These five websites display their company’s core values with style and class … what can we learn from them?
What does displaying your company’s core values on your website accomplish?
It defines who you do business with – and who you do not. It shows the ideals that sew together the fabric of your company’s culture. It communicates what you stand for as an organization. It lets people know the essence of who you are and what you’re all about. A better question would be: what does it not accomplish?
Let’s take a look at five websites that display their company’s core values perfectly and with style – and also find out how we can apply what we’ve learned to our own websites.
Example #1: Etsy
Etsy’s Core Values:
- We commit to our craft.
- We minimize waste.
- We embrace differences.
- We dig deeper.
- We lead with optimism.
Etsy uses the headline “Guiding Principles” and pairs it perfectly with a photo of a woman opening a creative notebook with a leaf on top. The photo in its own way exudes Etsy’s five guiding principles collectively and gives us the impression that Etsy is a creative, deeply introspective, and eco-friendly company.
Try This: Is there an image that embodies some or all of your company’s core values? Experiment with ideas and see if any visual representation accompanies your written core values in an aligning way.
Example #2: Warby Parker
Warby Parker’s Core Values:
- Treat customers the way we’d like to be treated.
- Create an environment where employees can think big, have fun, and do good.
- Get out there.
- Green is good.
Warby Parker includes a hand-drawn icon with each of their core values to further communicate each value’s meaning. They also keep things short and sweet by pairing each core value with just a few sentences to elaborate.
Try This: Think about whether there might be icons (hand-drawn or not) which fit each of your company’s core values. How could icons creatively further communicate the meaning behind your values? And additionally, can you explain or elaborate upon each value in just a few simple sentences, keeping your company’s culture page brief and readable?
Example #3: SnackNation
SnackNation’s Core Values:
- Health above all else.
- Display grit without ego.
- Serve and inspire.
- Seek perpetual growth.
- Spread joy and optimism.
SnackNation uses a toggle open/close tool for their company’s core values, and prefaces it with a statement about what these values mean to them and how they apply these values to everything they do.
Try This: Preface your values with a short paragraph about what they mean to you, and how they direct decisions within your company. In other words, why do you have them in the first place?
Example #4: Google
Google’s Core Values:
- Focus on the user and all else will follow.
- It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
- Fast is better than slow.
- Democracy on the web works.
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
- You can make money without doing evil.
- There’s always more information out there.
- The need for information crosses all borders.
- You can be serious without a suit.
- Great just isn’t good enough.
Google’s values live on an utterly nondescript and nonfancy page buried somewhere within their About section. From what I can tell, you can only find these values by deliberately searching for them (fitting somehow, am I right?). Instead of “Our Core Values” Google calls these “Ten things we know to be true” and informs us that these were first written at the very beginning of the Google journey.
Try This: Ask yourself which way of presenting your company’s values is most in alignment with your brand and your values themselves? Google, by presenting their values in a no-nonsense and completely plain fashion, somehow reiterates their first value that focusing on user-experience plain and simple always comes first.
Example #5: Barton Bird Care
Barton Bird Care’s Core Values:
- Love for our feathered friends.
- Well-being matters for everyone.
- Always go the extra mile.
Valerie Barton of Barton Bird Care was a client of mine, and one of the first things she said in our conversations was that she loved how I displayed my core values on my homepage and that she wanted to do something similar. I tried my best to explain to her what I feel is the best way to figure out what your business’s core values are, and she came back with the three above which I felt fit her business perfectly. We paired each of her values with a photo and a simple one-sentence description.
Try This: Ask yourself, if you had a fitting and on-brand photograph to go with each of your core values, what would those photographs be? Could you arrange for a photo session with the specific goals of acquiring those photographs? And again, to keep things short and sweet, could you explain each of your core values in one sentence or less?
Your core values define your company’s culture. Developing them, and keeping them current as time goes on, is an ongoing process. And when we put our company’s core values on our website (and in a way that aligns with our brand and with our values themselves), we allow our site visitors a glimpse into the very soul of our businesses. Don’t visitors deserve to have that experience?