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A value statement defines the core principles and beliefs that guide a business. It encapsulates what the business stands for and why it exists. It shapes the company culture and sets the tone for how it interacts with stakeholders. Clear value statements help businesses attract like-minded customers, employees, and partners.

Why a Value Statement is Important

A value statement is vital because it provides a clear framework for decision-making. It influences how employees behave, how the company interacts with customers, and how it is perceived in the market. Without a strong value statement, a business may struggle with inconsistent actions and mixed messages.

Building Trust with Customers

Trust is a cornerstone of any successful business relationship. A well-articulated value statement builds trust by clearly communicating what the business stands for. Customers know what to expect and can align their values with those of the business.

Guiding Employee Behavior

Employees look to the value statement for guidance on how to behave and make decisions. It helps create a cohesive work environment where everyone is working towards the same goals. This consistency can improve productivity and job satisfaction.

Differentiating from Competitors

In a crowded market, a unique value statement can set a business apart. It highlights what makes the business special and why customers should choose it over others. This differentiation is crucial for attracting and retaining customers.

When to Create or Revisit a Value Statement

Creating or revisiting a value statement should be a priority at several key points in a business’s lifecycle. It’s not just a one-time task; it requires regular reflection to stay relevant.

Startup Phase

When starting a new business, defining a value statement is essential. It lays the foundation for the company culture and brand. Early clarity helps steer the business in the right direction from the beginning.

Business Growth

As a business grows, its operations and customer base expand. Revisiting the value statement ensures it still reflects the company’s principles. Growth often brings new challenges and opportunities, making it a perfect time to reaffirm core values.

Market Shifts

Changes in the market can affect how a business operates. Competitors might adopt new strategies, or customer preferences could shift. Revisiting the value statement during these times helps the business stay aligned with its core values while adapting to new realities.

Leadership Changes

New leadership can bring fresh perspectives and priorities. Ensuring that the value statement aligns with the new leadership’s vision is crucial. This alignment helps maintain continuity and stability within the company.

Where to Display a Value Statement

A value statement should be prominently displayed to ensure it is seen and understood by all stakeholders. Visibility reinforces its importance and keeps it top of mind.

Company Website

Displaying the value statement on the company website ensures it is accessible to everyone. It helps potential customers, employees, and partners understand what the business stands for. A dedicated page or a prominent section on the homepage works best.

Employee Handbook

Including the value statement in the employee handbook ensures that every new hire is aware of it from day one. It sets the tone for their behavior and decision-making within the company.

Office Spaces

Placing the value statement in common areas of the office serves as a constant reminder for employees. Posters, plaques, or digital displays in break rooms and meeting areas work well.

Marketing Materials

Incorporating the value statement into marketing materials reinforces it to customers and partners. It can be included in brochures, presentations, and social media profiles.

How to Craft an Effective Value Statement

Crafting an effective value statement involves several steps. It requires careful thought and input from various stakeholders. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a compelling value statement.

Step 1: Identify Core Values

Begin by identifying the core values that are most important to the business. These should reflect the beliefs and principles that will guide the company’s actions. Brainstorm with key stakeholders to gather diverse perspectives.

Step 2: Involve Employees

Employees play a crucial role in shaping and upholding the value statement. Involve them in the process to ensure it resonates with everyone. Conduct surveys or workshops to gather their input and feedback.

Step 3: Keep It Simple

A value statement should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid jargon and complex language. Aim for clarity and brevity to ensure it is memorable and impactful.

Step 4: Reflect the Brand

The value statement should align with the brand’s identity. It should reflect the company’s unique personality and voice. Consider how the values relate to the brand’s mission and vision.

Step 5: Test and Refine

Before finalizing the value statement, test it with a small group of stakeholders. Gather feedback and make any necessary refinements. Ensure it accurately represents the business and resonates with its audience.

Step 6: Communicate and Embed

Once the value statement is finalized, communicate it clearly to all stakeholders. Embed it into the company culture by integrating it into policies, practices, and communications. Regularly revisit and reinforce it to keep it alive.

Examples of Effective Value Statements

Looking at examples from successful companies can provide inspiration. These examples demonstrate how a clear and compelling value statement can drive business success.


Google’s value statement is: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” This simple yet powerful statement underscores Google’s commitment to user experience. It guides the company’s product development and business strategies.


Patagonia’s value statement is: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” This statement reflects the company’s commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices.


Zappos’ value statement is: “Deliver WOW through service.” This statement highlights the company’s focus on exceptional customer service. It sets the tone for how employees interact with customers and each other.

Tips for Maintaining a Relevant Value Statement

Maintaining a relevant value statement requires ongoing effort. Here are some tips to ensure it remains effective and aligned with the business.

Regularly Review and Update

Schedule regular reviews of the value statement to ensure it remains relevant. Changes in the market, business growth, and shifts in leadership may necessitate updates.

Engage Employees

Keep employees engaged with the value statement by involving them in its ongoing development. Solicit their feedback and recognize those who exemplify the company’s values.

Lead by Example

Leadership should model the values outlined in the statement. Their actions set the tone for the rest of the company. When leaders embody the values, it reinforces their importance to all employees.

Communicate Consistently

Consistently communicate the value statement across all channels. Include it in internal communications, marketing materials, and public-facing content. This consistency reinforces its significance.

Celebrate Successes

Celebrate successes that align with the value statement. Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate the company’s values. Sharing these stories reinforces the importance of the value statement and motivates others to follow suit.

Key Takeaways

A value statement defines the core principles and beliefs that guide a business. It is vital for building trust, guiding employee behavior, and differentiating from competitors. Creating or revisiting a value statement should happen during key phases such as startup, growth, market shifts, and leadership changes. Displaying the value statement prominently ensures it is seen and understood by all stakeholders. Crafting an effective value statement involves identifying core values, involving employees, keeping it simple, reflecting the brand, and testing and refining. Examples from successful companies provide inspiration. Maintaining a relevant value statement requires regular reviews, employee engagement, leadership modeling, consistent communication, and celebrating successes.