When developing a brand for a new or existing business, it’s important to list the core brand values your business stands for. These values inform all the decisions you make for your brand and how your brand communicates, both internally among team members and externally to the public. In order for these values to serve your business and customers in the best way possible, they need to be both authentic and relevant to your industry.
In this post, we’ll explore why brand values are so important and how to define them for your brand. To help you get started, we’ll also look at 100 examples of popular brand values.
What are brand values?
In case you’re new to the concept of brand values, let’s start with a quick primer on what they are and why they’re important. Your core brand values are the beliefs that your company stands for. As you work towards fulfilling your mission and purpose, you’re setting a standard through your commitment to these values.
It goes without saying that your brand values are bigger than your personal beliefs, although they are likely to overlap. Some of your personal values may not be important for your business and vice versa. For instance, you may deeply value loyalty, but it may not be as important for your business as other values. That said, if you’re struggling to come up with core values for your business, reflecting on the personal beliefs that drove you to start your business in the first place is a good place to start. This is what led me to choose freedom as one of my core brand values.
Defining clear values for your brand has a few key benefits. For one, it helps give your brand structure and consistency. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it helps your brand connect with your target audience. People tend to naturally gravitate towards those who share similar values. The same is true for brands. And thirdly, having clear values helps you differentiate your brand from your competitors.
When should you define your core brand values?
You may be wondering, at what point in the branding process should you define your brand values? Is it necessary to know them upfront or can they be added on later?
Ideally, you should determine your core brand values very early in the branding process, around the time you define your mission and purpose. This is because your values will help guide many, if not all, of the decisions you make about your brand moving forward. Yes, your values can even impact which colors you use and the style of your logo!
For a beautiful example of a values-driven logo and brand identity design, check out my case study for Buoyant Bloomer.
If you’ve already built a brand but haven’t yet thought about your brand values, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start. Your core values could be that missing piece you never knew you needed that could finally help things come together for your brand.
So, how many values do you need to define for your brand? Anywhere between three to seven is sufficient. It’s really a matter of what feels right for you and your business. Next, we’ll take a look at 100 examples to help you kick-start the process.
Brand values list: 100 examples
In alphabetical order, here’s a list of 100 brand values to use as inspiration for your business.
Now that we’ve covered what brand values are and why they’re important, and we’ve looked at some great examples for inspiration, you’re ready to narrow down your list of core values. Again, you’ll want to aim to select between three to seven values. Keep in mind that these values don’t just have to be single words, like the examples above. For instance, one of Wayfair’s principles is “Deliver Results With Integrity.” (Side note: Finding the About page on your favorite brands’ websites can help you find inspiration for your values. Just be careful not to rely too heavily on outside influences.)
In addition to listing out your brand values, I recommend writing a brief description for each one for context. Words can have so many different connotations. For example, discipline means “order” in some contexts and “punishment” in others. What do these brand values mean to you? Why should people care?
For more support in building your brand, check out the following:
- Download my free brand clarity workbook to uncover your purpose, authentic voice, ideal audience, and aesthetic.
- Visit the blog for more in-depth articles on branding and other small business topics.
- Explore my services to see how we can work together to bring your vision for your brand to life.