Brand values are the core principles of a company that govern its direction and the decisions of its owners and executives. Businesses try to attract new customers and retain existing clients by publicizing brand values that will appeal to consumers. Brand values are only effective if a company and its employees adhere to those values.
Firms use brand values to create a corporate culture so that all employees of the firm are in tune with the company's vision. The stated values of the firm impact employees in a number of different ways. A firm that cites integrity as one of its core values has to ensure that employees are treated with integrity, and that can mean paying workers a fair wage and providing a suitable work environment for employees. When a company adopts honesty or transparency as a core value, employees expect to receive frequent and direct communications from the company's leadership pertaining to the firm's performance and any upcoming events or changes.
Major companies often develop brand values with the assistance of marketing professionals and advertising firms who conduct market research to find out the kinds of values that consumers expect to see in firm that operates within a particular industry. Consumers may expect to see different core values at a bank than at a grocery store, and each firm has to develop a set of core values that will appeal to the public. In many instances, a major firm may list five or six words that represent its values because having multiple values makes it easier for the firm to appeal to a wide range of clients.
Advertisers develop ways to work brand values into commercials and marketing campaigns. This sometimes leads to the company's brand values being included in the catchphrase or slogan that appears on all of the firm's advertisements. Clients come to associate the firm with its values because the firm's slogan is frequently seen on television or mentioned in correspondence that clients receive from the company.
The brand values of a firm may change over time due to changes in the kinds of products and services that the company offers. A company may also change its stated values if it expands to such a point that values normally associated with small and locally owned firms are no longer appropriate for the company due to its size. In other instances, a firm may change its stated values as the result of bad publicity that stems from situations when the company failed to uphold those values.