery and leads to more insight.”

When someone says ‘Ah, so you are a competitor?’ - what are they really saying? Your greatest competitor is probably not another player in your market – in fact they are not nearly as much of a threat as you think and surprisingly provide you with more benefits than you could imagine.

So who, or what is the real competition?

  • Yourself – bettering the person you were yesterday
  • Time – not beating the clock, but being more efficient
  • Procrastination – the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now
  • Distraction – resisting temptation, trivia and timewasting
  • Knowledge – do you know so much that you can’t take on a new idea?

Our real competition is our human failings, including our fear of competition.

So here are my Top Ten Reasons why you should Love Your Competition:

  1. Competitors grow the entire category
  2. Competitors can service clients you can’t, shouldn’t or won’t
  3. Competitors are often your best source of qualified referrals
  4. Competitors will welcome your qualified referrals
  5. Competitors can be your best collaborators as they understand the industry and add the valuable dimension of a different perspective
  6. Competitors keep you on your toes and encourage you to do your best and continually improve your offering, service and performance
  7. Competitors are investing in and developing your industry with research, new ideas, designs, tools, methodologies and processes
  8. Poor competitors aren’t competitors at all. They will either make you smug (because we are all so good, right?) or drag you down with excuses for poor performance
  9. Effective competitors create whole new opportunities for the market and create masses of downstream wealth and activity
  10. Competitors keep you honest

The competition is you. Your time starts now.