Brand Values: 6 Examples To Craft a Powerful Marketing Strategy15 min read
Your values make you who you are. And for brands, it’s no different. Your whole brand strategy should be based on your core values. So, they can’t be an afterthought.
Amazon is completely focused on the best customer experience. Patagonia is based on quality, dependability, and ethical business. Starbucks wants to create a culture of warmth and belonging
These are great. But can you really relate to these guys? Or another big brand like Coca-Cola? I’m guessing no.
Your brand values will be your guiding principles. They’ll determine your target audience. The social media platforms you’re on. The content you’ll create. Pretty much everything.
Some people do it really well. And these 6 companies can help inspire your own core brand values:
Why does your brand need strong core values?
Ben & Jerry’s makes ice cream. But they also want to inspire global change. They care about human rights, plus social and economic justice.
Source: Ben & Jerry’s
You started your business to solve a problem. So, most of you will have an idea what these values are. Some will have to dig a little deeper and brainstorm.
I can’t really help you here. As every business is different and there’s such a wide scope. But there are a few general steps:
- Think about why you started – your brand identity is usually built on this.
- Assess your competitors – what are their values? How are you different?
- Figure out your USP (unique selling point) – are you cheapest? Sustainable? Do you have amazing customer support?
- Know your customers – 71% of consumers prefer buying from brands that align with their values.
Sometimes, it’s best to learn by example. So, here are 6 examples of brand values to learn from.
Honu – save the sea turtles
Your brand values can be really niche. And specific. Like Honu. Honu has one clear mission statement. To help save endangered sea turtles from extinction.
So, how do they do this? Well, they sell sea turtle-themed jewelry. But they don’t keep their whole bottom line. 10% of these profits go towards the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
They also promote sustainability and use their platform to raise awareness of endangered marine life. Social media is their main marketing channel. Especially Instagram. And they use it to hammer home their brand story.
Their sustainability commitments make up their core values. These are:
- Conservation and education
- Anti-fast fashion
- Recycled jewelry (made in the UK)
- Plastic-free packaging
- Waste-led design
- Carbon neutral
Their products are made to last. But if something happens, customers can return purchases to be recycled into a new piece.
Over time, they’ve grown. And they now partner with other animal conservation projects to sell collab products. Like nonprofits The Seahorse Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Just because you have a very specific set of values doesn’t mean you can’t branch out. Partnerships can give marketing campaigns a fresh direction. And social good initiatives are always received well.
Who Gives A Crap – the paper company that builds toilets
Toilet paper. To keep butts clean everywhere? For most companies, sure. But Who Gives A Crap wants more.
Their tagline is: “Good for your bum. Great for the world.” And the business owners started the company for 2 reasons:
- Toilet humor
- To make a difference
They learned around 2 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. So, they created a company that donates 50% of profits to building them and improving sanitation in the developing world.
The site is all about the impact of those core values. But it’s not preachy. They keep it mostly light-hearted.
Source: Who Gives A Crap
They show the process and the organizations they work with to make their brand values happen. The 100% money-back guarantee shows the confidence in quality too.
Who Gives A Crap are really active on social media too. And they have an awesome brand voice.
They also have a marketing blog called “Talking Crap”. Which sounds useless. But it’s actually really helpful with 4 sections:
- Good Crafts – how to reuse their paper packaging
- Good Deeds – general tips to be more sustainable
- Good Fun – random and funny topics
- Good News – mostly company updates
Source: Talking Crap
These guys stick to their roots. They started with 2 core brand values. And all their marketing still revolves around them.
Your company’s core values should do the same. Yes, they can evolve. But always highlight the aspects of your business that kicked things off.
Monzo – socially-responsible banking
Banks aren’t trusted these days. Which is why Monzo had to go down another route. And now, they’re a template for success.
They want to make banking better. And they believe in 3 things:
- Solving customers’ problems
- Treating them fairly
- And being totally transparent
And they mean it too. Which is why they’ve got such strong brand loyalty and retention. While other banks are tanking, they’re still rated “Excellent” on Trustpilot for customer satisfaction.
Their graphic design and fonts are clean, modern, and simple. Which is exactly what people want. Especially for such a complex topic.
But they don’t expect you to take their word for it. They want to do the best for people. And their social program includes things like:
- Measuring, reducing, and publicly reporting their carbon footprint every year
- Developing a transaction blocker that gambling addicts can set themselves
- Including their community in decision-making processes
- Creating a brand voice that makes everything easy to understand
- Specialist support for people struggling with domestic, financial, or economic abuse
These are all things that prove people are priority. And show their brand values in action. They’re also really active on social media. And have a relatable, down-to-earth personality.
Monzo has taken a stuffy, traditional industry and modernized it. They’re not the only digital banking company. But they have a unique outlook.
Sometimes, it can be as easy as simplifying for people. If you’re in a similar industry, maybe one of your brand core values could be to do the same?
Three Spirit – straight-edge botanical elixirs
The non-alcoholic spirits market is taking off. And Three Spirit is riding the boom.
But this isn’t any old drink. They’ve mixed the expertise of bartenders and plant scientists to make a premium product. And the process is anything but simple.
They’re trying to mimic some of the buzz you get with alcohol. And the unwinding nightcaps. But through blending plants. They call it “Botanical Alchemy”.
Source: Three Spirit
And it really does feel sciency. They want you to know the amount of thought that’s going into each creation.
“Our processes are complex, delicate and take time – maceration, fermentation, distillation, reverse osmosis, freeze-drying, ultrasonic extraction – you name it, we’re pioneering it.”
I have no idea what some of those words mean. But I’m definitely impressed.
You’d assume if you’re working with plants, you’d be environmentally friendly. And Three Spirit are. When you buy a bottle, the business plants a mangrove tree on your behalf. In either Madagascar, Mozambique, or Kenya.
They share tons of cocktail recipes on the site and social channels. And have a blog called “Alchemist’s Diaries”, which is a total mix of content. From stress-relief guides to plant-based research and company updates.
They use social media for brand awareness. Which is where I found them.
They’re almost trying to create the brand experience of any other premium spirit. Because they don’t want their customers to look or feel like they’re missing out. They still want the buzz and social interaction. But without the negative effects of alcohol.
If you’ve started your company to solve a major pain point, make sure people know about it.
Octopus Energy – clean, green energy
The energy sector is another with lots of negative experiences. And Octopus Energy doesn’t underplay it:
“The energy industry in Britain is ruled by a handful of complacent dinosaurs peddling fossil fuels, pricing trickery and poor customer service.”
Climate change is a huge issue right now. And lots of us are trying to live more sustainably.
Octopus jumped on this bandwagon years ago. And their brand message sums up their core values: fairly-priced green tariffs now. While they try to build a smart, sustainable, low-carbon energy system for the future.
They totally understand their customers’ pain points too. Yes, solar and wind power are awesome. But most people don’t want to live near the huge turbines. Octopus has this covered:
Their company culture is super friendly and informal too. And happy team members mean happy customers.
Octopus is clearly a customer-centric company. Like Monzo, they’ve chosen a conversational tone and keep all their marketing efforts really low-key to match.
Their Tweets are always informative. And you can tell they listen to their customers’ feedback. Then act quickly to help.
They also use Twitter as their main customer support channel. With a really fast response time. It’s very on-brand for the whole relatable, casual image. And a heck of a lot better than the bigger UK energy companies.
You might be the underdog in your industry. But there are always ways to stand out. People want to protect the environment. And they always want to feel “heard”. If your own brand values can include those, you’ll inspire customer loyalty.
Doist – productivity app focused on its people
Doist was pioneering remote work before most of us knew what it was. Their brand mission is to create a global user base that can work hard without distractions.
Remote work is a huge talking point. But while some people thrive, others get distracted. So, Doist created 2 apps to help:
- Todoist – a task manager and to-do list
- Twist – team messaging that isn’t a constant interruption
Their brand values are very clear:
- Ambition and well-being need to be balanced to prevent burnout
- Conversations need to be public for transparency
- People need to be able to disconnect to focus on work
- Important discussions should include everyone (despite time zone)
- Work should be fulfilling, not stressful
They’ve followed through with this by building in public. So, everyone can see the thought processes that went into building their apps.
Their blog is full of helpful articles too. Mostly about productivity, teamwork, and remote work. There’s even a comic section to show they don’t take themselves too seriously.
The core values on their site are directly aimed at potential employees. Because your values should be at the heart of your company culture. But your employees and team are your culture. It’s all one big cycle.
And boy, does Doist focus on culture. They say they support their team. But they walk the walk too. In the careers section, the benefits seem to be never-ending. Here are a few that relate to the remote work side of things:
They want you to know how much they do for their team. Because then you have more trust in them as a user. Happy employees work hard because they want to. So, you’re expecting an awesome service before you even sign up.
Is one of your core values a happy, productive team? It should be. But tell people how you make that happen. Or better. Show them.
There are a few brand values that resonate with most people. Like sustainability. Social good. And satisfied workers. But your business is unique. And you started it for certain reasons.
These reasons are what your culture will be based on. And they’ll determine the future of your business. From who you hire to how you develop.
You’ll already have core values. Even if you don’t know it. Go back to the start of your process. Look at the notes you made. Ask yourself why. Try to break it down into a few words to start with.
Once you’ve got them in place, you need to live by them. The most successful brands do this. And it’s why they do so well. Be consistent. And bring them to life through your content.
Which business brand values do you admire most? Do you buy from brands based on their values? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.