Our (Oddball) Core Values
What would your business get as a tattoo? What is worthy of permanent ink?
In a previous post, we discussed how a company's culture is its brand and how that starts with core values. Our company is no different. About 17 years ago, we were founded on 3 values that are at, first glance, incompatible. They aren’t really that oddball, but getting them to play well together is difficult.
Twin Creek was founded on 3 values.
These values are in conflict.
The conflict is not accidental.
“I believe truth is found in the middle of our competing values, but I personally don’t like gray areas. I like the certainty of black and white. Hmmm... what to do? Let's keep our oddball values, let's keep the head and heart, and just have them constantly battle it out. It should be a fun struggle, especially with integrity as the overarching value.”
- James Shaw, Creative Director/Founding Partner, Twin Creek Media
We are in business for money. Let’s just say it. But profit is not a dirty word. If capitalism was our only core value, we’d be worried... the ugly side of Wall St. and all that. Fortunately, our other values guide our desires.
We need to make money in order to be successful. We’re competitive! We compete for work, for talented employees, for brand reputation and recognition. It’s a cat-eat-dog world out there, and our mascot is a goldfish, so… you know how bad that metaphor looks…
We believe a competitive free market will bring a better product to you while growing a healthy economy for the Okanagan, for BC, for Canada. Capitalism can be a good and healthy value.
Above, we said that profit isn't a bad thing. That’s because money is just a tool, and like many tools, it can be used for good or bad. Money can do so much good in the world (with oversight and intention). Twin Creek Media supports many organizations and programs through donations of cash, skills, and time. Giving back is part of our DNA.
How do we do it?
- Our employees can donate $500 company cash to any charity of their choice - no questions asked. It’s even better if they get involved in the cause along with the money.
- Discounted or pro bono project work - this is a biggie. We’ve been involved in loads of projects over the years!
Organizations We Have Supported
There’s a big reason that our values are organized into a triangle. Integrity is above all. Literally. To guide our other core values of capitalism and philanthropy, we filter everything through the lens of integrity:
- Is this the right thing to do?
- Is this honest?
- Is this fair?
- Is this good for me/you/them/your kids/their kids' kids?
Fun Sidetrack: take the Dungeons & Dragons alignment test to measure your integrity and other values. All of our employees take this test on their first day!
Here are 2 practical ways we baked integrity into our company’s everyday processes:
We turn away new leads who are direct competitors to our current clients.
We're on your team. We work for you, not your competitors. No, really. In an ongoing monthly partnership, we put on your team's jersey. It's like a hockey game. How can we play for your team and simultaneously play on another team? Impossible. Yet it happens all the time at marketing companies. Not at Twin Creek, though. We work with one company, per industry, per area.
No, we don’t charge commission (or take kickbacks)
No commission on media buys. Since we've got nothing to gain recommending one tactic over another, we can focus on doing the right thing for your business. Many agencies make 10%-20% on any media placed for your company - whether it's digital ads or traditional ads. The more you spend, the more they make. Some agencies don't even tell you. They take your whole budget, and "some" of it goes to ads, and "some" of it goes to their management. Twin Creek is totally transparent. We'll negotiate the best rates, and then you pay directly. We don't take a cent in commission or mark it up. You'll know our management costs before your campaign even starts. No surprises.
Share similar values? Let’s talk.