What Are Brand Values? + Examples | The Branding Journal (2023)

In today’s world, we’re almost constantly bombarded with infinite choices of where to spend our hard-earned dollars. What makes a brand exceptional and worthy of our decision?

Well, the ongoing success of a brand can very often rest on the values at its heart and how authentically they are expressed and communicated in the marketplace. Brand values play indeed a significant role in building deeper connections that turn one-time customers into loyal ones.

Let’s dive into what brand values and guiding principles are, why they’re critical to any brand strategy, and how you can define them for your brand. We also included a few examples of brand values from big companies to help you find those unique to your brand.

What are brand values?

Brand values can be defined as the foundational beliefs that a company stands for. They refer to the “ideals” guiding the brand’s actions, such as environmental protection, diversity, solidarity, or transparency. Brand values give meaning to the existence and actions of the brand and form an essential part of the brand’s core identity.

Brand values should always reflect what is truly important to the company behind the brand. They must be honest and implemented throughout every part of the brand strategy, from any communication with employees and consumers to strategic decision-making.

What is the difference between brand values and guiding principles?

As mentioned above, a brand’s values are, in effect, a set of guiding beliefs that an organization inherently follows and upholds in pursuit of its mission. They define what the brand stands for.

A brand’s guiding principles are the ‘how’ the brand should act and behave to meet these values and achieve its goals.

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Examples of brand values and guiding principles

Brand value: Transparency
Guiding principle: Communicating to customers about the origin and manufacture of our products. To be transparent by showing our publishing our pricing strategy in detail.

Brand value: Freedom
Guiding principle: Promoting a remote-first work culture that allows employees to work from anywhere in the world.

Brand value: Simplicity
Guiding principle: We ensure that our brand communications are clear, easy to understand, and aren’t overloaded with too much information for the customer.

Why are brand values important?

An organization should never leave the house without its brand values fully understood and intact, with clear guidance provided on how to demonstrate and display these in the day-to-day.

With competition constantly increasing, standing out from the crowd through representing these core values can often separate the meek from the mighty.

A brand’s values are very often communicated and negotiated through the subconscious, a place where, as Gerald Zaltman notes, 95% of our consumer choices are made.[1]

This helps us understand that values are central to branding; these values and subconscious presuppositions really drive our choices, whether we know it or not!

The benefits of brand values

1. Strong values can lead to loyal customers and business growth

A brand’s core values are the primary vehicle through which a brand can genuinely connect with its audience beyond the shimmer and glow of advertising.

A brand’s values serve as a way to express identity and personality in the marketplace, a way to identify with the consumer.

“One of the ultimate goals of corporate marketing is to establish a strong relationship bond between consumers and brands, and the core value of brand is the basis for the establishment of the relationship between consumers and the brand, a direct impact on the success of the brand.”[2]

2. Brand values can help a company attract the right talent

Brand values represent a human element with which consumers, employees, partners, and the broader community can identify.

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Brands with clear values can easily attract potential employees whose personal values align with the brand’s values. This can lead to more motivated, passionate, and efficient employees.

Without a strong set of values, things can start to crumble quickly.

3. Brand values serve as a guide for day-to-day actions and long-term decision-making

On a day-to-day level, a brand requires strong core values as part of its DNA to ensure people are reminded of what the brand stands for and what the people steering the brand really work for. Companies can get closer to their goals when employees align their behavior and decision-making to organizational values.

Values also inform the direction of long-term decision-making and business activities in alignment with the brand’s purpose.

Examples and case studies of brand values in action

Let’s dive into a handful of real-life examples to illustrate and learn more about this sometimes abstract concept of brand values and how they fit into the overall brand schematic.

Burger King

This global purveyor of whooping-good, flame-grilled burgers is an excellent case study of how a brand’s values are applied in the everyday. A bit of research uncovers that Burger King’s core brand values rest on the concepts of:

  1. Teamwork and family
  2. Excellence, and
  3. Respect[3]

These core brand values are ideally exemplified at every level of the business and the brand’s operations. From creating an environment where all team members work together and creating a sense of family.

We can also begin to see that these values begin to unify their global team as well under this common banner: an organization of people who are excellent in their respective fields, working together towards Burger King’s common goal and vision of being, “the world’s favorite, innovative burger restaurant.”[4]

Tesla

Tech-disruptor, Tesla, is at the forefront of innovation, design, and pretty much whatever initiative its founder, Elon Musk, applies his mind to on any given day.

In reviewing their core brand values of “doing the best, taking risks, respect, constant learning, and environmental consciousness”,[5] we can see that Tesla is about driving growth and change fueled by bold, powerful ideas without harming the planet.

This statement of values establishes right off the bat that Tesla and its people are unafraid of taking risks when they are taken conscientiously in the name of progress and innovation.

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However, Tesla is an interesting example, as it demonstrates the tension between a brand and its founder. Founder Musk has often found himself in the midst of a maelstrom due to his equally disruptive Twitter game.

While a brand (and its personality extensions) should represent its core values, it’s crucial to balance these with the brand’s core values in the marketplace, which are often broader and go beyond the larger-than-life personality of the founder.

Nike

Nike’s mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, moving the world forward through the power of sport.[6] Their values include inspiration, innovation, every athlete in the world, authentic, connected, and distinctive.[7]

Nike’s brand values are an example of how organizations can build foundational beliefs that guide their interactions with the world around them, becoming an important voice within the wider social narrative.

We can see how Nike’s brand values play out differently through multiple channels and touchpoints. From innovative product design to its increasingly inclusive and community-driven marketing strategies like its wildly popular global running clubs, we can reliably find a mix of these brand values to convey the brand’s ultimate message.

Starbucks

Starbucks is a little more detailed in the way they articulate their brand values:

  • With our partners, our coffee, and our customers at our core, we live these values:
  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo, and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity, and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
  • We are performance-driven, through the lens of humanity.

In his book, It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sums it up perfectly:

“At Starbucks, I’ve always said we’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business serving coffee.”[8]

We can see that all of Starbucks’ brand values are intrinsically linked to the social codes they uphold and promote as part of not only their service but the wider company culture, as well.

Lego

Lego is another brand whose core values extend through its company culture and into its product/service. The company’s core values – fun, creativity, imagination, learning, caring, and quality – relate to the concept of play. Lego sees these values as the foundational elements of its company culture.

Demonstration of their brand values can be found in every nook and cranny of the brand experience, from its fun and creative products for children to its positive, people-first company culture.[9] While their articulation of the brand values is kept clear and straightforward versus Starbucks’ elongated value statements, we can also see the power of more concise expressions.

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Simple and easy-to-understand values guarantee they can proliferate through the brand and all of its experiences.

How to develop and use your brand’s core values

Naturally, there are several ways you can work towards defining your brand’s core values.

  1. Brainstorm with your team. Ask, what does the brand stand for? What are the standards of behavior that it upholds? What are the common links or threads in your thinking? This could indicate that you’re starting to think about concepts that can bring people together – the right track to be on!
  2. Survey your customers. Again, are there pre-existing themes or concepts that your existing customer base strongly identifies with? Try to articulate these simply and easily to understand; no words wasted!
  3. Analyze your competition for an opportunity. Try to identify whether or not your direct competitors operate according to established brand values. Is there something they’re doing that offers an opportunity or space for you to establish a more dominant set of values? For example, if your main competitor’s Google reviews are negative due to poor customer service, focus on how you can strengthen your offering and values in this space to build a more attractive proposition.

Once you’ve defined your list of brand values, make sure to:

  • Narrow the list down to 3-to 5 main brand values. Of course, an organization or brand can stand for many values and guiding principles. Yet we recommend identifying three to five central brand values. This will help you stay focused and more precise in your strategy.
  • Choose 1-2 guiding principles per brand value. This will help you stay consistent and ensure the brand values are well implemented across your business.
  • Include the values and guiding principles in your brand guidelines. It’s important to communicate them internally so that your employees know them. We suggest adding them to your brand guidelines where your team can visit them regularly to ensure their day-to-day work is aligned with these values.
  • Keep your promise and stay consistent: Just defining and communicating your brand values isn’t enough! It’s essential to implement them across all the brand’s assets. You must ensure your customer experiences will be aligned with those values. Any action that isn’t aligned with your main brand values can significantly negatively impact your brand’s image and reputation.

Conclusion

A brand’s core values are an organization’s most basic and lasting beliefs. They can be understood as qualities or characteristics that truly power organizations to achieve their mission and vision, creating a blueprint for how things should be done.

We’ve briefly examined five remarkably different global brands and how they articulate and apply their brand values to achieve standout success in the marketplace.

Through these case studies, we can see a brand’s set of core values provide the tenets that people can identify on a subconscious level, whether that be its employees or customers.

By amplifying the volume of these messages, a brand can have the ability to step into wider social narratives (Nike), lead the world in innovative thought (Lego, Tesla), or develop loyalty beyond reason by building intimate relationships with its customers (Starbucks).

With a strong, well-articulated set of brand values, an organization can transform from being a mere business to something far greater and more meaningful.

[1] Zaltman, G. How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market
[2] Li, X. and Sun, C. (2015) A Study on the Core Values of the Brand. Journal of Service Science and Management, 8, 868-873. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2015.86087.
[3] https://mission-statement.com/burger-king-mission-statement/
[4] https://mission-statement.com/burger-king-mission-statement/
[5] https://mission-statement.com/tesla/#Core_Values
[6] https://purpose.nike.com/ceo-letter
[7]https://mission-statement.com/nike/#:~:text=Nike’s%20core%20values%20include%20%E2%80%9Cinspiration,Inspiration
[8] Behard, H. It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks. Penguin, 2017.
[9] https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group/the-lego-brand/

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FAQs

What are the brand values for your brand? ›

Brand values can be defined as the foundational beliefs that a company stands for. They refer to the “ideals” guiding the brand's actions, such as environmental protection, diversity, solidarity, or transparency.

What is brand value answer? ›

Brand value is the monetary worth of your brand, if you were to sell it. If your company were to merge or be bought out by another business, and they wanted to use your name, logo, and brand identity to sell products or services, your brand value would be the amount they would pay you for that right.

What are the three main brand values? ›

There are many values that you want your business to embody, but you can't use them all as your core brand values. You need to choose the values that can accomplish your three goals: clear and sincere, build connections, and set you apart.

What is values and its examples? ›

Values are standards or ideals with which we evaluate actions, people, things, or situations. Beauty, honesty, justice, peace, generosity are all examples of values that many people endorse.

What are 6 examples of values? ›

Some examples are:
  • Loyalty.
  • Honesty.
  • Trust.
  • Ingenuity.
  • Accountability.
  • Simplicity.
  • Respect.
  • Value-centricity.
31 Oct 2022

What are brand values and why are they important? ›

A business' brand values are the core set of guiding principles that shapes every aspect of the business. They are the beliefs that you stand for. Brand values determine your brand's identity, message and personality. These brand principles guide story, actions, behaviours and decision making processes.

What are the four brand values? ›

Four steps for finding your brand value proposition
  • Step 1: Discover what matters. ...
  • Step 2: Know your customers and competitors. ...
  • Step 3: Stand for something. ...
  • Step 4: Stay consistent.

What is brand value and discuss its importance? ›

"Brand value is the 'perceived value', and how often people will choose one brand over alternatives. Brand value is important because when people perceive that a brand is distinct and aligns with their personal values, it's a really powerful competitive advantage."

What is branding very short answer? ›

Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer's mind by combining such elements as logo, design, mission statement, and a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications.

What is branding short answer? ›

Branding is the process of creating a distinct identity for a business in the mind of your target audience and consumers. At the the most basic level, branding is made up of a company's logo, visual design, mission, and tone of voice.

What is brand value based on? ›

Cost-Based Valuation

This method calculates brand value based on how much it costs to build the brand. So, you'd add up all the expenses incurred in brand-building from the very beginning. Things like contracts with branding agencies, promotions, trademarks, salaries of employees who focus on brand, marketing, etc.

How do you write brand values? ›

How to create and document your brand values
  1. Brainstorm with your team. Bring everyone together to brainstorm which values truly represent your brand. ...
  2. Consider the customer experience. ...
  3. Identify values that resonate with your target audience. ...
  4. Narrow down your list. ...
  5. Add your values to your brand guidelines. ...
  6. Be consistent.
7 Jun 2021

How do you create a brand value? ›

Build Brand Equity
  1. Step 1 – Identity: Build Awareness. Begin at the base with brand identity. ...
  2. Step 2 – Meaning: Communicate What Your Brand Means and What It Stands for. ...
  3. Step 3 – Response: Reshape How Customers Think and Feel about Your Brand. ...
  4. Step 4 – Relationships: Build a Deeper Bond With Customers.

What factors determine brand value? ›

Factors determining brand equity are as follows:
  • Brand loyalty.
  • Brand awareness.
  • Perceived quality.
  • Brand associations in addition to perceived quality.
  • Other proprietary brand assets such as patents, trademarks and channel relationships.

What are values * Your answer? ›

Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

What are the 5 main values? ›

They have to solve problems sensibly from the earliest days of their careers. Obviously, there are many ways to sort and define the five cornerstone values: integrity, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and, discipline.

Which one is the example of value? ›

Familiar examples of values are wealth, loyalty, independence, equality, justice, fraternity and friendliness. Familiar examples of values are wealth, loyalty, independence, equality, justice, fraternity and friendliness.

What are the 10 basic values? ›

Schwartz and colleagues have theorized and shown empirical support for the existence of 10 basic individual values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz and Boehnke, 2004). These are: Conformity, Tradition, Security, Power, Achievement, Hedonism, Stimulation, Self-Direction, Universalism, and Benevolence.

What are the 12 values? ›

The 12 values, written in 24 Chinese characters, are the national values of "prosperity", "democracy", "civility" and "harmony"; the social values of "freedom", "equality", "justice" and the "rule of law"; and the individual values of "patriotism", "dedication", "integrity" and "friendship".

What are the 12 core values? ›

  • Citizenship: Contributing service and showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities.
  • Compassion: Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others.
  • Cooperation: ...
  • Courage: ...
  • Faith: ...
  • Health and Fitness: ...
  • Honesty: ...
  • Perseverance:

Why is strong brand value important? ›

The benefits of creating strong brand values include improved recognition, trust and connectivity. Impactful brand values improve recognition. The key to branding is consistency. Branding pays for itself by increasing customer loyalty and strengthening your company's identity in the marketplace.

Why are values important 5 Reasons? ›

Our values inform our thoughts, words and actions. Our values are important because they help us to grow and develop. They help us to create the future we want to experience. ... The decisions we make are a reflection of our values and beliefs, and they are always directed towards a specific purpose.

How important are brand values to consumers? ›

Brand values matter because they influence how consumers view your brand, which is important considering that consumers are more likely to support a brand whose core values align with their own. Building your brand around your values allows you to grow a business that you can be proud of and be passionate about.

What are the 7 brand elements? ›

These seven elements of a strong brand will help you cultivate a strong, positive brand image to tell the world the right story.
  • Purpose-driven. ...
  • Unique. ...
  • Knows its target market. ...
  • Stays on-brand at all times. ...
  • Authentic. ...
  • Thick-skinned.
2 May 2018

How do you measure brand value? ›

According to Interbrand, a brand's value is measured according to three core components: The financial performance of the branded products or services. The role the brand plays in purchase decisions, The brand's competitive strength.

What are branding 3 examples? ›

Branding is the process of communicating a unique selling proposition, or differential, that sets a product or service apart from the competition. Examples of branding techniques include the use of logos, taglines, jingles or mascots.

What is the main point of branding? ›

A brand exists as a promise a business makes to its consumers. The purpose of a brand position in marketing is to establish trust within your consumers and create loyalty. A good brand purpose gives your buyers a way to remember you, creates an identity for your business, and sets you apart from competitors.

Why is branding is important? ›

Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice.

What branding means to you? ›

An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.

What are the 4 steps of branding? ›

If you are part of a marketing team tasked with building your company's brand, you can follow these four steps:
  • Determine your target audience.
  • Position your product and business.
  • Define your company's personality.
  • Choose a logo and slogan.

What are the 5 types of branding? ›

Five Different Types of Branding Strategies
  • Company Name Branding. Well-known brands leverage the popularity of their own company names to improve brand recognition. ...
  • Individual Branding. ...
  • Attitude Branding. ...
  • Brand Extension Branding. ...
  • Private-Label Branding.
6 Aug 2018

Which brand is of best value? ›

The Leaderboard
RankBrandBrand Value % change from 2020
1Amazon64%
2Apple74%
3Google42%
4Microsoft26%
6 more rows
6 Oct 2021

How do I write about my values? ›

Here are six tips for writing your personal value statement:
  1. Brainstorm your values and assets. Before you begin writing, take the time to contemplate your most in-demand skills, proudest accomplishments, and relevant work values. ...
  2. Be authentic. ...
  3. Stay present. ...
  4. Keep it concise. ...
  5. Tailor it to the position. ...
  6. Use action verbs.
1 Sept 2022

What is the strongest measure of a brands value? ›

Herein lay a critical role of professional market research. Still the most robust way to measure brand value, beyond revenue and earning, is to identify the perceptions of consumers via a representative survey of the target market (or markets).

What are Coca Cola's brand values? ›

We value diversity, equity and inclusion

700,000+ people around the world work at Coca-Cola and our bottling partners. We champion diversity by building a workforce as diverse as the consumers we serve. Because the more perspectives we have, the better decisions we make.

What are the 4 types of values? ›

The four types of value include: functional value, monetary value, social value, and psychological value. The sources of value are not equally important to all consumers.

What are the 10 things that you value most? ›

  • Your Reputation. ...
  • Your Family. ...
  • Your Education. ...
  • Giving To Others. ...
  • Life Experiences. Invest in life experiences over stuff. ...
  • Your Faith. Your spiritual beliefs, whatever they may be, are a big part of what makes you an individual. ...
  • Your Community. Be part of something greater than yourself. ...
  • References:
17 Oct 2022

What are your top 5 most important values? ›

Good luck and let me know how it's going on your journey!
  1. Honesty. Honesty should be the bedrock of your foundation, as it will define who you are before you even allow others to know more about you. ...
  2. Fire. ...
  3. Hard Work. ...
  4. Confidence. ...
  5. Perseverance.
28 Apr 2017

How do you create brand value? ›

Build Brand Equity
  1. Step 1 – Identity: Build Awareness. Begin at the base with brand identity. ...
  2. Step 2 – Meaning: Communicate What Your Brand Means and What It Stands for. ...
  3. Step 3 – Response: Reshape How Customers Think and Feel about Your Brand. ...
  4. Step 4 – Relationships: Build a Deeper Bond With Customers.

What are brand values and attributes? ›

key brand values are the principles that guide the brand's actions/your unique way of doing things. defining brand attributes are the operating characteristics and personality traits that distinguish your brand.

What are Pepsi's brand values? ›

Our mission: Create more smiles with every sip and every bite. By creating joyful moments through our delicious and nourishing products and unique brand experiences. By being the best possible partner, driving game-changing innovation and delivering a level of growth unmatched in our industry.

Why do brands have values? ›

Brand values determine your brand's identity, message and personality. These brand principles guide story, actions, behaviours and decision making processes. Investing in and knowing your brand values is fundamental to ensuring your business remains unique in a saturated market.

What is customer brand value? ›

The customer-brand value approach provides a strategic framework for building and managing strong customer-brand relationships. As a strategic platform, it identifies and sizes opportunities for business-building and brand-building efforts. As a value metric, it provides a tool for determining the ROCI.

What are the 7 types of value? ›

The seven core values include honesty, boldness, freedom, trust, team spirit, modesty, and responsibility.

How do I define my values? ›

Guide to determine your values
  1. Write down your values. Review the list of examples of core values above and write down every value that resonates with you. ...
  2. Consider the people you most admire. ...
  3. Consider your experiences. ...
  4. Categorize values into related groups. ...
  5. Identify the central theme. ...
  6. Choose your top core values.

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