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Strategic Vision & Values

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

Values form the foundation of a business’ management style.

Values provide the justification of behaviour and, therefore, exert significant influence on marketing decisions.

Consider the following examples of the stated "visions" of well-known firms

Kraft Foods: " We’ve set our sights on becoming a global snacks powerhouse and unrivaled portfolio of brands people love "

Starbucks: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time

BSkyB - "We believe in better. We strive to be the best for our customers and our people, and to make a positive contribution to life in the UK and Ireland. We’re always looking for ways to improve. That spirit has made us what we are today, and it will drive us to become what we want to be tomorrow.  

Why are values important?

Many Japanese businesses have used the value system to provide the motivation to make them global market leaders. They have created an obsession about winning that is communicated at all levels of the business that has enabled them to take market share from competitors that appeared to be unassailable.

For example, at the start of the 1970’s Komatsu was less than one third the size of the market leader – Caterpillar – and relied on just one line of smaller bulldozers for most of its revenues. By the late 1980’s it had passed Caterpillar as the world leader in earth-moving equipment. It had also adopted an aggressive diversification strategy that led it into markets such as industrial robots and semiconductors.

If “values” shape the behaviour of a business, what is meant by “vision”?

To succeed in the long term, businesses need a vision of how they will change and improve in the future. The vision of the business gives it energy. It helps motivate employees. It helps set the direction of corporate and marketing strategy.

What are the components of an effective business vision?

Davidson identifies six requirements for success:

- Provides future direction
- Expresses a consumer benefit
- Is realistic
- Is motivating
- Must be fully communicated
- Consistently followed and measured

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