Today I want to give a little shout out to my Dad. My Father taught me many lessons over the course of my life. Why is that important you might ask? Everyone’s parents teach them things every day, why am I special? The simple answer to that is, I’m not.
But one lesson he taught me while he let me work with him for some time, is about Values. Values that you simply do not compromise. I’ve taken that with me into my own business, and it’s something that I work on with my clients very heavily.
While many brands claim to promote certain values, the ones that really stand out when it comes to values based marketing are the ones that go that extra mile, and actually lead by example.
Marketing is an industry of rapid change. It changes so fast that if you’re going to try and keep up with the Joneses, you’ve already lost at the game. It’s simply not good enough to just copy your competition anymore to entice their client base over to you. You need to be better, and you need to understand what makes YOU special, and one way to do just that is through values based marketing. It is the one tried and tested strategy that never goes out of style.
OK let’s go back a step. Values based marketing may be a relatively new development. However, in its core it’s been around for a long time. It means building your brand around a set of core values and principles and then promoting them in everything you do. You’re your overall marketing strategy, to your processes and functions.
How can you use values based marketing for your brand?
When selling products or services, values based marketing is an appeal to a customer’s values and ethics. It shifts marketing from a product or service-centric approach to a customer-centric one.
When you promote certain values within your brand or align yourself with a specific cause, it makes you more relatable and appealing to your target market.
While many brands claim to promote certain values, the ones who really stand out when it comes to values based marketing are the ones that go the extra step further and actually lead by example. In example, Kraft Foods changed its advertising when market research revealed a shift in consumer opinions relating to direct promotions of junk food to children. Kraft’s customer centric marketing goals lead it to change its marketing strategy entirely. “Our relationship with consumers is about trust. If you don’t align with society and you get out of step with that, then you’re going to destroy shareholder value,” said Robert K. Deromedi, Kraft’s CEO, in a CreditUnions.com article.
Think about how you can put your values into action by supporting a cause that’s important to you or standing up against something that goes against your core values.
If there is a political issue that particularly appeals to you or that strongly goes against your brand values, why not consider creating a campaign or doing some work to raise awareness among your target audience and the wider population as a whole. By positioning yourself in relation to an issue you can gain exposure and connect with a larger audience, as well as showing that your core values resonate with your target market’s values.
If current political events are anything to go by it’s likely that values based marketing is only going to increase in popularity and importance in the future. Get on board with it now and you could be setting yourself up for a strong, prosperous future.
Why is it so important?
While it might have been around for a while, values based marketing is more important than ever now, especially in my chosen industries of financial and professional services. It is so important to let your market know what is behind the business and what fundamentally drives you, apart from the bottom line. We can often come across as a soulless and callous industry, just out to make a buck. For that purpose, is value based marketing just so important.
In our current global climate, with extensive polarisation between different groups in society and conflict all around us, more and more people these days are looking for brands and organisations that reflect their core values and principles. So, show them. Tell them your story.
To bring this back to my dear old Dad and his teachings. For years he has been going on about the fact that business Values are not just a set of principles that a business promotes to tick the box. They are and should be the set of core values and fundamental principles that an organisation operates by, unequivocally. Throughout the entire organisation, not just in their Health and Safety space, or their marketing space, but in every part of the business.
That is authentic, and that is what attracts people. To effectively use values based marketing, you need to make sure the values you aspire to, are clear across all your brand touchpoints and that they form a fundamental part of the very fabric of your organisation.
And so, in closing, to quote Starbuck’s CEO, Howard Schultz, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”
Sue Mills is a marketing, sales and digital specialist to the financial and professional service sector, and the owner of Sassy Marketing & Communications. With over 20 years of experience working for and with financial planners, accountants, brokers and advisors she shows her clients how to step up and out to be sustainable and thrive in their practices through adopting smart and valuable marketing strategies. Call Sue on 0477 468 888 for a confidential discussion or visit www.sassy.marketing.