What is Jung von Matt? Who is Jung von Matt? Why are we the way we are and why is that good?
Before our founders decided if Jung von Matt was an idea worth making a reality of, they separately answered 40 questions about what they wanted and didn’t want the company to be. The deal was that if they didn't see a quick agreement, they would stop just there. But they did. Since they had common values and views of the company's culture, they saw a stable foundation worth investing in. So, Jung von Matt was founded. And also the first step in our corporate culture.
But a corporate culture can’t be defined only by answering 40 questions. It has to evolve, grow and be refreshed to stay relevant over time. So since then, our culture has been developed organically by everyone at Jung von Matt. You'll see it in the atmosphere that pervades the way we work, the beliefs, values and behaviors that determine how we think, act and interact – from how we serve clients, treat colleagues, and uphold professional standards.
But values are not useful unless they are enshrined internally in the daily operations at the agency. We know that we’ve been a little lazy (shame on us…) to really expressly define our values out loud. So for two days this September, we visited our headquarters in Hamburg to dig deeper into this.
Many corporate vales out there are just plastic and non-useful. Take “excellence”, “togetherness” and “passion” for example. Every company has to prove that they are excellent. And, of course, we all have to work together with passion. But it’s not an interesting value or position for a company – because every company would agree on that. It’s not differentiating and has no clear focus. Therefore, we call those values plastic values. And plastic values doesn’t make us unique.
Jung von Matt's seven guiding principles:
Our culture is us being different. We have a shared task, a reason to exist, shared values and attitude. The core of our corporate culture is defined in “Our seven guiding principles”. But what do they really mean to us?
1. We love (emotionally relevant) ideas.
An idea can be anything – as long as it solves our clients business problems, changes the way people do things and is different from what has been done before. That’s why we are happy about every good idea, no matter who it comes from.
Jung von Matt has a culture where it's okay to make mistakes. From the mistakes, we learn and discover new ways. But of course, it is important not to make mistakes. Mistakes cost money, time and trust. Therefore, we never rely on assumptions.
An idea must do something better – maybe faster, cheaper, more technologically advanced, easier, cooler or more powerful. But the improvement must be something our target audience actually wants (it might sound very obvious, but sadly, it isn’t). To prevent mistakes, every creative idea must pass a test. For an idea to work, it has to be emotionally relevant. We always identify at least one ingredient that will engage our target audience and make them see the benefits the offer gives them in their lives. If it’s not emotionally relevant, it’s going back to the drawing board. That’s what we're looking for in every single project that we put our hands on.
2. We believe in the power of communication.
Communication is a strong arm and creativity is its muscle. Together, they open doors that can not be opened with raw violence. This principle is a reference to our logotype – the Trojan horse – an unconventional, highly effective idea that surprises and engages people.
3. We fight for quality.
Clients deserve our best thinking and best efforts. Always. That’s what they pay us for. We promote best performances and fight for the best solutions. We rather lose accounts by rebelliousness and by being provocative than by nonchalance or carelessness. Nothing forces us to greatness or prestige. Everything forces us to quality.
4. We are more critical of ourselves than of others.
We talk openly about our own mistakes, quality deficiencies and bad results. But we do not say a bad word about colleagues, clients and competitors. If we lose a pitch, we always blame ourselves. We can handle criticism and develop ourselves from that.
5. We communicate at eye level.
We do not consider clients as supervisors, suppliers as subordinates or consumers as manipulable mass – we’re all as partners. We’re all in this together and we’re all equally important.
6. We act and consult independently.
Independence in itself is not valuable. What’s valuable is what it means to us in our everyday life, i.e. no passive partners, no kickbacks, no in-house coercion, no pre-defined channels, no Network Guys in London… We never let our own profits guide us in our recommendations and we place great importance on the independence of customers, suppliers and banks. We’re proud of this and convinced that it makes us better.
7. We remain dissatisfied.
We regularly question our methods and reinvent ourselves. We never stop optimising our teams and we tirelessly fight for a better solution. Once you’re satisfied, you lower your expectations. Dissatisfaction is our driver, what we need to reach our goals. Dissatisfaction leads to perfection.
As we continue to evolve Jung von Matt, it’s important for us to identify partners whose values are compatible with our corporate culture. No company can build a strong, differentiated culture without people who either share the core values or possess the willingness and ability to embrace those values and integrate into the culture. When recruiting, we want to find employees who are not just the most talented ones, but also the best suited for our corporate culture.
What do you think about our values? Which of them is your favorite? Please tell us in the comments below :)