Consumer Insights on Visions and Values

Caroline Sapriel’s special report on crisis communications in the July-August 2010 edition of Communications World (http://bit.ly/b4jEhb) makes several suggestions about holding the course and doing the right thing in the face of a crisis.

Her final point discusses the importance of values and culture. She notes that, “over and over, when mistakes are made during crises, they express the opposite of what the company claims in its statement of corporate values and principles.”

A crisis is where a customer ultimately sees whether or not their service or product provider “walks the talk” and sees the incongruity between words and actions.

I attribute this to senior management, and subsequently employees, not taking visions and values seriously. I just spoke to a representative of a relatively new company and inquired about the values of the organization. I was flippantly told four values that told me either this firm doesn’t have a formal set of values or the person with whom I was speaking was not aware of them.

What are the values of your firm and your clients? How do you communicate those to your employees and customers? How do you model them to your employees if you’re a c-level executive or a member of the management team? What would your customers describe as your firm’s brand values?

I know a lot of c-level executives think vision, values and mission is a bunch of qualitative b.s. Having competed against them, I would guess Enron executives looked at them this way.

What are your personal brand values? How do you differentiate yourself from other professionals in your field? Would your associates agree? Are your personal brand values consistent with your company’s brand values?

I urge you to think about this before a crisis arises. Your customers, and possibly your prospects, are already aware if you do not have any brand values or are not living up to those you have stated. If so, this is hindering your ability to create long-term relationships and to convert prospects to customers.

How important are mission, vision and value to you and your firm?

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About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at www.insightsfromanalytics.com/blog.
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2 Responses to Consumer Insights on Visions and Values

  1. Tom,

    How can most companies continue to reinforce their mission and values relative to their marketing programs? It seems over time that many firms lose their “values” and “mission” through diluted messages and changes in business priorities?

    thanks.

    • ctsmithiii says:

      Elizabeth:

      Thanks for your question. A key ingredient of any integrated marketing plan is the mission, vision and values of the firm. These should have been agreed to by the management team, as well as the board and passed down to the employees on a regular basis.

      It is up to the marketing department to ensure that all marketing initiatives are consistent with the mission, vision and values of the firm. This includes the positioning and branding of the company and it products and services, all lead generation/demand creation activities (advertising, PR, promotions, direct marketing, social media), channel management as well as customer relationship management (CRM, including social media). When companies, and marketing departments in particular, don’t consider the mission, vision and values of the firm the messaging, as well as the product and service, can become diluted and disintegrated.

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