The Top 10 Company Core Values

From Coca-Cola to Amazon, here are 10 of the most creative and inspirational core values that companies have created.


From Coca-Cola to Amazon, here are 10 of the most creative and inspirational core values that companies have created.

Looking for some inspiration to create your company core values? A lot of organizations go the traditional route of using one-word adjectives. That’s why you see a lot of variations of words like honesty, responsibility, integrity, courtesy, courage, and innovation.

And those can be effective…but they can also be a little bit boring.

The best core values are personal to the organization that creates them. They not only embody the employees who work at that company, but the business itself. These are memorable, authentic, and yes – even a little creative!

Keep reading to discover the top 10 company core values of all time, as chosen by Outback Team Building & Training.

1. “Be a Cereal Entrepreneur” – Airbnb

Why We Like It: This creative core value has a special meaning for the employees at Airbnb. That’s because the founders raised seed money for the company by folding, packing, and selling $30,000 worth of breakfast cereal boxes. “That’s actually how we funded the company,” said Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. As a core value, this helps to inspire new employees to not just do their best, but to do whatever it takes to accomplish something.


2. “Creating a Culture of Warmth” – Starbucks

Why We Like It: Leave it to Starbucks to create a set of core values that read more like a poem than a set of business phrases. “Creating a Culture of Warmth” is the first core value they have listed on their website, and it has a few different layers that helped land it on this list. Not only does this phrase reflect the comfortable and inviting atmosphere they try to curate for customers at their retail locations, but it also speaks to the type of employee environment managers want to create, and the warm beverages they sell.


3. “Empower Individuals” – Squarespace

Why We Like It: Squarespace is a platform that makes it easy for people to create websites, which is why this core value is particularly on-point. Their goal is to empower individuals who may have previously thought they didn’t have the technical capabilities to build an online presence. But this core value also speaks to the way they run their workplace, with open communications and leadership opportunities, employees feel like they have the power to do anything they set their minds to.

4. “You Can Make Money Without Doing Evil” – Google

Why We Like It: Possibly the most famous core value of all time, “You Can Make Money Without Doing Evil” is an important and somewhat cheeky reminder for Google employees. As the top-ranking search engine in the world, their organization wants to continue to push technology and search innovations…but without compromising on what made them great in the first place. Google employees wield immense power, and so this core value helps make sure that power does not go to their heads.

5. “Deliver WOW Through Service” – Zappos

Why We Like It: A lot has been written about Zappos’ core values, and how they helped the organization grow from a small online retailer into a billion-dollar business. And while all of their core values are important, one in particular stands out from the rest: “Deliver WOW Through Service.” These days, online retail is commonplace and ordinary. But back when Zappos was starting out, CEO Tony Hsieh knew that they had to foster customer delight to compete with brick and mortar retail stores. Notice the phrasing here too – you automatically understand how you can embody this core value, and what the result will be… “Wow!”


6. “Build Social Value” – Facebook

Why We Like It: Facebook has a lot of interesting core values, but perhaps the most effective is “Build Social Value.” The goal of the company is to make the world a more connected place, and the employees are expected to find ways to build genuine value into everything they do. CEO Mark Zuckerberg interprets it like this: “We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.”


7. “Quality: What We Do, We Do Well” – Coca-Cola

Why We Like It: When you open a Coca-Cola, there are a few things you automatically expect. The crack of the aluminum can being opened, the immediate fizz of bubbles, the icy cold temperature, and, of course, the refreshing taste. This type of quality experience is what Coca-Cola is known for, and employees try to bring that same type of experience to every level of their operations.


8. “Cele-Bear-Ate” – Build-A-Bear

Why We Like It: When you work for a toy company, then you should expect some of the core values to reflect the joy and happiness that people get from your products. That’s what “Cele-Bear-Ate” is all about – taking the time to delight in successes, recognizing individual contributions, and having fun along the way. And of course, we had to give it some extra points for that pun!


9. “Customer Obsession” – Amazon

Why We Like It: The phrasing here is what makes this core value special. A lot of companies will put “Customer Service” or “Customer Support” as one of their core values, but how many of them are obsessed? Amazon strives to create the best online retail experience, and they do this by making sure each customer interaction is as good as it possibly can be by obsessing over even the smallest of details.


10. “A Will to Win” – American Express

Why We Like It: A lot of companies shy away from putting anything too competitive or capitalistic in their core values. That’s why we like American Express for their honesty – “A Will to Win” gives you a sense of what their employees prioritize, and what they can possibly do for you as a client. But it also showcases how competitive they are as a business, and as a team.


Looking for More Inspiration to Create Your Company Core Values?

Check out A Step-by-Step Guide to Uncovering Your Company Core Values for more in-depth information, tips, and checklists to create better core values. Or, book your free consultation to speak with an Employee Engagement Consultant about how our team can help you with your organization's core values.

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