I just finished a five-week online workshop, The Power of Conscious Marketing, put on by Sounds True. So that you know, this is not my first marketing course and it probably won’t be my last. There’s lots of learning yet to do. Folks from all over the world attended this workshop; many of them were therapists, coaches, healers, meditation teachers; you get the idea. We met twice a week for about 90 minutes and had assignments. The focus was on authentic marketing, using stories to assist those who think negatively about marketing. The first assignment was on value discovery, and that’s what I will discuss here.
Value Discovery Exercise
The instructors asked us to ponder a series of questions and discover the most important values for our company today and in the future. After you did this, you were to rank your values and write a paragraph about each one. Once completed, you post them in the private Facebook group, and then if you have the time, review and comment on the work of others.
The concept is that you want your customers to know your story, to know your values. The hope is that likes attract, and you will then more easily attract people who will turn into leads and then customers. We have all heard the stories about starving artists. This year with covid, your glassblowers started joining those ranks. So we are looking to improve the return on every dollar spent and to spend fewer dollars.
Process of Value Identification and Ranking
I started this process on my own listing what I believed were the values we began with, the values we have currently, and what I thought our customers valued about us, and what values we needed to have for the future. Then I asked Michael and Patrick to do the same. Neither of them had ever gone through an exercise like this. I thought they were going to give me grief, but they both took it seriously. After a couple of days, we talked through all the values on our list. We were amazed at the amount of overlap between the three plans.
The next step was to prioritize or rank the identified values. We each did this separately, with one being the highest-ranked value. I combined the three lists and organized the items from highest to lowest. Then we all sat down and discussed the resulting order.
We found that the top four were all about our business’s origin and how we operate today. Some of the values we listed, like Integrity, Boldness, Collaboration, and Perseverance, fell off the ranked list. They came off not because they are not important, especially Integrity. It fell off because we so strongly believe in it that we didn’t want to list it (perhaps a misconception on our part). However, we have realized if we weren’t persistent, then there would not be a future, so it got added back on. Our customer is the center of our universe, and we want everyone we encounter to go away feeling better or more enriched than when they arrived. Our tag line, “Enriching lives through artistic self-expression,” is a reflection of that and how much we have enriched each other working together.
We strive to enrich all those around us, the caller, the visitor, the student, and the collector. We want everyone who interacts with us to feel their lives have been enhanced by our connection, that we have added value.
Creativity is the center of our world today and is a critical skill for the future. We work to empower people to understand their originality and their ability to grow. Everything we do focuses on enabling people to participate, develop, and nurture each other to solve problems, with each person contributing to the overall success.
Our business developed from a long-held passion, a dream, and we are all energized by working with glass as an artistic medium. We continually strive to improve and innovate, develop our understanding of glass, not be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.
It is not that what we do isn’t safe. It is just that there are lots of opportunities to get hurt. We work with hot, sharp, bright light and particulate matter daily. We are committed to safety in every decision and action we make. Because we care, we actively foster a culture centered around zero accidents with both our staff and our customers.
New ideas come from new perspectives, so diversity is a crucial value for us. We all contribute based on our experiences, knowledge, and exposure to cultures. When you have an inclusive environment, it is easier to work successfully towards a common objective. It is essential that we all respect and appreciate our differences, learn as much as we can about each other and how we think so that we can each help each other maximize our potential.
We are working towards sustainable evolution. Business growth is directly related to understanding and embracing periods of revolution, followed by transformation. We continuously work to evolve our appreciation of glass and sharing our enthusiasm for it as an artistic medium. We recognize that it is through change and trial and error that we will learn the most.
If we do not innovate, we stagnate. Transforming how and where we show our work and what and how we make it is imperative to our future success. We frequently try to generate new ideas and processes to increase productivity and create greater output with constant input.
Initially, this was not one of the values which we rated highly. But in thinking through our history and being where we are now, we must add it to the list. Perseverance is overcoming adversities, pushing through difficulties and delays. Rebuilding our furnace after going through this devastating financial year with the covid pandemic is real perseverance.
The plan is to keep these values evergreen. To make sure that we are incorporating them in all that we do and say. To tell stories about what they mean to us that we hope will capture your imagination.
State safe and have fun!
Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.