What are brand values?

Jul 24, 2020 | Business

Brand values are a set of guiding principles that shape every aspect of your business. They tell potential clients who you are and what you stand for.

Brand values put more simply are what you want your business to be known for. When people think of your brand or talk about your brand to others, these are the values that you want at the forefront of their minds.

Examples of brand values

This is not an exhaustive list by any means but sometimes seeing some ideas can get your mind thinking about what your brand’s values might be. So, in no particular order, here are some examples of brand values.

Compassion Spontaneity Accountability
Honesty Consistency Enthusiasm
Trust Safety Friendliness
Integrity Loyalty Innovation
Reliability Responsibility Transparency
Empathy Exclusivity Inspiration
Rebellion Ambition Positivity

What do brand values need to be?

For brand values to be effective and beneficial for your business, they need to be three things: Meaningful, Actionable and Consistent.

You can choose anything as a brand value but if it doesn’t mean something to you, chances are you won’t meet the other two needs below. A brand value should be something that you care about deeply. Something that you want everyone to associate with your business. Something that you’re committed to upholding.

Your brand values should be able to be carried out by yourself and your employees. For instance, if mental well being is at the heart of your brand, what does that look and sound like? It might mean you’re committed to giving your staff a day off each month to ensure their good mental health.

Your brand values should also be consistent. If your brand value is enthusiasm, you can’t be enthusiastic for only half the time. That would be very hit and miss for your clients and there’s no way you can build a reputation for enthusiasm when half your clients aren’t vouching for that.

What are the benefits of clear brand values?

Having clear brand values will enhance your business in a variety of ways.

Gain credibility

If you have meaningful brand values that you’re actioning on a consistent basis, then your credibility within your industry and to the general public is immediately raised. People will know that those values are definitely what you stand for. And they will know they can rely on you for those things.

Make better decisions

Remember your brand values are your guiding principles. They will help you make decisions that align with who you are and what you believe in. For instance, if your brand is all about inclusiveness and you’re looking for somewhere to advertise, you would avoid publications or channels that are very conservative and not known for their open views. Failure to follow your values might lead to a backlash from customers.

Hire the right team members

Knowing the values you stand for from the outset will help you hire team members that are aligned with your principles. If your brand value is friendliness and you interview a candidate who is sullen or abrupt, then you’re immediately in tune with the fact that they don’t gel with your brand values.

Attract the right clients

A great side effect of nailing your brand values is you will attract like-minded clients or customers. This will save you untold heartache, especially if you have a service-based business where you are dealing with a client in more than a one-off transaction.

Stand apart from competitors

I’m going to use Apple here as an example. Their brand values would have to include being innovative and thinking outside the box. These values permeate all their advertising and communication – even the way they run their stores. So when consumers think of mobile phones and computers, the Apple brand is at the forefront of their minds. Because people shopping for those things want a product that is innovative and different.

Is your business living its brand values?

This is a question I recently asked on my Instagram stories. Just over half of those who responded weren’t sure and this makes me think that they possibly aren’t living their brand values. Or not living them to the fullest. Maybe they’re just a bit fuzzy on what their brand values are.

To those people (and you if you think you’re in the same boat), I would say go back and read this post again and try to identify 3 or 4 principles that you want your brand to be known for. Then ask yourself, are we doing those things and are we doing them every day and every time we deal with a client? If you were to randomly ask a staff member what the business’ brand values are, would they know? Do your emails, advertising, blogs, phone conversations and meetings reflect those values?

Tone of Voice Document

If you answered no to any of those last questions, a Tone of Voice Document can assist you to identify your brand values and put them into action in a meaningful and consistent way. It’s a handy guide that you can give to any employee, advertiser, web designer or copywriter (amongst others) to ensure that everyone is on the same team – your team – and living your brand values.

If you need a Tone of Voice Document for your business, please get in touch.

I develop Tone of Voice Documents for businesses through an interview and research process. My guidelines are specific to each business and include:

Your vision statement
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your product features and benefits
Your competitors
“Avatars” of your target audience or ideal clients
Your brand values with detailed explanations of what they sound like
Your brand personality traits with detailed explanations of what they sound like
A general writing checklist
A word bank to assist with communication
Web writing tips
Imagine having a document that includes all of the above that you can hand to anyone communicating on behalf of your brand.

Mailchimp, Uber, Virgin Mobile, Ikea and Nike are just a few examples of businesses that have Tone of Voice Documents. The documents or guidelines ensure that those brands are successful because all their communication reflects their values.

But Tone of Voice Documents aren’t just for big companies. Remember that all of them started as ideas and as small businesses that grew. Get a head start on your competitors and stamp your brand as a leader in its field by requesting a Tone of Voice Document quote.


Get your Instagram on

After Kate’s earlier mentioned money talk, the conference closed with the effervescent Jade Warner from Small Business Growth Club talking all things Instagram. Jade’s presentation was a great reminder that transformation and story telling is still a social media honeypot. People love to see how other people, products, places and just about anything have changed. I particularly loved Jade’s advice about the more Instagram surfaces (feeds, stories, reels, lives, DMs) we appear on, the further our reach.

Let’s get physical

Kate Toon provided a conference experience unlike many others. Coffee cart, morning and afternoon tea, lunch, after conference finger food and drinks, beanbags and massages. But even with all of that, she realised her speakers were giving us a lot of information and that our brains had a lot to process. So in the afternoon she surprised us a with a special guest – Lizzie Williamson from Two Minute Moves. Lizzie told us her story and demonstrated that even for those of us who hate exercise (not mentioning any names), two minutes of movement a day can be a game changer for our mental health. She had us up moving and dancing to Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical and it definitely helped our mindset. We were refreshed and able to concentrate for the last of the afternoon sessions.

Gifts and prizes

Attendees were also spoiled with a whole range of gifts donated by businesses in DMC. I was lucky enough to win two gorgeous prizes – a mini hamper from Bundles of Luxe thanks to Natasha Sutton from First Impressions Media, and a linen table runner and soap from Sue McGary of French Affair.

I also went home with gifts from Nick’s Digital and event sponsor True Green. And if that wasn’t enough, Kate also gave us Masterminders a box of Digital Marketing Collective goodies.

Award winners

It’s amazing to think that Kate Toon also organised awards around this conference. They’re a lot of work and many generous people gave up their time to read and judge entries. Thank you to head judge Erin Huckle and everyone else who participated.

I was a finalist in the Service Based Business of the Year Award (how cool is that?) but I couldn’t be disappointed in missing out when I saw the calibre of the other finalists. Well done to all finalists. A big congratulations to Beck Confrancesco from Marketing Goodness for being runner up and Nerissa Bentley from The Melbourne Health Writer for winning. Woo hoo! So well deserved. Both these women have always been extremely generous, sharing their knowledge and helping me be better in business. So I was thrilled to see both these first time award entrants get rewarded for their hard work and success.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the E-commerce Business of the Year awards as well. Was thrilled to see Nikki Filia from BeBangles, whose beautiful bracelets I was wearing, awarded runner up. And congratulations to Sue McGary from French Affair for taking out the win. What gorgeous products.


Digital Marketing Collective

This blog post is merely a recap of two very value-packed days at the Digital Marketing Collective Conference 2023. The overwhelming feeling at the end was not only that we got so much useful and practical information to help our businesses grow, but that we had met so many amazing humans.

Kate Toon has an uncanny ability to gather together the best of people. The Digital Marketing Collective is made up of a diverse range of service based and e-commerce business owners. Imagine having a safe space to learn, grow, make mistakes and be supported. Come join us. Full disclosure – the link below is an affiliate link but I would never recommend a group that I wasn’t myself paying to be a part of.

Join Digital Marketing Collective

P.S. If you want to see more photos and videos from the Mastermind and Conference, head over to my Instagram highlights after you join DMC.

Welcome to The Copywriting Chonicles

I love the building industry as much as I love writing. You can learn more about me here.

If you have a question about anything building related that you would like me to blog about, please drop me a quick note.

Recent Posts

Digital Marketing Conference 2023

  I didn't think about turning my amazing experience at the Digital Marketing Collective Conference 2023 into a blog post. Yesterday morning after typing out a very long LinkedIn post about it (that exceeded the word limit on the platform) and then losing it...

Websites for Construction Companies

Websites for construction companies need to utilise a variety of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) elements if they're to attract ideal clients. Having a non-optimised website is pointless unless you want it to serve as a mere online business card that you direct...

Love Languages at work and how to use them to help your business

Bear with me here as I talk love languages at work. I haven't gone crazy and I'm not about to unleash or encourage a nightmare for the HR department. The Five Love Languages was a concept developed by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, "The Five Love Languages: How to...

Constructing a compelling case study

How to write a customer success story for the construction industry You'll often hear me say that case studies are one of the most under-utilised tools in the construction industry's toolbox. When written well, they have the potential to win you new clients by...

10 ways to use a case study

10 Ways to Use a Case Study (and grow your business) Case studies, when utilised correctly, can be a key tool in your marketing arsenal. In this post, I'll outline 1o ways to use a case study to grow your brand and authority in the construction industry. 1. Publish on...


Share This