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Business Value v. Values

There are two definitions to the words value/values in any business: Creating Value and Corporate Values. You should understand why both are important and just how essential both are to the success of any business and entrepreneur.

Creating Value

Value is something you can create and must create every day. The value you create can add monetary value to your product or service, and improve customer perception of your brand. There are a number of ways that can be accomplished.

Understand what drives value for your customers

Talk to them, survey them and watch their actions and reactions. In short, capture data to understand what is important to your customers and what opportunities you have to help them.

Understand your value proposition

  • A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services, usually incorporated into the brand slogan to make it memorable.
  • Adding perceived value to a new product or service will drive ROI. The value proposition is the key to successful innovation.
  • Strong value propositions are your best tool for setting up meetings with prospective buyers. Corporate decision makers will nearly always meet with sellers who offer tangible outcomes and measurable results.
  • Examples of powerful value propositions:
  • Opera (internet browser): Made to Discover
  • The Ladders: Your Career is Our Job
  • iTunes: You've never been so easily entertained
  • Pinterest: A few (million) of your favorite things
  • Salesforce: No hardware. No software. No boundaries.
  • Square: Start accepting credit cards today
  • Evernote: Remember Everything

Identify the customers and segments where you can create more value relative to competitors

Different customers will have varying perceptions of your value relative to your competitors.

Create a win-win price

  • Set a price that makes it clear that customers are receiving value but also maximizes your take. 
  • Satisfied customers that perceive a lot of values in your offering are usually willing to pay more, while unsatisfied customers will leave, even at a low price.
  • Using cost-plus pricing often results in giving away margin unnecessarily to some customers while losing incremental profits from others.

Focus investments on your most valuable customers

  • Disproportionately allocate your sales force, marketing dollars and R&D investments toward the customers and segments that you can best serve and will provide the greatest value in return.
  • Allocate your growth capital toward new products and solutions that serve your best customers or can attract more customers that are similar to your best customers.

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. They are the source of current profits and the foundation of future growth. These steps will help you find more ways to grow your business by better serving your customers.

Corporate Values

The operating philosophies or principles that guide an internal conduct as well as its relationship with its customers, partners and shareholders. Core values are usually summarized in the mission statement, company's vision statement or statement of core values.

As business owners we need to identify and live out the core values of our company for the following reasons:

  • They determine your company distinctive. What makes you different from everyone else in your industry or field? One way to differentiate yourself is with your core values. You want to be clear about what those are.
  • They dictate personal involvement and alignment. When you go to hire employees, you want people who are in alignment with your core values. You can train them in skills, but they must align with your values.
  • They communicate what is important to you, the employees and the company.
  • They influence overall behavior. The core values influence how the staff behaves. They live it out, and you want that to happen in your company.
  • They inspire people to action. People take positive action because they aspire to live up to those core values.
  • They contribute to the overall success of the organization. 
  • They shape the organizational structure.

Some examples of corporate values:

General Electric

Passion for Our Customers

Measuring our success by that of our customers...always driven by Six Sigma quality and a spirit of innovation.


Creating opportunities for the best people from around the world to grow and live their dreams.

Growth Driven, Globally Oriented

Growing our people, markets and businesses around the world.

Every Person, Every Idea Counts

Respecting the individual and valuing the contributions of each employee.

Playing Offense

‚ÄčUsing the advantages of size to take risks and try new things...never allowing size to be a disadvantage.

‚ÄčEmbracing Speed and Excellence

Using the benefits of a digital age to accelerate our success and build a faster and smarter GE.

Living the Hallmarks of GE Leadership:

  • Passion for learning and sharing ideas.
  • Committed to delivering results in every environment.
  • Ability to energize and inspire diverse global teams.
  • Connected to workplace, customers and communities...in touch with the world.

Ford Motor Company

  • Quality comes first.
  • Customers are the focus of everything we do.
  • Continuous improvement is essential to our success.
  • Employee involvement is our way of life. We are a team. 
  • Dealers and suppliers are our partners.
  • Integrity is never compromised.

As the leader of your organization, you have to demonstrate your commitment to the core values by living them every day. You are the organization, and how you are perceived is how your organization is perceived. Remember you must build trust with your employees, customers, vendors, investors, etc. Living your corporate values will help in building trust in your organization.

Entrepreneurship, Workforce, Leadership

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