By Fran Johnson
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Brand Values: What’s at the core?

A brand is something that should always be developing and built upon. No longer is it enough to redesign your logo every 10 years and leave it be. Brand and its brand values now play an increasingly important role in the strategy of an entire company and subtle changes are needed to keep up with the expectations of a modern audience.

Overall, because branding is about creating and sustaining trust it means delivering on promises. The best and most successful brands are completely coherent. Every aspect of what they do and what they are reinforces everything else.

Wally Olins

What are your brand values?

When I talk of brand values I tend to be thinking of a series of words that define the feel of the brand. Rather than communicating what the business does, a brand value communicates the who of the business.

Identifying brand values is a task that is far easier to undertake with a successful global multinational in mind. Apple, who again featured in the number one spot in Interbrand’s 2016 rankings, could be whittled down to three words; intuitive, bold and progressive. Fortnum and Mason would occupy a different space; traditional, sophisticated and refined.

Knowing your organisation’s value words is a great place to start thinking about your overall brand strategy. Whilst the words themselves may not feature directly, the process of selecting them can be invaluable.

Selecting your brand values

A few months ago we invited the board of a company to undertake a brand values exercise before we started their rebrand process. Every director in the boardroom knew their company inside out. And the process of selecting 20 words — that represented them — was easy. The exercise became tricky when we asked them to jointly whittle the words down to 3. The conversations that followed were really interesting — debating exactly why classic represented their company over traditional. By the end of the exercise the board had agreed on a well considered set of words. Consequently they were on the same page about the rebrand, and we had a clear and solid starting point.

St Peter’s centre

How to develop a brand with multiple stakeholders?


Once you have established your brand values you can begin to scrutinise your organisation’s design and communication. Does your latest mail shot match up with your three value words? Is it on brand?

At a dozen eggs we have developed a tool to help our clients find their value words. It’s simple to use but can identify whether all stakeholders are on the same page when it comes to brand.

It’s a free tool that you are very welcome to use.

A company purpose keeps you on track with the why. Therefore ensuring you don’t look up in five years time and realise you aren’t where you want to be. The brand values keeps track of the who. If your brand was a person, what would they be like? Gentle, kind and intelligent? Fiery, combative and powerful? Knowing your brand values – and using them – ensures you don’t confuse your audience by changing your tone of voice half way through a conversation.

Purpose: Working out the WHY?

Successful brands are are build when the business case for purpose is established - understanding of the core reason your business exists is the first step towards getting a brand that actually works.

Fran Johnson - 17/03/2017
Future: Mapping out the route

Brand strategy needs to look into the future. Understanding the next 10 years of where you want to take your company, and the general landscape of branding and how audiences understand brand.

Fran Johnson - 02/07/2017
Brand Values: What’s at the core?

What are your brand values? An important step into establishing a brand strategy is to select a number of words that you can measure decisions against.

Fran Johnson - 20/03/2017
Audience: Define, prioritise, profile, target

Understanding of your current and future audience types mean the foundations of a brand can be built. How to define, profile and target them?

Fran Johnson - 30/06/2017
Visuals: Bridging the words and the pictures

Often, talking about branding is the easy bit - everyone is on the same page. Then, the visuals appear and everyone has different opinions. This blog post is around ensuring all stakeholders involved have an understanding of the visuals, tone and style.

Fran Johnson - 15/08/2017
Thinking about your competition

Where is your company positioned within the market? Does your brand stand out from your competition, or fit into the status quo?

Fran Johnson - 16/08/2017