Reflecting on this week's blog - it struck me that, alongside the well-reported advancement of environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related matters and working from home - there has been a marked increase in the number of asset managers who are focusing on bringing their company values to the fore.
This does not only relate to their overarching branding and messaging, but also how they thread these throughout their wider communications suite, as well as overall client and employee experience.
What are values?
First of all: what do we mean when we talk about values? Simply put, company values are the central, underlying central philosophies that define a business. These influence how a company interacts with its clients and employees. Crucially, these values must be consistently applied in order to create an authentic environment for all parties.
And this is where it gets interesting. Any company can say they have strong values, but as with ESG, clients and employees are becoming increasingly aware when they are being sold a dud; we're hearing the right thing, but something doesn't quite add up.
So where does an asset manager - or indeed any company - start if they are in the nascent stages of establishing their corporate vales? Well, it has to start with your company DNA. Every company needs to have a unifying and inspiring vision that brings together your values so that your employees can altogether head in the same direction of travel.
The raison d'être of your company needs to ring true to your staff. How else can your most valuable assets communicate with your clients if they don't know what you stand for and what your overall value proposition is? In addition, besides the obvious cohesion and consistency that a well-understood set of values bring, statistics show that staff are over 54% more likely to stay at a company for five or more years.
Why is that crucial? Well, without a committed workforce, who is going to work to attract and retain your clients?
Moving on to clients: these carefully nurtured values need to be integrated into every touchpoint, helping to deliver a differentiated experience. Your branding needs to deliver on what it says about your company; this has to ring true to the core of your business. Authenticity - another of this year's buzzwords - cannot be understated. You might want to say that your values are around XYZ, but if this is not true, then your customer - who has access to information like never before - will see through this, and be 75% more likely to move their business elsewhere.
Marketing campaigns and content need to bring the inherent elements of the business and values to the fore. If you understand the needs of your clients from a value perspective, you will be able to deliver a far more engaging experience, focusing on building trust with your clients without wasting valuable internal resource in the process.
Truly - there is real value in defining your values.