Imagine you are at a party and meet this crazy interesting person. You feel like you know each other for years. You laugh at the same jokes, donate to the same NGOs and both use the same meditation app. After a while, you decide to leave the dance floor to have a drink at the bar. The moment you reach the bar you feel like you are in a Twin-Peaks-like parallel universe. Why? The person who just has been so kind and aligned with you suddenly behaves like a jerk. He or she is suddenly a climate change denier and now likes dogs instead of cats (or the other way round if you’re a dog person). This person’s values changed completely. And this is disturbing!
Now while this scenario isn’t that likely in human-to-human relationships, it does occur in brand-to-human relationships. A brand that puts a lot of effort into sounding nice on social media has an app with a terrible UX – or the other way round.
These 3 Reasons for Inconsistent Behavior
We at Anwert believe these 3 reasons could cause such inconsistencies. And feel free to comment, if you know more causes for such a problem.
1. You Did Not Go Deep Enough
You defined your values in a process that did not uncover their „real“ values but rather some societal norms or currently prevailing trends. We live in a world, where you get bombarded with only success stories and the most beautiful of all content (thanks to filter bubbles). In addition to that, society and we as individuals tend to forget about the millions of failed startups, ideas, and endeavors and rather remember the winners and lucky people (thanks to the survivorship bias).
So it is more than understandable that you want to live up to all these high expectations and in a process that is not digging deep enough, you might state buzz words as „innovative“, „viral“, or „disruptive“ as your core values.
To avoid this scenario, use facilitation techniques which do these 2 things:
- Get every team member to the same level – each member is to be heard, and all opinions are equal.
- Get participants „out of their heads.“ Values and beliefs are something emotional.
You want participants to tell (emotional) stories and actively engage with each other, instead of only contemplating for themselves. You will reach both of these goals with LEGO® Serious Play® or. Simon Sinek’s „Find Your Why“ for example.
2. You Defined Values But No Processes to Live Them
You uncovered your values but never put processes in place to integrate them into every aspect of the company’s actions. What you can do to avoid that:
- Write down your values somewhere, where everybody can see them and regularly revising them – maybe in your jour fixes or stand-ups.
- Initially evaluate everything you are currently doing – from your electricity provider, and your internal communication all the way to your products, services, and marketing efforts. Make sure that all these things are aligned with your values.
- Use your values for every new product, blog post, hire, and everything else that you bring into the company. Because ultimately a brand is what the team behind it believes and does.
3. You Never Explored Your Brand Values
You made an effort to discover your team’s values. Here it is time for a brand identity workshop to identify values, vision, mission, the tone of voice, and more. But more about that in our next article.
If you want to identify your (brand) values, please send us an email.