Core Values: L.L. Bean

By | March 28, 2018

[March 28, 2018]  Years ago I had the opportunity to lead an overnight backpacking trip in western Arizona.  I was still young back then, but my backpacking experience was broad.  During the trip we gave our hiking equipment a thorough test of its reliability.  From a local couple in the hiking party, I was to learn that L.L. Bean clothing and equipment was superior to the outdoor gear we brought.

The “hippie couple,” as my friends referred to them as, were big fans of the L.L. Bean brand and had proven themselves and their gear on our long hike.  What I was to later discover is that the L.L. Bean company had been extraordinarily successful where their stores were established.  I too bought rugged clothing at their stores and have been pleased.

A spokesman for the company, who I called earlier this week, told me that the company is a private, family company founded over a century ago.  She told me L.L. Bean’s core values are what sets them apart from other outfitter type companies that sell a similar line of gear.  L.L. Bean core values:1

  • Ourdoors Heritage
  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Respect
  • Perseverance
  • Safe and Healthy Living

L.L. Bean employees, all, can tell you what their core values are and also what they mean to them.  If we were to compare these values with those of other successful companies, the similarities would stand out.  Of course, success has common ground anywhere.

In the news lately, L.L. Bean recently raised the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21 years and also for an unexpected decline in sales this past year, but it is opening new stores because they see their brand continuing to grow.  No matter how success is measured, this outdoors retailer has achieved near miracles in its 100 year history and will continue to do so.  I still highly recommend their stuff to all my friends.


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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Core Values: L.L. Bean

  1. Dennis Mathes

    LL Bean, a great company; reliable, good prices, quality goods. That didn’t come out of nowhere and could not be maintained without the right workplace values.

  2. Andrew Dooley

    Good company, good values. More companies should pay closer attention and have their employees know and understand their values.

  3. Ronny Fisher

    Another good article. To re-evaluate ourselves as a way to better ourselves has many paths. For those that work. good. For those methods that have little value, drop them. But self-reflection is one that is better and that is not too surprising for those of us who know how to THINK for ourselves.

  4. Yusaf from Texas

    Core values make the difference in good companies versus great companies. LL Bean is a great company to work for and one that gives great value for their product. I’m wearing my LL Bean shirt as I type this !!! Long time customer.

  5. Tracey Brockman

    I’m also a satisfied customer of LL Bean. Long time buyer of their clothing mostly for my family and myself. I like quality clothes and they are one of the best and easiest to buy from.

  6. Martin Shiell

    My personal favorite company for outdoor wear is Woolrich I’ve been a fan for many many years. I bought L.L.Bean in the past and now can say that either are great companies. I like them both and recommend them.

    1. Jerry Jones

      I agree. I have been to the Woolrich plant in Pennsylvania and enjoyed their brick and mortar store too.

    2. Shawn C Stolarz

      I also agree with Martin. I’m a long time buyer of LL BEAN clothing. It’s worth the money and they have friendly service too.

  7. Greg Heyman

    I just like their clothing and equipment. Their catalog is also great and is well put together. Call them up and ask. They will send you their catalog for free and it is worth your time.

  8. Billy Kenningston

    I too have LLBEAN gear and it works great for me. The point I would like to make is that getting employees to buy in on a company’s core values is not easy and takes time. I was employed at American Airlines and for many years I thought their values statement was just a bureaucratic hurdle to overcome. Only later did I realize it mattered.

    1. Tony B. Custer

      You bring up a good point that should not be overlooked. I too thought these list of company values were a joke. Only after becoming a senior manager did I realize it really mattered and that it was my job to make sure all our employees knew them and abided by them.

  9. Joey Holmes

    In a few years after school I plan taking a camping trip for a month. The right gear is important. Thanks. Cheers.

  10. Joe Omerrod

    Interestingly, I never really gave it much thought on how a company (or any organization) attains a certain level of success. This series on core values helps me understand it better. I too bought LLBean equipment in the past and worked just fine for me. It didn’t stand out particularly but I liked their mail order catalogs so much, it was the only company I would order from. Most importantly, the return policy was great although I heard they are making changes that are more restrictive.

  11. Max Foster

    Jansport and L.L.Bean are two of my favorite companies that deal in outdoor gear. I buy both. Their gear is reliable and is worth the money you spend on it. I’ve had one particular L.L.Bean backpack now for over 20 years and I still love it.

  12. Georgie M.

    I went back to read several of the posts in at on “core values” and, yes, I found those values formally listed by these companies to have a similar ring to them. Honesty, integrity, service, respect, etc. But what matters more than a simple list is that those same values are instilled in that company’s employees, that they can speak to them, and tell us what the values mean to them. If that is the case, then the core values are more than writing on paper and are part of their true beliefs. Companies that do that will be successful.

  13. Army Captain

    Not that long ago, the U.S. gear purchased by the US Army was not that good. I personally bought LL Bean outdoor gear to augment the Army’s stuff in order to make myself more comfortable. It works. LL Bean is a good company.

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