How many brand values should a company have?

Understanding a company's ideal number of brand values is crucial in establishing a strong identity and fostering a sense of connection with consumers. A company's brand values serve as guiding principles that shape the organization's culture, decision-making processes, and overall framework. Businesses must have well-defined core values that are easily comprehensible, relatable, and actionable, enabling customers to resonate with the brand's ethos and align their choices accordingly.

Several studies and expert opinions exist on the optimal number of core brand values.

Most experts agree that the number should be kept within manageable and memorable limits for a company to communicate and embody its core values effectively. While there is no universally accepted standard, a range between three and ten core values is reasonable for most businesses.

So, how many brand values should a company have?

We think that a smaller number of values, such as three or four, is more beneficial, as it forces the organization to truly hone in on what is essential to its identity and purpose.

What is a Brand Value?

What are Brand Values, and Why Are They Important?

Brand values are a set of beliefs that guide a company's actions, behaviors, and decision-making processes.

They serve as the foundation for the brand's story and establish its overall mission and vision. The importance of brand values lies in their ability to connect with customers, set the company apart from competitors, and drive internal decision-making processes.

When a company's brand values align with those of its target audience, it creates a strong emotional connection, which can lead to customer loyalty and long-term business success. Furthermore, having clearly defined brand values allows employees to understand the company's objectives better and work toward achieving them in every aspect of their job.

Core Brand Values Vs. Company Values

While brand values and company values are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two.

Core brand values refer to the values guiding a company's brand identity, messaging, and overall customer experience. These values are externally focused, as they help shape the company's image and reputation in the market.

On the other hand, company values relate to the principles and beliefs that govern an organization's internal operations, including employee behavior and company culture. Company values focus on creating a positive and productive work environment for employees and often complement the core brand values.

Both sets of values play an essential role in the overall success of a company, as they contribute to a cohesive and consistent brand image, company culture, and operational efficiency.

Determining the Ideal Number of Brand Values

When establishing brand values for a company, it's essential to balance having enough values to represent the organization's unique identity and keeping the list concise to ensure clarity and effectiveness.

Factors to Consider

Several factors can influence a specific company's optimal number of brand values.

These might include the organization's size, marketing objectives, leadership style, and long-term goals. It's important to consider what beliefs and behaviors the business wants to emphasize to guide decision-making and foster loyalty among customers and team members.

Keeping It Simple

An overly extensive list of values can dilute the organization's core message and make it difficult for employees to align their actions with the brand's principles consistently. Don't hand them a handbook with 1000 brand values in it and expect them to understand and follow them all (or even read the handbook).

Aim for a concise list of values that capture the essence of the company's mission and identity while still being broad enough to encompass the variety of initiatives and behaviors the organization wants to promote. In general, most companies have between three and six core brand values.


When selecting brand values, it's crucial to choose actionable ones that can be reflected in the company's daily operations, decision-making processes, and employee behaviors.

By ensuring that brand values are clear, measurable, and relevant, the organization can create a strong foundation for building a culture that aligns with its marketing and leadership objectives. Consider creating a table or bullet-point list to highlight each value and its corresponding actions for easy reference:

Value Action
Transparency Open communication and data sharing
Environmental Protection Sustainable practices and waste reduction
Innovation Continual improvement and embracing new ideas

By incorporating these factors and prioritizing simplicity and actionability, companies can effectively establish brand values that serve as a compass for their actions and decision-making while resonating with employees and customers.

Identifying and Defining Your Brand Values

Important factors in Small Business Branding - Brandgy

What Do You Believe?

Companies must take time and reflect on the beliefs that drive their business.

This introspection can help identify the values that are truly important for the organization. Consider aspects like the company's commitment to product or service quality, its approach to customer satisfaction, and the role of the team in driving success. Some common brand values include:

    • Integrity: Being honest and transparent in all business practices.
    • Trust: Building and maintaining trust among customers, partners, and employees.
    • Excellence: Striving for continuous improvement in products, services, and processes.

What Are Our Competitors Doing?

Understanding the competition and the market landscape is another essential step in defining your brand values.

Analyzing how other companies position themselves and the values they communicate can help you differentiate your organization and focus on the aspects that set you apart. To effectively compete and create unique selling propositions, consider questions such as:

    • What values are prevalent in the market? Which ones can you adopt or strengthen?
    • What values are lacking or not being addressed by competitors? Are these values important for your target audience?
    • What attributes of your products or services stand out and should be emphasized as part of your brand values?

Communicating and Implementing Brand Values

Transparency and Authenticity

Transparency and authenticity are key factors in effectively communicating a company's core values.

A business should present and demonstrate its values with honesty and openness so that customers, stakeholders, and employees better understand their purpose and importance.

To achieve this level of transparency, companies can use social media and their website to share information about the values they hold and explain how they align with the brand's vision. For example, showcasing stories on how the company upholds values like innovation, respect, and accountability can create a lasting impression on consumers and foster positive associations with the brand.

Focusing on authenticity, companies must ensure that they practice what they preach. If teamwork and collaboration are among their core values, they should incorporate these principles into decision-making processes and actively demonstrate them in the workplace.

Empowering Team Members

Employees play a crucial role in upholding and transmitting a company's values to the public.

Companies must empower their team members to ensure consistency and alignment with their corporate values.

One way to achieve this is by encouraging open communication and providing platforms for employees to voice their ideas, insights, and concerns. By enabling a respectful and honest dialogue culture, businesses can foster a strong sense of ownership and accountability among team members.

Providing training and resources to help employees understand the company's core values and their role in upholding them can enhance team cohesion and streamline decision-making. Regularly acknowledging and rewarding staff who embody the company's values will motivate others to demonstrate similar commitment and dedication.

Infusing Brand Values in All Business Aspects

Establishing and upholding brand values in every area of a company's operations is paramount for fostering a strong brand strategy and driving success. Brand values should be consistently present and actively demonstrated, from marketing and brand strategy to hiring and employee engagement.

Marketing and Brand Strategy

Incorporating brand values into a company's marketing and brand strategy helps strengthen brand identity and build customer relationships.

By showcasing these values in communication, advertising, and public relations, companies convey their commitment to principles such as diversity, inclusion, and customer satisfaction. For example, American Express has centered its branding around themes of trust and security, reinforcing its commitment to customers through various marketing campaigns and channels.

Working with influencers and attending events such as fairs or conferences that align with the company's values can help further emphasize their commitment to these principles. By actively engaging in marketing and branding efforts that champion their core values, companies can create a strong sense of connection and loyalty among their clientele.

Hiring and Employee Engagement

Brand values shape a company's culture and attract the right individuals to join the team.

Companies should pursue candidates who share their values, which should be clearly demonstrated in their hiring and interview process. Establishing a diverse team that embodies the organization's values helps promote creativity, collaboration, and driving principles within the company.

Enlisting brand values in employee engagement initiatives, such as training, surveys, and team-building activities, further strengthens the company culture and overall productivity. For instance, Atlassian and Slack emphasize values like curiosity, humility, and collaboration as part of their organizational culture to build strong, successful teams.

Maintaining Brand Consistency and Evolving Brand Values

Google Logo - How Geometry Influences Logo Design

Companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple have established a strong presence in their respective markets by maintaining brand consistency and evolving their values. It is essential for businesses to continually assess their performance and refine their brand values to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

Continuous improvement is crucial in maintaining brand consistency and addressing evolving customer needs.

Encouraging feedback from customers and employees helps identify opportunities for improvement and collaboration. The customer experience can be significantly enhanced by incorporating feedback and adjusting brand values, advertising, and other communication channels as necessary.

Organizations like Amazon prioritize customer satisfaction by continuously seeking feedback and refining their operations to provide better value. Similarly, Apple pays great attention to detail, consistently striving to enrich the user experience through innovation and product excellence.

Adapting to Market Changes

Market changes, such as shifts in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and increased competition, require companies to adapt their brand identity, guiding principles, and overall strategy.

For example, businesses incorporate sustainability, compassion, and other socially conscious values into their brand strategy to appeal to modern consumers.

Google, known for its strong brand identity and innovative culture, regularly adapts to emerging trends and market shifts. By doing so, the company stays relevant and maintains its reputation as a leader in the technology industry.

How Many Brand Values Should a Company Have? Final Thoughts

How many brand values should a company have?

Brainstorm and outline a list, then try to hone it down to the top three.

A lot of times, you will have overlap in your list. Using the three examples from above:

  • Integrity: Being honest and transparent in all business practices.
  • Trust: Building and maintaining trust among customers, partners, and employees.
  • Excellence: Striving for continuous improvement in products, services, and processes.

Integrity covers many things (moral compass, doing the right thing, making the hard calls, being there for your customers and each other, etc.). If you have integrity, people can trust you, and you will not do something you cannot execute with excellence. There is a lot of overlap.

You only need one: integrity.

In my opinion, if you have integrity, you are 90% there.

Good Luck!