Changing Core Values: Unimaginable or Necessary?

02-11-2018 | Industry news

by Jorrit Wijtsma

In the ever-changing world of Payments and FinTech where mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and partnerships have become an everyday business, how do you stay true to your beliefs, company traditions, and not lose track your core values? Is it even necessary to blindly adhere to your heritage to grow your business? Many would rightly argue that the world is changing, therefore, so should your business. But to what extent is change needed, and when is the right time to make that change?

Experiencia 43 – A short story

Last week I visited the “Licor 43 Experiencia” in Cartagena, Spain. Licor 43 (named after the number of natural ingredients that go into it), is the number 1 Spanish liqueur in the world, and this is their only production center. During the tour, I visited the actual factory of this golden elixir, after which the tour continued to the museum, where I was amazed to learn about the origin of the brand and the way this family business is run.

Some facts about 43

It all started 209 BC when the Romans conquered the city Carthago Nova and quickly became acquainted with the secret drink of the locals, Liqvor Mirabilis (miraculous liquid). In 1946 Diego Zamora, his brother Angel, as well as their sister Josefina and her husband Emilio, took over the recipe and passionately started bottling the shimmering liquor into bottles. This family initiative would eventually grow into The Zamora Group. But the question that stuck with me is, what made their business so successful?

My dad and I enjoying the “experiencia”.

During the tour a couple of important core values of the Zamora family where highlighted:

  1. Hold on to your vision and (family) traditions and “stay in your lane”.
  2. Use different messages to effectively target different international audiences.
  3. Be patient and impervious to the “haters” (this does not mean to take it easy and put your feet up, but rather to stay patient mentally and trust that you are on the right course.)

In my opinion, the Zamora Family uses a perfect mixture of staying true to their core beliefs AND changing the direction along the way, using their commercial mindset and innovative marketing ideas which you can see on the timeline below:

How the Zamora family created their historic brand
Licor 43 – A brief history

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “How on earth can you compare a liquor brand with the innovative and technology-driven payments industry?!”

I hear ya, I hear ya! However, it’s actually not all that strange to use some of these orthodox values and principles in your modern business. Great minds think alike I guess. Business icon Gary Vaynerchuk, who has some similar experience from starting his career as a wine critic who grew his family’s wine business from $3m to $60m, preaches the following:

  • It’s all about your passion.
  • You need to understand what your strengths are.
  • Authenticity sticks when all else fails.

In my humble opinion, there are two common factors at play here:

  • Versatility
  • The importance of the interchangeability of marketing and sales/business development.


The ability to adapt or be adaptable to many different functions or activities. The way in which Licor 43 pioneered advertisements, tailored these to international customers, channeled the brand into a modern trend, promoted innovatively, repositioned itself in the market and made packaging state-of-the-art, is a lesson that the Payments industry could take time to learn.

As everyone knows, no two businesses are exactly alike, nor are your clients or partners. This is especially true in the Payments and FinTech industry, where we see the rate at which apps are built and deployed, and the demand for specialized software and applications that fit business users’ needs. Although it sounds pretty straightforward, are you actually taking this into account pushing through your product?

Sales = Marketing

In the current business climate, the importance of Marketing in Sales, and vice versa is tangible. The Zamora Family did everything they could to get their brand out into the world. The conventional ways of advertising has now made room for social media.  It is easier than ever to get your name out there, but staying authentic remains the biggest challenge. The use of social media has become an absolute necessity for a business wanting to grow. As Grant Cardone puts it: “Businesses die in obscurity. Do all you can to gain attention”. If nobody knows you or your product, you are not going to get your sales in and survive. I go more in detail about the correlation between Sales and Marketing in my upcoming blog which will be shared next week.

PaymentGenes – Focussed on the vision.

How does all of this tie in with PaymentGenes and the world of recruitment? At PaymentGenes we live our core beliefs according to the following questions:

Why do we do what we do?

To challenge the status quo of consultancy and recruitment.

What is it that we offer?

High quality, boutique services to help organizations in Payments and FinTech grow.

How do we achieve this?

We are growing our brand awareness by using deep industry knowledge to create a thorough understanding of the client’s needs. By doing so, we are able to build successful and consultative long-term partnerships.

As a startup, we have had to be exceptionally versatile throughout our growth, and through this versatility, we have been able to stay true to our vision of providing a truly exceptional recruitment experience for both clients and candidates. Why not view our current vacancies or partnership models?