When we say the word values for personal lives, we refer to a moral compass that guides our right and wrong, and what we stand for.
It’s the same for brand values.
If you manage a company, you know that tough choices have to be made every day, sometimes very quickly.
You need a core, intrinsic guide, that will help you stay true to yourself and your brand.
In this post, I will explain:
- What are brand values
- Examples of brand values you can use for your brand story
- Tips to define your core brand values
What are brand values?
Brand values are the core principles and principles that guide your brand’s behavior and help it stand out from its competitors. They are the driving force behind all of your branding decisions, from what you say and how you say it to how you present yourself online.
Brand values are the foundation of a company’s identity and they help to create an emotional connection between customers, employees, and stakeholders.
They even define a company’s culture and shape customer experiences.
Why are core brand values important?
Brand values are important because they help you to build an unique brand story for your business which gains the trust of your audience, converts them to customers, and even earns their loyalty.
Here are 5 ways that brand values help your business:
1. Builds your brand story.
Your core brand values help to define who you are as a company, your brand story, and what you stand for.
Your brand values should be reflected in everything about your story, from the products you sell, your brand imagery, the packaging you use, to the way you treat your customers.
A strong brand story backed by inspiring brand values can help differentiate your business from competitors, build loyalty with customers, and attract new ones.
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2. Attracts the right customers.
Your right customers are the ones who have the highest likelihood of buying from you, and they will if they share the same brand values as you.
So if you want to attract customers who align with your values, then it is important to make those values clear from the outset and stick to them even as your brand evolves over time.
Your core values will help you to identify the right target market for your business and ensure that you are attracting customers who share your beliefs.
3. Guides your decision-making
When you have a clear set of core values, it becomes much easier to make decisions about your business.
It also helps your employees to understand your brand and decisions better and makes your business operations smoother.
Whether you are deciding what products to sell or how to handle customer service issues, your core values should always be at the forefront of your mind.
4. Builds competitive differentiation
Brand values help you create competitive differentiation by clearly communicating what potential customers can expect from a product or service.
For example, if your brand values are to provide responsible products that are created with sustainable materials and practices, this sets your brand apart from your competition which may be cheaper, but do not share the same values.
5. Drives sales and loyalty
Core brand values provide a foundation for authentic brand storytelling and building marketing messaging that helps customers connect with the brand.
When customers can associate with a brand, they feel connected and more likely to buy from the brand and even remain loyal.
Examples of brand values
1. Honesty & integrity
Honesty is one of the most important examples of brand values because it sets the tone for how customers interact with your business.
Honesty is about being open, transparent, and truthful in all of your communications.
It also means providing your audience with accurate information about your products or services and not tricking them to buy.
Integrity is just as important; it is about upholding high ethical standards in everything you do and demonstrating respect for everyone involved in your business dealings.
2. Innovation & creativity
Innovation encourages companies to think outside the box while creativity helps them come up with unique solutions to problems.
These two qualities are essential for staying competitive in today’s crowded marketplaces; they show customers that you are always looking for ways to improve products or services and remain at the cutting edge of industry trends.
This doesn’t mean that you need to reinvent the wheel every time – sometimes simply improving on existing products or services can be enough to set you apart from the competition.
3. Customer-centricity and empathy
Customer-centricity is about putting their customers first by understanding their needs and delivering value through personalized experiences or services that meet those needs.
It is about building relationships with customers, listening to their feedback, responding promptly to inquiries, providing excellent customer service, and addressing any issues quickly and efficiently.
It’s important for businesses to understand their customers’ needs and show them empathy in their interactions.
This could mean responding quickly to customer inquiries or complaints, being available on multiple communication channels, or offering personalized experiences tailored to each customer’s individual needs.
3. Passion & commitment
Passion is what drives a business forward; it’s what motivates employees to go above and beyond when serving customers or creating new products or services.
Passionate brands are ones that people want to do business with because they know that the company cares about its product or service.
Similarly, commitment ensures that employees stay focused on goals despite any challenges they may face along the way.
Showing passion and commitment demonstrate that you care deeply about your work, which can inspire trust among customers who may be considering making a purchase from you.
4. Quality over quantity
Consumers appreciate quality products that are built to last, so emphasizing quality over quantity can be a great way to stand out from your competition and build loyalty with customers.
This could mean investing in higher-quality materials for production or taking extra steps in research & development before releasing a product into the market.
5. Authenticity and transparency
Transparency is another important value to uphold as a brand. Being open and honest about who you are and what you do is an essential part of building trust with customers.
It means being forthright about the products or services you offer, communicating openly about pricing and availability, and keeping customer data secure.
Authenticity is one of the most important brand values that you can uphold.
Being authentic means being true to who you are as a brand and not trying to be something that you’re not.
It’s important to be authentic because it builds trust with your audience. When your audience knows that they can trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.
Showing that your company cares about its local community is a great way to create positive relationships with customers as well as potential partners in the area.
This could include donations to local charities or volunteer work in the community at large.
7. Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are two brand values examples that are important to many companies.
Diversity in a company’s workforce brings wider knowledge through collective insights from all its members.
When a company includes different types of people, it can lead to better products, services, and decision-making.
8. Sustainability and environmental responsibility
Caring for the environment is an example of core brand values that play a central part in the way many companies do business.
A commitment to sustainability shows that companies care about the planet now and for future generations.
9. Responsiveness and agility
Responsiveness and agility are some core examples of brand values that I believe sets successful businesses apart.
In fact, agility plays an important role in modern businesses, providing flexibility when changes need to be made quickly and efficiently.
Customers appreciate it when companies respond quickly to inquiries or complaints.
10. Reliability and dependability
People want brands they can rely on – ones that will deliver what they promise.
For instance, offering fast and accurate shipping times demonstrate that your business is reliable while making sure all customer data is secure speaks to the dependability of your brand.
If your audience knows they can depend on you, they are more likely to become loyal customers, and even refer you to others, leading to continuous sales.
10. Ethics and purpose
Ethical practices are key to any business today, as they form the public perception of a company’s image and also shape how customers interact with the brand.
Further, ethics can define how staff make decisions or find solutions within an organization; for instance, whether employees prioritize profit above all else or consider moral implications first.
A purpose-driven brand is one that has a clear sense of why it exists.
Every decision made by the company should be made with the company’s purpose in mind. Your purpose should be evident in your marketing, in your product design, and in the way you run your business.
Examples of brand values of famous brands
1. Red Bull – Sustainability
The most iconic product of the Red Bull brand is the can. Red Bull is not sold in bottles, so every time you have a Red Bull you use up a can.
The brand reassures you about its environmental responsibility by highlighting its key brand value as sustainability.
2. Chick-fil-A – Community-minded
Chick-fil-A is a fast food chain, like a zillion other chains.
So they build their competitive advantage by focusing on their brand value of ‘giving back’ and building communities.
3. H&M – Diversity and inclusion
H&M is yet another mega brand that clearly indicates what its brand values are, diversity and inclusion being a main one.
Even when you walk into their stores, you always see people of different backgrounds.
4. Apple – Innovation and creativity
Apple is one of the first brands that come to mind when we say innovation.
No one needs to spell it out for us, it is integrated into their brand story and DNA, and it guides every product and decision.
In fact, the modern brand values of Apple shared by Tim Cook reflect the focus on innovation as well.
Besides innovation, they also have 7 other brand values which are:
- Inclusion and Diversity
- Racial Equity and Justice
- Supplier Responsibility
Tips to define your core brand values
The list of brand values examples I shared in this post becomes very helpful when crafting your own story or developing an identity for your small business.
However, here are some tips you should keep in mind while defining the brand values of your business and brand story:
1. Make your brand values unique and authentic
I shared a lot of examples of brand values above, but these are just that: examples.
Their role is to get you started working on the values of your small business brand, but you don’t have to copy them exactly.
Create your own brand values to match your brand story.
2. Make your values easy to understand and share
Ensure that your brand values are easy to understand and share with others so that everyone in your audience can engage with them fully.
3. Live and operate by your brand values
Always stay true to your core brand values by putting them into practice. All decisions you make for the business have to conform to these brand values.
What are your thoughts on these brand values examples and tips? Got any more to share?