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Brand values & purpose

Brand values are the beliefs and organising principles of a brand and the organisation behind it. When used well, brand values can help a brand stand out from competitors. A related concept is brand purpose, which has grown in popularity among advertisers in recent years. Purpose is a reason for a brand to exist beyond making profit. It combines the ambitions and beliefs that motivate the organisation and the changes that it wants to make in the world.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer for Procter & Gamble, argues that a purpose that goes beyond the benefit of the service or product itself is one of the most valuable qualities a brand can have.
An Admap Prize-winning essay on how businesses can maximise profits and be a force for social good.
Brands need to stand up, stand out and stand firm to become truly purposeful.
This Best Practice paper outlines three strategies for brand sustainability messaging.
What brand purpose is, and how a business should go about creating purpose.

Case Study

This case study describes how Deutsche Telekom regained market leadership in Germany and boosted European sales in home entertainment and mobile internet.

Case Study

This case study describes how Yum Restaurants International reinforced KFC's position in South Africa as a brand that cares, in three consecutive campaigns from 2011 to 2013.

Case Study

This case study describes how Unilever aimed to build brand equity for itself rather than its individual brands.

Case Study

This case study describes how Lifebuoy, the soap brand owned by Unilever, created a campaign in India to save children's lives through raising awareness of the need for handwashing with soap.

Case Study

This case study explains how Marks and Spencer (M&S) invented 'shwopping' - a kind of clothes recycling - to communicate its sustainability credentials better.

Case Study

This case study describes how Fundacion Exito, the social responsibility arm of the Exito Group of retail stores in Colombia, conducted a campaign to detect hearing defects in school children.
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This report analyses the key themes and summarises the winning case studies from the WARC Innovation Awards, and presents the views and opinions of the 25 judges.


This event report identifies key learnings from Ariel, the P&G-owned detergent, Share the Load campaign, with the creative and strategic team that put the work together.


This event report explores whether advertising’s first function – as a channel through which a brand increases sales of its product or service – has been lost to the pursuit of purpose.


This event report discusses how Keith Weed, CMO at Unilever, views brands that take a stand on issues and how he feels digital media buying needs to change.


This article explores the necessity for brands to have conviction as consumers demand honesty, integrity and empathy from them.

Research Paper

This report explores how Latin American companies are addressing product challenges in the region, and how they are responding to increasing consumer consciousness.
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  1. Article

    This report reveals the trends and lessons from the 2016 IPA Effectiveness Awards, analysing what differentiated the winners from the rest of the entries.

  2. Article

    This report examines the trends in marketing strategy in Asia, with lessons for marketers drawn from an analysis of the entries to the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy 2016.

  3. Article

    This article explores how brand strategy should be retooled for the digital age, without devolving into a purely tactical dispute.

  4. Article

    This article covers how Lush Cosmetics uses its strong brand purpose to create relevant and engaging social media content – all while spending zero dollars on advertising.

  5. Article

    This article argues that brands have to mean something, or face apathy from consumers - new research shows that brands matter in different ways from before, but they have to do something first.

  6. Article

    This article provides marketers with information and guidance on building brands.

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