Core brand values: how to use powerful ones (good examples)

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Unlock business potential with core brand values. Elevate your identity, foster trust and build connections with your audience.
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Core brand values are one of the most important steps you can take when creating your company’s brand. As part of the brand substance, this section helps you to create strong values that can resonate with your target market in the digital world.

Different industries will have different corporate values. The core brand values of their brand will depend on their common goal. This in turn creates company culture, influences business decisions and ultimately produces customer loyalty.

What are Strong brand values?

It’s the deeply held beliefs and principles that form the foundation of a brand’s identity and guide its behavior, decisions, and interactions with its stakeholders. These values serve as the moral compass and the driving force behind a brand’s actions and strategies. Strong and well-defined values mean that these values are not just superficial statements but are ingrained in the organization’s culture and practices. That’s why they are identified as core brand values.

Successful brands understand that in order to succeed they need to have an internal core values list. A list of core brand values that are used to support the business endeavours.

By understanding who you are, and what you stand for, you gain the confidence to live according to that standard. Striving to accomplish certain goals while upholding the core values you hold dear.

The 7 reasons why strong core brand values are important:

1. Foundation of Brand Identity

They are the fundamental building blocks of your brand’s identity. They define what the brand stands for, its mission, and the principles it upholds. These values are the essence of the brand’s personality and help create a distinct and recognizable identity in the minds of customers and stakeholders.

2. Guiding Behavior and Decisions

Strong brand values act as a compass that guides the brand’s behavior and decision-making processes. When faced with various choices, a brand that is aligned with its values will consistently opt for actions that are in harmony with its principles. This consistency in decision-making builds trust with customers and stakeholders.

3. Cultural Integration

Brand values are not mere words on a mission statement; they are deeply ingrained in the organization’s culture. This means that every member of the team, from top management to front-line employees, embraces and lives by these values in their daily work. When brand values are deeply embedded in the culture, it fosters a sense of unity and purpose among employees.

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4. Moral and Ethical Guide

Strong brand values provide a moral and ethical guide for the brand’s conduct. They help the brand steer clear of practices that might compromise its integrity and reputation. In situations where tough choices must be made, brand values can help the brand remain true to its principles, even if it means making short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.

5. Stakeholder Relationships

Brand values play a vital role in shaping how a brand interacts with its stakeholders, including customers, partners, suppliers, and the community. By adhering to its values, a brand can build meaningful and lasting relationships based on trust, respect, and shared beliefs.

6. Brand Advocacy

When a brand’s values resonate strongly with its target audience, customers become more than just consumers; they become advocates. Loyal customers who identify with a brand’s values are more likely to recommend the brand to others, defend it in times of criticism, and engage with it on a deeper level.

7. Long-Term Strategy

Well-defined brand values serve as a solid foundation for long-term strategic planning. Brands that are guided by strong values tend to have a clearer sense of purpose and direction, which enables them to make informed decisions that align with their overarching goals. Competitive Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, brand values can be a powerful differentiator. When customers connect with a brand’s values, they are more likely to choose it over competitors who may not communicate the same level of authenticity and purpose

Overall, strong brand values are not just a marketing tool; they are the soul of the brand. They shape its identity, influence its behavior, and strengthen its relationships with all stakeholders. Brands that genuinely embody their values create a more meaningful and lasting impact on their target audience and are better positioned for long-term success.

What is the specific role of a core values list?

This list is to clearly articulate the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide a company’s actions, decisions, and behaviors. It serves as a foundational document that communicates the organization’s guiding philosophy and establishes a shared understanding of the company’s identity and purpose among employees, customers, and stakeholders.

The 9 key roles of a core values list:

1. Guiding Principles

The core values list acts as a set of guiding principles for the entire organization. It helps employees understand what is expected of them and provides a framework for making decisions that align with the company’s mission and vision.

2. Cultural Alignment

The values list plays a crucial role in shaping the company’s culture. When the core values are integrated into the company’s daily operations and interactions, it creates a consistent and cohesive organizational culture.

3. Employee Behavior

Core values provide a standard for desirable employee behavior. By explicitly stating the values, the company sets expectations for how employees should conduct themselves, both internally with colleagues and externally with customers and partners.

4. Recruitment and Onboarding

A well-defined core values list assists in the recruitment process by attracting individuals who share the same beliefs and principles. It ensures that potential employees are a good fit for the company’s culture. Additionally, during the onboarding process, new hires can quickly understand the company’s values and how they contribute to the overall mission.

5. Decision Making

When faced with complex decisions, employees can refer to the core values list to ensure their choices are in line with the company’s principles. This consistency in decision-making fosters a sense of trust and reliability among stakeholders.

6. Brand Identity

Core values play a significant role in shaping a company’s brand identity. When consistently expressed in branding and marketing efforts, they help differentiate the company from competitors and attract customers who align with the brand’s values.

7. Customer Trust

Companies that uphold their core values gain the trust of their customers. Customers appreciate businesses that are authentic and transparent about their guiding principles.

8. Long-term Vision

Core values provide a long-term perspective for the company. They are not easily changed, and they provide stability and continuity to the organization, even amidst market fluctuations and changes in leadership.

9. Performance Evaluation

The values list can also be used as a benchmark for evaluating employee performance. Employees who exemplify the core values in their work can be recognized and rewarded, reinforcing the importance of these principles.

10. Social Responsibility

In many cases, core values include commitments to social responsibility and ethical business practices. This demonstrates the company’s dedication to making a positive impact on society and the environment.

The Step-by-step guide

Let’s dive into the brand guidelines of creating your own brand values. Remember that these will be your own values that will be utilized for marketing campaigns on social media. The main goal is to create a positive association between your brand and the solution you offer to your customer.

1. Define your brand values

  • What would you like your customers to say about your brand, as if it where a person?
  • What would you like your suppliers to say about your brand, as if it where a person?
  • What would you like the general public to say about your brand, as if it where a person?

2. Create a shortlist of values (Max 15), based on the above answers

  • Find related words or Synonyms for the values on your shortlist
  • Create action-based sentences for each value on your shortlist

3. Select the top 5 values from your shortlist – this will be your company core values.

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Once you have created your company core values list, you need to remember the following:

  • Internal Communication: Share your brand values with your employees and make sure they understand and embrace them. Cultivate a company culture that reflects and upholds these values
  • Customer experience: Integrate your brand values into every touchpoint of the customer journey. Ensure that your values are evident in your products, services, and customer interactions
  • Marketing & Branding: Communicate your brand values through your marketing efforts and brand messaging. Show how your values align with your customers’ needs and aspirations.
  • Consistency in Action: Ensure that your brand consistently demonstrates and upholds its values in both good times and challenging situations. This builds trust and authenticity with your audience.
  • Engage employees and customer: Involve employees and customers in activities that promote your brand values. This fosters a sense of ownership and creates a community around shared value.

Great Examples of brand Values used in advertising

In the digital landscape, more and more companies are beginning to understand the power of creating a brand identity. However, there are some companies that have created and are actively promoting their identity on social media, television, billboards, podcasts and even radio channels.

Here are some great examples of brand values being demonstrated in the companies marketing efforts:

coca cola: Real Magic
Nike: Just Do It
Old Spice: Smell Like A Man, Man
Dove: Real Beauty

It does not matter what product lines you have or services you offer. When you have similar values as those of your customer, they will be drawn to you every time. And if you stay true to your values it will ultimately create brand loyalty.

Examples of Company Core Values

Herewith some company core values that might spark some creativity before you set-out in creating your own core values list;

  • Integrity: Acting with honesty, transparency, and ethical behavior in all business dealings.
  • Innovation: Encouraging creativity and embracing new ideas to drive progress and growth.
  • Customer-Centricity: Putting customers at the center of everything and striving to exceed their expectations.
  • Teamwork: Fostering a collaborative and supportive environment where teamwork is valued.
  • Respect: Treating colleagues, customers, and partners with respect and dignity.
  • Excellence: Pursuing excellence in all aspects of the business to achieve the highest standards.
  • Accountability: Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes and learning from mistakes.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Embracing diversity and promoting inclusivity to create a more dynamic workplace.
  • Social Responsibility: Committing to environmentally sustainable practices and giving back to the community.
  • Growth and Learning: Encouraging continuous learning and personal/professional development.
  • Adaptability: Being open to change and embracing flexibility to stay relevant in a dynamic market.
  • Quality: Delivering products or services of exceptional quality and value.
  • Empowerment: Empowering employees to take initiative and make a positive impact.
  • Fun and Enjoyment: Promoting a fun and enjoyable work environment that fosters happiness and well-being.
  • Stewardship: Taking care of company resources and acting as responsible stewards of the business.

Important notes on Core Values

It’s important to note that core values should be unique to each company and reflect its specific mission, vision, and culture. These values guide decision-making, shape the brand’s identity, and influence interactions both internally and externally. When defining your brand’s core values, it’s crucial to consider how they align with your brand strategy and resonate with your target audience.

To get you started on your core value journey we have compiled a list of 194 core values.

Download the 167 core value list here.

In conclusion, harnessing the potential of powerful brand values can be a transformative strategy for any business. By defining and embracing core beliefs that resonate with your company’s mission and target audience, you can create an authentic brand identity that fosters trust, loyalty, and lasting connections.

As demonstrated by the examples of renowned brands like Patagonia’s environmental responsibility, Google’s innovative culture, and Zappos’ customer-centric approach, strong brand values become the guiding force behind successful businesses.

Integrating these values into every aspect of your operations, from internal culture to customer experiences and corporate social responsibility initiatives, will reinforce your commitment to your beliefs. As you consistently align your actions with your brand values, you will forge a meaningful impact on your industry and the lives of your customers, turning them into loyal advocates for your brand.

Remember, powerful brand values are not just words on paper; they are the driving force behind the essence of your brand and its enduring legacy. Embrace them, embody them, and let them be the compass that leads your business to greater heights.

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