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Brand Values Guide with Examples

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

In today's world, there is more selection than ever for customers looking to make a purchase - this is why it is so important for a business to distinguish itself from its competition with a strong brand.

Brand Values Guide ecommerce

Brand Values Guide with Examples Outline

What is a Brand?

In today's world, a brand is far more than a memorable logo or a catchy tagline to be repeated in every advert. A brand is something that embodies the essence of a company. It is something that encapsulates a company's vision, mission, personality, values, and identity. When a customer thinks about a company, the brand is what comes to mind. A brand is the unique value proposition that a company offers to the people using the product. In the realm of brand building, understanding the personalities of your audience can be as crucial as defining your brand's personality. Integrating personality test questions and answers into your customer engagement strategy can provide valuable insights into the preferences, behaviours, and motivations of your target audience.

One of the best examples of a company (and person) with a strong brand would be Apple when Steve Jobs was at the helm. Under Steve's leadership, they moved beyond traditional branding for hardware and software and Apple became synonymous with innovation, elegance, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This not only set it apart (and above) the competition but also revolutionized the way companies brand themselves today.

Apple Brand Values

Why is a Strong Brand Important?

In the case of Apple, it is clear. A strong brand not only set them apart from the competition but also helped them to create a perceived value for the business and its products.

In the early 2000s (iPod/iPhone era) people know that when they were buying the latest Apple product they were getting the cutting edge of cool technology. And ... they were willing to pay a premium for the privilege.

A strong brand and strong brand awarenessis not only a tool to identify your company but is a tool that allows you to set your price point higher than the competition. See below ...

Branding Price Difference

What are Brand Values?

At the core of a brand, you will find the values that the business represents. These are the main principles and beliefs that guide the company's actions in the world. This can be seen as the compass that shapes the company culture, influences company initiatives, and even guides the tone of voice when a business is speaking with its customers.

When establishing company brand values it is important for a business to have a path that they want to set. Brand values are not created overnight and require time and action to achieve. This is why it is important for a business to know where they stand today and where they want to stand tomorrow. This means factoring in your audience values, business targets, and overall industry trends.

Brand values are something that customers will take note of, which is why it is also important that these values are consistent. If you say one thing to your employees and the opposite to your customers something will fall apart. Brand Values must be consistent throughout all aspects of your business.

Brand Values are also something that must be communicated. This means both internal communication to employees as well as external communications to customers. It is very simple - If you call not communicate Brand Values, then you will not be associated with the Brand Values.

Lists and Categories of Brand Values

When thinking of businesses and their values there are many things to consider.:

  • What do we as a business care about?

  • What is important in our industry?

  • What do our customers care about today?

  • What will our customers care about tomorrow?

Here are a few common examples and categories of brand values:

Authenticity and Integrity

  • Transparency

  • Honesty

  • Trustworthiness

  • Authenticity

  • Accountability

Innovation and Creativity

  • Inventiveness

  • Forward-thinking

  • Creativity

  • Ingenuity

  • Resourcefulness

Customer Focus and Excellence

  • Customer-centricity

  • Service Excellence

  • Responsiveness

  • Personalization

  • Going the extra mile

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

  • Environmental consciousness

  • Social responsibility

  • Ethical practices

  • Sustainability

  • Community engagement

Quality and Reliability

  • Reliability

  • Consistency

  • Excellence

  • Craftsmanship

  • Durability

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Diversity

  • Inclusivity

  • Equality

  • Empowerment

  • Respect

Passion and Enthusiasm

  • Passion

  • Enthusiasm

  • Zeal

  • Dedication

  • Love for the brand

Influence and Leadership

  • Industry leadership

  • Influence

  • Thought leadership

  • Visionary

  • Inspiring others

Adaptability and Flexibility

  • Adaptability

  • Flexibility

  • Agility

  • Open-mindedness

  • Embracing change

Collaboration and Teamwork

  • Collaboration

  • Teamwork

  • Cooperation

  • Partnership

  • Mutual support

Examples of Brand Values

Thankfully there are some great examples of companies and their values that we can use for reference.

Patagonia Brand Values

Core Values: Environmental Stewardship, Sustainability, Ethical Business Practices

Patagonia Brand Values

Environmental Stewardship: Patagonia is legendary for its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. They actively promote responsible consumption of goods (see their Dont buy this Jacket campaign) and advocate for the protection of public lands for future generations.

Sustainability: Sustainability is a core part of Patagonia's Brand Identity. The company uses sustainable materials, engages in fair labour practices, and has transparency throughout its supply chain. Their "Worn Wear" program encourages the circular economy by recommending that customers repair and recycle items instead of buying new ones.

Ethical Business Practices: An ethical Business approach is incredibly important to Patagonia. They take part in fair labour practices and actively donate a significant portion of their profits towards causes that promote social and political activism. This willingness to support positive change is a core part of a modern corporate social responsibility policy.

Ben & Jerry's Brand Values

Core Values: Social Justice, Sustainability, Community Engagement

Ben & Jerry's Brand Values

Social Justice: One would not typically expect an Ice Cream company to be so outspoken for social justice, but that is exactly what Ben & Jerry's is known for. They use their voice to advocate for equality, inclusivity, and systemic change. They support many social initiatives through their cause marketing campaigns and partnerships.

Sustainability: Sustainability is a core value for Ben & Jerry's. They prioritize responsibly sourced ingredients and work to reduce their environmental footprint. Ben and Jerry's actively support fair trade practices for their employees and for their supply chain.

Community Engagement: The company supports grassroots activism including awareness campaigns for many cases from LGBTQ+ initiatives and voter registration. This commitment to community engagement reflects their commitment to giving back to society.

Tesla Brand Values

Core Values: Innovation, Sustainability, Renewable Energy

Tesla Brand Values

Innovation: To say that Tesla revolutionized the electric car industry would be an understatement. By revolutionizing (and sharing) its technology - Tesla has established itself as the global leader in both electric vehicles as well as autonomous driving technology.

Sustainability: Tesla was created out of a need to overhaul the fossil fuel-focused automobile industry in an effort to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. By producing electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions they have clearly demonstrated that sustainability is core - not only to their company but for the world as well.

Renewable Energy: Their products go beyond EV's and also include solar panels and home battery systems. Everything they build supports and promotes the use of renewable energy sources. They work to make clean energy accessible and affordable to individuals and communities around the world.

Airbnb Brand Values

Core Values: Community, Diversity, Sharing Economy

Airbnb Brand Values

Community: Airbnb redefined hospitality by creating a sense of community between its hosts and travellers. The brand's platform promotes cultural exchanges that emphasize human interaction and shared experiences.

Diversity: By offering accommodations in diverse neighbourhoods and connecting travellers with local hosts, the brand encourages exploration and understanding of different cultures. Airbnb with its local experiences offering has helped connect countless tourists with local experiences across the globe.

Sharing Economy: Airbnb is one of the best examples of the sharing economy in action. They empower individuals to monetize their resources (eg spare rooms, vacation homes, etc) creating great opportunities for income generation all while promoting a circular economy.

Impossible Foods Brand Values

Core Values: Plant-Based Diet, Sustainability, Innovation

Impossible Foods Brand Values

Plant-Based Diet: Impossible Foods has focused on the impossible task of making a meat-free product that is indistinguishable from the real thing. This goal has helped customers enjoy more sustainable and ethical food choices without sacrificing familiar flavours.

Sustainability: Meat production has a huge environmental footprint - by promoting plant-based alternatives Impossible Foods is giving customers the ability to enjoy food with a smaller footprint. Their alternatives require fewer natural resources to create and use far less land than cattle.

Innovation: In the world of plant-based foods Impossible is one of the most innovative companies around. Their use of heme (a molecule found in plants and animals) to replicate the taste of meat shows their commitment to pushing the boundaries of food science.

Bombas Brand Values

Core Values: Giving, Homelessness, Sustainable Practices

Bombas Brand Values

Giving: Bombas have a famous "one pair purchased = one pair donated" model where they provide socks for homeless shelters. Their commitment to vulnerable communities helps associate their brand with social impact.

Homelessness: Product donation is the first thing to come to mind, but Bombas' commitment to addressing homelessness goes far beyond. They actively work to raise awareness about homelessness and provide support to those in need.

Sustainable Practices: Their use of sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing has helped Bombas communicate their commitment to sustainability to their customers.

The Future of Brand Values and Brand Awareness

There has been a recent shift in Brand Values, as businesses need to focus more on the values of their consumers. This means that more and more brands are choosing to focus on social impact and environmental sustainability. In recent years customers have shifted towards the values of a business versus their straight branding, and while the two are connected - there can be some big differences.

In the past businesses might have focused on accessibility and pricing, whereas now there is more of a need to have sustainability (both for the planet and its people) as a core value. Having strong core values is a great way to increase your visibility and brand awareness online.

Retail Demographics Graph

How your Business can incorporate strong Brand Values

The saying 'put your money where your mouth is' perfectly applies to Brand Values. If you are looking to start incorporating a new value, one of the easiest and most impactful ways to do this is to spend resources on it.

There are a lot of ways to support initiatives, but one of the most impactful is to allocate a percentage of sales or revenue towards an initiative that counts. This can be donating 1% of sales towards an ocean conservation charity, or having a product line dedicated towards LGBTQ+ initiatives like Pineapple Island.

If you are looking to start incorporating strong Brand Values with your online store, check out our e-commerce integrations and start giving back today!

Brand Value Building for eCommerce


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