News article

A rant about Poundland and core values

Nothing winds me up more than walking the streets of Nottingham and glancing past the Poundland located on Lower Parliament Street. In fact, every Poundland, I refuse to associate with them. Petty? Yes. Snobbish? Likely. Valid? Completely.

But let me explain why. They’re liars. It’s as simple as that, they’re liars. You’re probably wondering why, or maybe you’ve figured it out. More than half of items in the store named “Poundland” are not priced at one pound.

Understandably, I know inflation, business costs, insert other business things here mean that they can’t sell items they sold 10 years ago at the same price. I understand that. But to me it’s only common sense to name your business something that will outlive time and inflation.

For me, Poundland’s number one core value is to sell items for one pound. That’s their USP, their goal, their purpose, above all things they wish and should sell items for one pound. Yet, they don’t. And for that simple reason, I don’t shop at Poundland. Sorry David Dodd and Steven Smith, you’re not getting my money today.

Okay, rant over. If you’ve stuck through the blog this far then well, I’m sure you’ve put the pieces together. I’m not part of the content team and I am very prone to holding grudges.

Does it really matter?

Yes! Yes, it does.

Now let’s jump on topic. Core values are crucial to any and every business. It builds trust with your clients, which develops into loyalty and then into advocates, hopefully.

It gives your employees something to work towards, something to strive for and if done right will help keep your employees providing great value.

Every time I’m designing a newsletter or editing a video, I’ve been brainwashed by Yardstick’s core values to chant in my head “be a yardstick of quality, be a yardstick of quality, be a yardstick of quality”.

There have been many times, on days I don’t feel so inspired, where I’m designing a document, and at the end of the design, I mutter to myself “that’ll do”. And just as I’m about to hit send, Steve Jobs pops out from under my desk and hits me with a yardstick screaming “be a yardstick of quality!”. So, I open InDesign back up and create something that I hope to be proud of.

Okay then, what should core values look like?

Rule number one. Make sure that you can, and will, deliver on them

There is nothing worse than being on a call with a business owner who has told you 10 times in the space of six minutes “yes we only deliver high quality, thoughtful content”, yet the only thing you receive is an emotionless, ChatGPT generated, piece of generic content.

If someone needs to tell you they’re great at something, the likelihood of them being great only diminishes. Great people don’t need to tell you they’re great, they will show you.

Create core values around things that you can control

Don’t tell people you’re going to sell items for £1 then later down the line sell those same items for £2.50.

Fortunately, Poundland don’t control the rise and fall of the economy so their prices were always going to exceed the pound and there is nothing they could have done about that.

Make them inspirational and easy to remember

Create values that are easy to remember and will provide that little spark that your employees may need from time to time.

At Yardstick we aspire to be good eggs. That simple phrase is very easily remembered and something everyone is and should aspire to be within the company.

So bottom line, just be better than Poundland, and deliver on your promises and values.

If you want to find out how we can help you to build a better financial services brand, get in touch. Email or call 0115 8965 300.

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