A code of conduct – or set of values – is an essential part of your company’s marketing strategy. It tells your employees and your audience what you stand for and how you act.
Together with your vision and mission, your code of conduct brings your employees together and creates better engagement and a stronger company culture.
Like the rest of your marketing recipe, your values will underpin your communications and tell your audience who you are.
Here’s our guidance on defining and living up to your code of conduct as part of your business’ identity.
Where your code of conduct sits
Your code of conduct is a core part of your secret marketing ingredient – your DNA – that defines your unique company identity and keeps customers coming back to your business.
It’s essentially a guide on what’s important to your company and how your employees should operate.
There are certain guidelines that are already expected – for example, if you were getting a delicious meal from a restaurant, you would expect that all the chefs have washed their hands, followed health and safety procedures and charged you fairly.
Typically, these things are the baseline – ‘hygiene checks’ – and not what forms your specific company values – which are unique to you.
When choosing a restaurant, maybe you would identify more with one that has a wide range of vegan options, gives you efficient service, or one that consistently brings out innovative new meals to try. You might even be willing to travel further and pay more to support these businesses.
These values allow people that join your company and enable your target audience to identify with you. This affects purchase decisions more than ever, as data shows 52% of online adults reported actively considering company values when making a purchase.
How to define your values
You may have an idea of what your company stands for but have trouble putting it into words. Sometimes, what a manager may think a company stands for could be out of sync with employees.
Defining or refining your values simplifies the process of letting employees know what is expected of them.
No matter the size of your organisation, it’s good to gain input from the whole team. If there’s one core group defining your code of conduct, they can deliver the views of others in the company with an effective internal communications plan.
There is no one way to define your values, but here are some questions you could ask yourself and your team:
Your values help you to stand out and show your unique approach – but as they become a popular feature of corporate websites, don’t lose sleep trying to come up with values that no other company has said.
It’s more important that your values are true to you and your services, that your employees feel aligned with them, and that they reflect real, positive traits about your company.
Bridging the gap between words and action
Defining your values is the first step, but it’s important not to stop there.
Next, the work starts in integrating them into your company’s daily practice, or you risk creating a ‘values gap’.
True values often have a cost – it takes embracing change to make it work. Keep an open line of communication with your employees and reward examples of living up to values.
Your unique marketing recipe allows you to stand out against competitors – don’t be afraid to break a few eggs.
A code of conduct is a crucial part of your DNA, which defines your business and sets a precedent for your services and communications.
For an outside perspective on your company’s marketing recipe, book your free communications review now: