Core Values of Famous Brands

Arek Dvornechcuck
Branding Expert

I'm a strategist and designer based in New York who help brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch

Core values are operating principles that together with mission and vision statements guide a company both internally and externally.

Core Values of Top Brands

  1. Apple
  2. Starbucks
  3. Dunkin
  4. Coca-Cola
  5. Facebook
  6. YouTube
  7. Microsoft

They are the fundamental driving force of what your organization and its employees stand for in the world.

Core values provide something visceral, the bones, blood and guts of your brand.

They're the brand's highest priorities and they're necessary to form the image of your brand.

Core values are intrinsic to attracting customers as well as retaining your best employees.

Your core values must be integrated with your customers and employees and their belief system.

They're also known as guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are.

Just like you or I we each have our own values and that shape the way we behave.

How we treat other people and where we spend our time and efforts.

These principles are part of our character as people and part of what makes us individuals.

Values, Mission & Vision — Internal Brand.

They will draw people to us or draw people away from us depending on whether or not those principles are aligned.

The way brands interact with consumers are becoming more and more intimate and personal.

So that the way brands behave takes on greater significance.

The Importance of Core Values

Values are amongst our most important attributes as individuals — this is basically what make us human human.

So as brands advance into human personas, it's nothing unexpected to see an ever increasing number of brands taking on these guiding principle.

When we make purchasing choices we consider how brands act.

Generally, these contemplations are totally in the subconscious, much in the way that our contemplations of how others carry on around us are likewise in the subconscious mind.

At the point when we do consciously see how others' behave, it's generally when they've left us with either an extremely positive encounter or a truly negative encounter.

And the same happens with brands also — when we remember involvement with a particular brand as good experience, then we know this, similarly as we we know when we they the brand left us with am awful experience.

Generally, the entirety of our different encounters with brands are investigated in the subconscious mind.

Gerald Zaltman, a Harvard Business teacher has reasoned that 95% of the entirety of our purchasing choices are made in the inner mind.

And that makes total sense, when we conclude that we examine the encounters that we have with brands in our subconsciousness.

Regardless of whether your brand is being examined in the subconscious or the conscious mind is insignificant.

The standards of your brand, the manner in which it continues on ahead, the encounters that your clients, your providers and the public have with your brand comes from the values that you portray in the way you behave.

You core values bring all brand ambassadors together on one page.

So it's extremely important to get clear on your brand values and guiding principles at an early stage so as to raise consistency in brand experience.

Let's look at some different advantages of having your brand core values set up.

10 Benefits of Core Values:

  1. They can help you shape the organizational culture.
  2. They can lead to higher morale standards and pride.
  3. The can help people behave consistently.
  4. They can help in decision-making processes.
  5. They can impact how team members communicate with others.
  6. They can improve recruiting and retention of the right employees.
  7. They can lead to higher performance of the team and its members.
  8. They can assist in avoiding and dealing with conflicts.
  9. They can positively impact the general brand experience.
  10. They can contribute to the overall success of a business.

How To Write Core Values

When identifying the core values of your organization, your goal is to identify the key core values.

Not a laundry list of cookie-cutter values that you copied from another organization's list.

Your employees would have a hard time living any more than 3-5 core values.

Find the core values worksheet in my other article.

Now, let's take a look at some examples of core values.

1. Apple

As founder and CEO of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs was also the company’s chief brand evangelist who said:

Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us.

He was without doubt passionate about his products and he knew how to create enthusiasm in others.

Apple Core Brand Values
Brand Values — Apple

Apple Core Values:

  • Accessibility — Ensure people with physical limitations are not left out.
  • Education — Provide educational solutions to schools across the United States.
  • Environment — Build products that are safe for both the users and the environment.
  • Inclusion and diversity — To create products that serve everyone, we believe in including everyone.
  • Supplier responsibility — Hold suppliers and partners responsible for creating quality products for our users.
  • Privacy — Offer the utmost security for the user. Privacy is a fundamental human right.

If you’re a founder and you’re not clear about who your company is or what you do, then, how can you expect your employees to know?

We’ve all seen too many companies not understand ‘who they are’ and in-turn, their staff and customers don’t have a clue either.

More founders and CEOs need to be like Steve Jobs and also be their own chief brand evangelist.

Check the Apple website to learn more.

2. Starbucks

From the beginning, Starbucks set out to be a different kind of company—more than just about coffee.

Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.

The founder even said "we’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business servicing coffee."

Starbucks Core Brand Values
Brand Values — Apple

Starbucks Core Values:

  • Teamwork — Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.
  • Integrity — Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Respect for culture — Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Perseverance — Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.

Starbucks is committed to upholding a culture where inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility are valued and respected.

The entire experience is designed to be the beginning of an inspirational journey, where you are treated warmly and with transparency, dignity and respect.

Check out the Starbucks website to learn more.

3. Dunkin'

Dunkin' Brand values its customers’ loyalty over everything else.

We believe that being a good corporate citizen is good business.

The company has been rated #1 in customer loyalty since 2006 in the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Index.

Dunkin Core Values
Brand Values — Dunkin'

It is important to Dunkin’ to always serve the best quality to their consumers.

Every single manager within the company was vetted for values.

"Lots of people left thecompany" — said the CEO, Jon L. Luther.

Those values, Luther said, are taking the company forward aggressively, while laser-focusing the customers' understanding of Dunkin' Donuts.

Dunkin' Core Values:

  • Honesty — You can always recover from the truth.
  • Responsibility — Own the outcome whether it's good or bad.
  • Respect — Give people their dignity and earn others' respect.
  • Humility — It's about the team. Never lose sight of those who helped along the way or those less fortunate in our communities.

Check out the Dunkin' website to learn more.

4. Coca-Cola

For a company to not only survive but also consistently stay at the top globally, it must have an internal strong culture — at Coca Cola, this has emerged due to its core values.

We believe in inspiring each other to be the best we can be.

Ideally, Coca-Cola strives to foster good relations within its facilities in such a way that people can share ideas, brainstorm, and generate quality out of them.

Coca-Cola Core Values
Brand Values — Coca Cola

By creating a corporation with some elements of independence, workers and investors as well feel as integral components of the corporation.

And as a result, it pushes them to own responsibilities and become accountable for the overall growth of the company.

Coca-Cola Core Values:

  • Leadership — The courage to shape a better future.
  • Collaboration — Leverage collective genius.
  • Accountability — If it's to be, it's up to me.
  • Passion — Committed in heart and mind.
  • Diversity — As inclusive as our brands.

Check out the Coca-Cola website to learn more.

5. Facebook

Facebook, that is fairly new company, has remained its 5 core values unchanged since 2008.

We're all about creating a culture of openness and fast progress.

This is what enables the company to stay at the forefront of innovation.

Facebook Core Values
Brand Values — Facebook

Facebook is a "strengths-based organization" — the term refers to a company that builds upon individuals' talents rather than trying to strengthen their weaknesses.

This allows employees to produce work that is meaningful.

At Facebook, this approach reinforces Zuckerberg's mission of providing citizens across the world with the opportunity to express themselves online.

Facebook Core Values:

  • Be Bold — Building great things means taking risks.
  • Focus On Impact — Be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.
  • Move Fast — Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster.
  • Be Open — We believe that a more open world is a better world.
  • Build Social Value — Focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything we do.

Check out the Facebook website to learn more.

6. YouTube

Youtube is all about sharing stories and building community.

We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice.

Youtube's values are based on four essential freedoms.

YouTube Core Values
Brand Values — YouTube

YouTube calls their values "essential freedoms" that are in line with the purpose for which the company was founded – giving people a voice.

With these four values, YouTube creates an environment where people get an opportunity to share ideas, find any information they are looking for, get a chance to discover something new, and belong to a community.

YouTube Core Values:

  • Freedom of Expression — People should be able to speak freely, share opinions and foster open dialogue.
  • Freedom of Information — Everyone should have easy, and open access to information.
  • Freedom of Opportunity — Everyone should have a chance to be discovered, build a business and succeed on their own terms.
  • Freedom to Belong — Everyone should be able to find communities of support, and come together around shared interests and passions.

Check out the YouTube website to learn more.

7. Microsoft

Microsoft understands the importance of creating an innovative culture to thrive in the computer technology sector.

We are dedicated to advancing human and organizational achievement.

This directly contributes to the presence of products that help customers with dependable computing.

Microsoft Core Values
Brand Values — Microsoft

To make an impact across the globe, Microsoft has learned the art of being inclusive to ensure the company has a global image that does not alienate anyone.

The company has put in place core values that ensure that inclusiveness and promote innovation.

The presence of these values has enabled the management to direct all workers towards the mission and vision of the firm.

Microsoft Core Values:

  • Innovation — We believe technology can and should be a force for good.
  • Diversity and inclusion — Different perspectives help us all to achieve more.
  • Social Responsibility — We are committed to improving our world and reporting our progress.
  • Trustworthy Computing — Security, Privacy, and Compliance are core tenets of how we empower organizations to serve their customers.

Check out the Microsoft website to learn more.

Identifying Core Values — Worksheet

I'm often being asked by company leaders for a core values list.

And I see often people choose random values that just sound “nice” or “noble”.

But choosing standard values like “honest” or “timely” or “reliable” won’t help you stand out from the crowd in any significant way.

And this is because it’s not rally actionable, your team won’t know how to put it in practice and communicate it to the world.

How to define your core brand values.
Brand Core Values — Worksheet

So there’s no real feeling or emotion behind these words other than than they just sound “nice.”

That's why you should start with identifying negative experiences and negative feelings other brand left their customers with.

And then turning them into positive experiences and positive feelings.

Only after doing that, you can choose your core values.

Then you should describe each value in a short sentence, so that people know how to act upon them.

Check out the Brand Values exercise as a part of the Brand Core section of my Strategy Guide.


By far most of organizations will have a page on their site that is committed to their core values.

However, most of the time the business leaders struggle to put them into practice.

Or they don't realize that they even exist — and that is often a norm.

Understanding how core values work is key to successful branding.

As individuals we don't just say to each other what values we stand for.

When meeting a stranger, I wouldn't just state "Hey my name is Arek and I'm honest, loyal and you can rely on me".

And regardless of whether I did, you would have definitely no particular reason to trust me.

I guess you would more likely hold your judgment until you get to know me better — as people we constantly analyze each other's behaviour.

We judge others though the experiences we have with them over time.

We observe each other and our behavior and come to our own conclusions.

That's the reason we should treat core values in precisely the same way.

Use your  core values as the principles that will guide your actions, so that over time whey will become part of the brand.

Your personnel will feel it internally and your target audiences will experience it externally.

Find more about developing your brand strategy, in which core values is one of the branding exercises.

Have any questions? — Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

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