Brand Values: The Ultimate Guide

Branding
Brand Values: The Ultimate Guide
Article by Szabolcs Szecsei
Last Updated: May 02, 2024

Nowadays, the sheer number of different markets and offers makes it almost impossible for companies to stand out with their products and services based only on excellent quality. Conversely, the massive choice of services and goods can often overwhelm consumers as well.

This is where brand values come into the picture. On the one hand, they offer companies a great opportunity to make themselves stand out from the competition while giving consumers a chance to do business with a brand that aligns with their values and views the most.

But what are brand values exactly? We’ve consulted our branding experts and shared their insights on brand values and implementing branding strategies.

What Are Brand Values?

Brand values can be defined as the core principles that guide and safeguard how your company operates. This includes where you source your materials, how you ship your products to your buyers, and how you treat your employees. As a part of your brand identity, brand values define how your company operates and how you fulfill its mission and vision.

Brand values have become increasingly important to consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z buyers, who are putting more emphasis on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices than any previous generation.

In other words, brand values are all the beliefs a company will uphold uncompromisingly as it expands, regardless of temptations to prioritize profit or attract more customers.

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Brand Values: How They Benefit Your Company

Enduring core values can be a strong market differentiator and can meaningfully build toward brand recognition, ultimately driving more business and fostering relationships with customers.

Data from 2023 suggests that 75% of US buyers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they purchase. As mentioned before, a brand that incorporates sustainable business practices in its values will be more likely to reach these people and even convert them.

Apart from that, let's look into what benefits having solid brand values may provide.

Reaching New Customers

Highlighting your brand values can help you gain more customers who are driven by the same or similar “mission.” According to Forbes, people are almost four to six times more likely to do business with a brand that they share values with. That means that establishing and sharing clear brand values can help you boost your presence among those people who are looking for businesses like yours.

Increasing Brand Loyalty

With an ever-growing number of competitors being only a few clicks away, establishing long-term customer relationships is more difficult than ever. Still, if you lead with core values, you can build a successful brand that turns one-off purchases into brand loyalty, helping you boost your bottom line as well as your brand equity.

In these terms, you should also pay more attention to sustainability and eco-friendliness because studies suggest that making eco-conscious purchases is a distinct “feel good” factor for buyers. Also, nowadays, people are more likely to purchase from purpose-driven brands. According to Accenture, 62% of buyers want brands to take a clear stand on environmental, political, and social issues.

Nurturing Better Employer-Employee Relationships

The people who work for you also care about your brand values. Studies suggest that companies with clear core values showing corporate responsibility work with more loyal staff. To be more precise, 56% of experts state that they are more likely to stay with a firm that has a detailed sustainability agenda.

As such, developing clear core values can enable you to build a team that’s driven by the same mission. This may mean anything from hiring like-minded staff to picking sustainable suppliers.

Standing Out From the Rest

A lot of companies put a lot of emphasis on offering competitive pricing or even the lowest prices, just to grab the attention of customers. However, having a good brand story can also grab the attention of consumers.

For instance, statistics suggest that 41% of people prefer to do business with brands that are committed to specific social causes. Embracing a brand narrative based on social consciousness and sustainability can also help firms differentiate themselves from their competitors. A good example of this would be a food company whose main value is complete transparency of ingredients along with their source and environmental impact.

Defining Brand Values

Establishing your foundational principles should be far more than Googling “best brand value examples” or copying a few great-sounding promises from another company’s site. Your brand’s values should be unique, laying down the foundation of your goals and how you wish to achieve them. Intentional and strong values may be good at attracting conscious buyers, but your values must stem from achievable and realistic company goals.

Assess What Really Matters

Your brand values may grow out of your values. The way your company hires employees, makes products, and operates can be a manifestation of what matters to you. What impact do you want to have on the world? What bothers you about how other companies conduct business? What kind of people and brands inspire you? How do you want to inspire others?

Answering these questions can help you come up with a blueprint to establish your organization’s essential ideals.

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Examine Your Company’s Pain Points

Establishing company values can foster accountability, guiding you towards enhanced business practices. So, you need to dive deep into your business, identifying pain points that can serve as the foundation for values. Consider questions like: Where did operational gaps occur last quarter or last year? What feedback have customers provided? Which issues are frequently raised by employees?

View business shortcomings as opportunities for growth and the development of key values. Embrace change and seize the chance to execute values that drive transformative impact within your organization.

Don’t Forget — It’s a Team Effort

At the earliest stages, your brand values may represent what matters to you the most. But, as the operations expand and the business scales, you should also consider reflecting on some of the values of the experts who join your team.

It’s unrealistic to have an ever-expanding list of values. No business can truly implement and realize them. Instead, as a leader, consider how your brand values can expand and slightly shift over time as you scale your business. By collaborating on this list with people you hold in high esteem at your company, you can ensure that they will be more inclined to conduct their work based on these same core values.

Examine Others

Even though your brand’s values should be your own and their implementation will be unique depending on your individual business context, it’s prohibited to get inspiration from other brands. Performing a thorough analysis of your industry can help you better understand what consumers in your niche care about and what your competitors are doing.

Implementing Core Brand Values

Creating a list of central values is one thing but conducting a business based on them is another. How can you take a scribbled list of values and communicate them to your target audience? Below are a few key strategies you can use to get the message through.

Embed Your Values in Your Business

Your brand values should touch every aspect of your business. If it’s sustainability, every aspect of your production process should reflect that from material usage through shipping options to return policies.

Here are a few tips that can help you integrate your values into your everyday business practices:

  • Customer policies: Your brand values should be baked into the ways your organization interacts with your buyers. This enhances the customer experience, strengthens brand loyalty, and fosters ongoing customer engagement.
  • Company operations: It’s not just about customer-facing facets. Brand values should show up in your daily business operations as well. This includes everything from employee perks to choosing shipping partners.
  • Assess your employees: Promote members of your staff if they encourage and embody your brand values.

Similarly, this approach should be also encouraged in different aspects of your business, from hiring, through your supply chain to customer care.

Let Your Customers Know

Use your marketing touchpoints to communicate the values of your brands with prospects to forge long-term relationships with them. Here are a few ways you can highlight your brand values to customers:

  • Marketing: You can always communicate your guiding values to your target audience via your email newsletters, social media, and content marketing efforts. You can also incorporate them into your paid advertising strategies.
  • Website: Your Digital business card is prime real estate to talk about your company’s story. From your homepage via your About Us page to your design, you can tell what’s important to your company and you.
  • Packaging: You can also tell your brand’s story through your package design. Consider using straightforward icons and copy to describe what really matters to your brand.

Make It Visible Everywhere

Your brand values should be highlighted in your design, both digitally and physically. Your headquarters should clearly display your brand values, at least in a boardroom or main entrance. Better yet, have an accessible file or document where you keep a list of your values. Pin them on your most popular digital channels, discuss them with new hires, and refresh them during team calls.

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Get official certifications from organizations like B Lab, USDA Organic, 1% for the Planet, or Fairtrade International. Official certifications from organizations such as these demonstrate a company's commitment to ethical and sustainable business practices, providing reassurance to consumers and stakeholders.

For example, USDA Organic certifications assure consumers that your products have been produced using approved methods that promote ecological balance, better resource usage, and conserve biodiversity.

Getting certified and maintaining your good standing can be a great way to show you mean business when it comes to your cornerstone values and that you can be trusted when it comes to making similar choices as you grow your operations.

Brand Value Examples

We’ve talked about sustainability and other great values and below, we’ll share a few generalized examples of values that can lay down the groundwork for company operations:

  • Diversity and inclusion: Companies can make a difference by making their products accessible to more people and hiring people from different nationalities, genres, backgrounds, etc.
  • Ethical production and sourcing: Be intentional about how and where your products are manufactured. Empower, don’t exploit.
  • Customer care: Offer high-quality products, put in the effort to communicate and listen to your customers.
  • Be environmentally conscious: Strive to become carbon-neutral, offer sustainable packaging, and more.
  • Give back: Volunteering and donations are always a good way to show that a company cares about the community they are embedded in.
  • Offer quality: Strive to manufacture long-lasting goods and withstand the test of time with superior quality.
  • Transparent operations: The best way to keep yourself accountable is by giving people a behind-the-scenes look into your operations. This also gives your leads more info to make smarter buying decisions.

Before we conclude the article, here are a few brand value examples from real-life companies.

  • Nothing: A tech company that promotes sustainability by using recyclable materials. They also aim to help their community through a dedicated customer network.
  • François-Joseph Graf: The designer brand emphasizes luxury handmade products. Their exquisite designs and leatherwork play a huge part in their values, just like the founder, who’s always available in the workshop.
  • DECEM: This drink brand uses local ingredients in its products. The pride of its British heritage is what mostly inspires that brand’s story, while the values are centered around high-quality, natural, and local ingredients.

Brand Values Matter

Starting a business is relatively easy. However, standing out from your industry and acquiring lifelong customers is challenging. With the right brand values and strategy, you can attract new business, grow an efficient, brand-aligned team, and build lasting customer relationships.

Establishing your core values and implementing them into your operations and marketing strategies can be overwhelming and even confusing at times. To get started on the right foot, remember that you can always reach out to a seasoned branding agency to maximize the potential of your brand.

Brand Values FAQs

What are brand values?

Brand values can be defined as key principles that guide how your company operates. It can incorporate anything from resource management to product manufacturing and delivery. In essence, these values define how an organization conducts business, earns money, and achieves its mission.

What would be good examples of brand values?

Brand values can be anything from ethical manufacturing and sourcing, eco-friendliness, inclusion and diversity, transparent business operations, building high-quality products, and being an active and charitable company within your compatibility.

Why are brand values essential?

Brand values can help you stand out from the rest within your industry, and help you create better brand affinity and brand loyalty. It can also help you attract new customers, along with attracting and retaining new employees. Lastly, your core values can also help improve your business operations.

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