To say that business is about making money is tautological, but companies with high-level values are actually better at doing business overall. Inspira and JDS Real Estate are two examples of companies doing it right.
Values make for better business and especially better storytelling because, 1. They provide a source of inspiration and motivation beyond day-to-day operations and, 2. Because they make you reach upwards — even if you fail to achieve the standard you set, reaching up towards it makes you perform better than otherwise.
Here are some examples of companies with amazing values that are clearly working:
Inspira is an experiential marketing company based in Norwalk, CT. Inspira creates immersive experiences to help brands connect with their customers in real life.
Meanwhile, Inspira is dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric spinal cord cancer, regularly donating to fund research into a cure and treatment. Inspira supports this area of research because the company’s founder, Jeff Snyder’s, daughter was diagnosed with the disease and has been battling it since she was two years of age.
The fact that Inspira is on this mission means leaders and employees aren’t just motivated to close deals and generate results for clients to make money, but to make a meaningful difference for sick children. Meanwhile, this high-level goal acts to unify the entire team (one with diverse interests and backgrounds) around a single goal with which everyone connects emotionally.
JDS Real Estate
JDS is a New York City real estate development firm that undertakes groundbreaking construction and renovation real estate projects.
As a company, JDS is preeminent in many areas of construction, yet the fact that they’re dedicated to “elevating the rhetoric of real estate” sets them apart. This is to say that the company is committing not merely to use marketing to express information about their projects, but that they have a vision for the real estate conversation: that it can be more meaningful and powerful than it is now, and that JDS is dedicated to making it so.
A value like this will guide a company’s activities (in this case, storytelling / marketing). When assessing a particular medium or story, JDS has to ask itself, “Is this elevating the rhetoric of real estate?” When companies set this standard in this way, they automatically set themselves apart from other firms in the space for which marketing is a chore not a calling.
Setting standards makes a company’s activities more complex and difficult, but, given limited energy and mental bandwidth, sticking to a standard can ensure that customers see your company as a personality, not merely a legal instrument with designs on your wallet.
Higher values work because they force people to shift from quantifying metrics to judging whether actions are right, which is a harder and more complex process. People with values, therefore, engage in more and better thinking, meaning better business.