11 Inspiring Examples of Company Core Values That Drive Success

Core values are the guiding principles that shape an organization's culture, influence its business strategies, and inspire its employees. They form the foundation of a company's identity and purpose, acting as the DNA that directs every aspect of its operations. In this blog post, we'll explore what makes company core values crucial for success and examine 11 inspiring examples from various organizations.

The Importance of Company Core Values

Effective company core values play a vital role in driving employee engagement and aligning business operations with the organization's mission and vision. When core values accurately represent the company, differentiate it from competitors, and are consistently embodied by leaders and reinforced among employees, they contribute to building a strong culture of recognition and motivation.

Core values guide leadership behavior, decision-making processes, and employee interactions. They help attract and retain talent who share the same values and are committed to the company's purpose. By creating a sense of belonging and fostering a positive work environment, core values directly impact employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall business performance.

Characteristics of Effective Company Core Values

To be truly effective, company core values should possess certain key characteristics:

  1. Authenticity: Core values must genuinely reflect the organization's beliefs, practices, and aspirations.

  2. Uniqueness: They should differentiate the company from its competitors and highlight its distinct identity.

  3. Actionability: Core values should be more than just words; they must be actionable and integrated into daily operations.

  4. Leadership Embodiment: Company leaders must consistently embody and exemplify the core values in their behavior and decision-making.

  5. Employee Reinforcement: Core values should be regularly communicated, celebrated, and reinforced among all employees.

11 Inspiring Examples of Company Core Values

Let's take a look at how 11 successful companies have implemented and highlighted their core values:

  1. Zappos - Customer service, creativity, and fun are at the heart of Zappos' core values. They prioritize creating a positive work environment and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

  2. Patagonia - Environmental sustainability, integrity, and social responsibility are deeply ingrained in Patagonia's core values. They actively work towards reducing their ecological footprint and supporting conservation efforts.

  3. Southwest Airlines - With a focus on customer service, teamwork, and fun, Southwest Airlines has built a strong reputation for its unique company culture and employee satisfaction.

  4. Google - Innovation, diversity, and inclusion are among Google's core values. They encourage creativity, embrace different perspectives, and strive to make a positive impact on the world.

  5. Whole Foods Market - Whole Foods Market emphasizes the importance of quality, customer satisfaction, and team member happiness. They prioritize sourcing natural and organic products and supporting local communities.

  6. The Container Store - The Container Store's core values revolve around excellence, communication, and employee development. They invest in their employees' growth and foster a culture of open communication and collaboration.

  7. REI - REI's core values include a passion for the outdoors, stewardship, and authenticity. They prioritize environmental conservation, promote outdoor activities, and build strong relationships with their customers and employees.

  8. Warby Parker - Warby Parker's core values emphasize innovation, simplicity, and social responsibility. They disrupt the traditional eyewear industry by offering affordable, stylish glasses while donating a pair for every pair sold.

  9. Salesforce - Trust, customer success, innovation, and equality are at the core of Salesforce's values. They prioritize building strong customer relationships, driving technological advancements, and promoting diversity and inclusion.

  10. Airbnb - Airbnb's core values focus on hospitality, belonging, and community. They strive to create a platform that connects people, fosters cultural exchange, and provides unique travel experiences.

  11. TOMS - TOMS' core values revolve around giving, sustainability, and innovation. They are known for their "One for One" model, donating a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, and their commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Creating or Revising Your Company's Core Values

When creating or revising your company's core values, it's essential to ensure they are not just empty words but are truly actionable and embedded in all aspects of your business. Involve employees from different levels and departments in the process to gain diverse perspectives and foster a sense of ownership.

Once established, consistently communicate and reinforce your core values through employee onboarding, training, recognition programs, and leadership behavior. Regularly assess how well your company is living up to its core values and make necessary adjustments to maintain alignment.


Company core values are the driving force behind organizational success. They shape company culture, guide employee behavior, and influence business strategies. By examining the inspiring examples of successful companies and understanding the characteristics of effective core values, you can create or refine your own set of guiding principles that truly represent your organization and inspire your employees to achieve great things.

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