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Why Building a Brand on Strong Values Fosters Long-Term Success

Determining a company's values and creating a culture that protects and upholds them breeds success.

Today, more than ever, an established company culture is key to fostering long-term success for franchise brands. A company’s culture defines the values and influences the behaviors that contribute to the distinctive environment of the business. In order to establish this strong culture, a set of core values must be created and implemented by the franchisor so that employees have an example to follow. 

Defining the Purpose of the Brand

“In 25 words or less, a company should be able to define why it exists beyond just making money,” said Josh Levine, author of Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture Employees Love. “The answer to this question is the reason someone will choose to work for them and not their competitor. These answers are the brand’s core values, and they will help managers and leaders make the best strategic choices in the long run.”

The reason companies invest in culture is to improve business decisions, and the guardrails of those decisions are values. “In addition to the ‘why’ of the company, the leadership team and brand need to be able to write down on paper the ‘how’. A company’s core values come from these behaviors that the company holds most dear,” said Levine.

Practicing What You Preach

Cultivating a brand’s core values starts at the very top of the company. “Sincerity and empathy need to be implemented from the CEO down,” said Kim Lorenz, entrepreneur and author at Farrow Communications. “The core values and beliefs of the company, particularly within a franchise system, need to be held true throughout every action that the leadership team practices, whether it’s at work or out at dinner. When management believes in what they’re telling their staff and practices what they preach, it develops culture.”

In many corporations, especially large ones, the leadership team comes up with the ideas and don't consider the opinion of their employees. According to Lorenz, that’s a culture “miss.” “A culture gain is to involve everybody in the company,” she said. “Inspire employees to ask why they’re doing things a certain way. Employees are the boots on the ground, and they have valuable insight.”

Creating an Open Dialogue

A company’s leadership team needs to foster a safe place where employees feel they can speak their ideas. To successfully instill core values and brand culture, employees should feel that leadership has a genuine interest in their future, whether inside the organization or outside.

“Open communication is critical to longterm success,” said Bill Higgs, author of Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business. “With the right core values in place, employees feel comfortable speaking out, and that can help a company avoid missteps down the line.”

According to Levine, empathy and diligence are two of the most important factors when practicing core values. “Strong company culture is about humans working together, and a leader needs to understand what allows employees to thrive,” said Levine. “Culture isn’t just ping pong and pizza—it’s a business tool that should be managed with rigor.”

Finding the Right People, Right Away

Another way that core values position brands up for continued success is through smart hiring practices. “It’s possible to take a new hire and train them to fit into a corporate culture, but it’s even better to hire people who are a good fit from day one,” said Higgs. “With a brand’s core values in place, the leadership team can make sure that each new hire shares those basic goals right away instead of spending valuable time reinforcing them. Once good people are brought on board, they often know other good people and can help with recruitment.”

Overall, a spirit of belonging helps promote a passion for work, which results in a successful company. “People want to belong to something,” said Higgs. “A brand can go a long way toward making people passionate about their work if they organize activities where they can get to know each other as people, not just coworkers. Respect their individual cultures, but invite them to belong to yours as well.”

By prioritizing meaningful core values, franchisors create stronger relationships with employees, encourage hard work and reduce staffing issues. All of these play a vital role in ensuring that the franchise is positioned for long-term success.