Was getting my Sunday morning ritual coffee at a local Dunkin' Donuts and noticed this sign at an adjacent US Cellular store. At first, their statement about the "Belief Project" caught my eye because it felt strangely religious to be in the window of a mobile phone store. At further inspection, I noticed they were stating their beliefs about the Mobile Phone business and basically coming out against the business practices of the industry to date. Positioning itself against it. I thought it was very interesting that USC was branding their belief system and making it a marketing message. I am not sure I'd place it in the category of core values, but more of a business-practice values. Fast forward to me arriving home and pulling out my analog Sunday Paper, while enjoying my iced coffee and breakfast sandwich, I came across a two-page spread ad from USC touting their "Belief Rewards" program. The copy is well-written and to the point. I think the overall integrated strategy is differentiated from what is happening in the business, but I couldn't help that it was throwing stones in glass houses.
It then had me thinking about how Zappos has moved to integrating their core values into their website and on their packaging. An inward-facing set of values they've brought to the outside world. And, for them, it feels remarkably authentic and heartfelt because their CEO/Evangelist has been tireless at espousing the inner-workings of their company and most people's interactions with the company are consistent and hold true to the statements that are made throughout their marketing channels.
For Zappos it is how they do business rather than how they market. For US Cellular, it feels like how they market and only time will tell if it is how they do business, for real.