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A How-to Guide on Finding your Core Brand Values

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

I remember going to sleepovers as a little girl and staying up all night with my friends. We’d spend the evening laughing, doing each others’ nails, and talking about everything that’s important to a tween girl. When I would return home the next day, without question, my grandmother would tell me, “you’re talking like that girl,” or ask me, “why are you laughing the way that girl laughs?” Somehow, I would begin to take on the characteristics of my friends. And although it was something surface-level like a laugh or pitch of voice, what stands out to me is that my grandmother KNEW who I was at my core. She recognized the way I was communicating did not match my core values.

That’s one thing I often see with biz owners: they want to mimic what another brand is doing to make sales. But just like me copying that unique laugh my friend had, what works for one company may not work for yours. That’s because your marketing and messaging strategy should be built off your brand’s core values.

What are Core Brand Values?

Core brand values are the beliefs your business stands for and guide each decision you make. These non-negotiable principles create the credo for how your biz will conduct itself. Clear core brand values allow you to build deeper relationships with your customers and attract people aligned with your mission. Core brand values explain why you do what you do.

They’re the non-negotiable principles for your brand and shape every part of your biz. Whether you are creating a new offer, writing your social media content, or expanding your team, your core brand values influence each step your brand makes, and they serve as a standard to which you promise to uphold your company.

Beyond the personal standard, core brand values show your ideal audience what you view as important, what they can expect from you, and how you differ from your competition. For example, there are PLENTY of health consultants out there, but how many use authenticity, diversity, freedom, and humor as their brand principles? Clearly defined core brand values will help you tell impactful brand stories and build stronger relationships with your people. The more detailed and tailored they are, the more magnetic your brand will be to your target audience with similar values.

How to Find Your Core Brand Values

Now that we’ve explained core values and why they’re essential, it’s time to discover yours.

First, let’s identify what your company stands for and why it exists—knowing your big why gives purpose to your brand. Take a deep breath, then answer these questions.

  • What personal belief is the most important to you?

  • Where do you see this belief missing in the world/industry? How does that make you feel?

  • What do you consider to be the most critical part of conducting biz?

  • How do you believe this belief can impact people’s lives? (What is your target audience craving? How will this belief shape your company, customers, and community?)

From answering these questions, you can list why your company exists and what it stands for.

Now let’s identify your core brand values. Your chosen values should be infused into your company’s daily operations. Unless you’re going through a rebrand, don’t select values you aspire to have. Choose what is true to you and own it.

From the discovery phase, select four non-negotiable principles. These are your core brand values. Once you choose your core brand values, briefly explain what each one means for your company and customers.


Here’s an Example

I went through the same exercise to discover my core brand values and settled on these four principles: Connection, Authenticity, Creativity, and Vibrancy.

Next, I created a summary of how I convey these values in my biz:

  • Connection: I operate with a people-first mentality and believe messaging serves the greater purpose of fostering relationships.

  • Authenticity: My work is infused with personality and genuinely reflects my clients’ values. I empower my clients to attract their people by showing up as themselves.

  • Creativity: Imagination is the most valuable tool in my marketing kit, and I use it to craft messaging that highlights the value of my clients’ work.

  • Vibrancy: Digital marketing should be fun and joyful. I welcome story-driven, conversion copy that connects and inspires. People find your work magnetic when you operate from a place of joy.


How to Share your Core Brand Values

Once you know your core values, tell your people about them! Create content (emails, blog posts, social media captions) about what your biz stands for. You can spruce up your website and include your core brand values to stand out from the competition. Remember to explain why these are your values; give details about what they mean for your company and your people. The more you share your values, the more you’ll attract your ideal customers.

List of 20 brand storytelling prompts

To wrap it up:

Your core brand values help your biz stand out from the crowd and showcase how you’re one of one. Identifying and using your values are essential to adding purpose to your brand messaging. Be sure to explain what each value means to your company and your customers, and use these values liberally throughout your brand messaging to strengthen your brand identity and grow customer loyalty.


Hey there! I’m Kristin, owner of Harper Kea Storytelling. As a copywriter and brand messaging strategist, I help creative entrepreneurs and wellness brands find the right words to own their stories and connect with their people. Ready to reflect your personality and purpose in your brand messaging? Schedule a discovery call with me!

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