In today’s marketing world, your identity as a brand is everything. Nailing who you are is the very first step to creating a successful marketing strategy and, ultimately, a successful business. When you’re first researching marketing trends, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are lots of different ideas circulating on the internet, but in our experience, the secret to success is simple. All you have to do is share your passion and your values with your audience.
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Meet the New Kid in Town: Values-Based Marketing
Values-based marketing is the golden ticket idea for, quite frankly, any business model. Over the last 12 months, consumers have been putting more and more thought into where their money is going, and more importantly, to whom. That’s why identifying your values and beliefs as a company is the first step to a successful values-based marketing strategy.
It’s executed by fostering and cultivating relationships within your target audience based on those values and beliefs. This is an authentic and raw strategy that will help your business stand out among all the old, shallow marketing trends out there in the world. It’s more than just a product, values-based marketing is all about the relationship you build with your consumers from shared beliefs and notions on the world and issues around us.
In the simplest of terms, values-based marketing is all about creating a strategy that aligns with your audience’s beliefs and ethics as people first, customers second. Creating relationships that are based on more than just a mutual need for a product or service means a deeper and more meaningful experience on both ends of the business model.
Focusing on a values-based marketing strategy means that you are reaching an even greater audience that may resonate with your brand first, then your product or service. People are passionate about brands that stand for ethical and social issues as well as stand for values and beliefs that align with their company. Creating a story and strong values-based marketing persona means attracting an audience that quickly becomes loyal customers.
Whether you are a brand that focuses on giving back to a local community, being vocal in social and ethical issues on social media, or fighting for a specific cause through service or donation, it gives you a deeper story that will make it easier for customers to connect.
Values-Based Marketing in Action
What does values-based marketing look like? Well, it starts with a checklist of actionable items that can easily be implemented into an already developed brand or business strategy.
- Clear and strong messaging of what you value and believe in
- Examples and content that show your business in action, acting upon those values
- A developed storyline of what began the passion behind your brand values and beliefs
- Energetic user-generated content that shows examples of current consumers who align with your beliefs
- Encouraging messaging that takes stances on current social and ethical issues and urges customers to take action
Implementing this type of strategy will naturally bring in authentic user-generated content from current customers who believe in your brand, all the while attracting a bigger audience with shared values.
For an example of successful values-based marketing, let’s take a look at TOMS, an LA-based company, founded in 2006, that is famous for its cause-based marketing.
TOMS focuses its values-based marketing by following a “one-for-one” business model which means that for every purchase made, TOMS gives away a free pair of shoes to a child in need. This has been hugely successful for the company because it fosters deep loyalty between customers who are passionate about helping those in need as well. Their mission of giving back to those in need automatically resonates with an audience who have the same social beliefs but also reaches customers who truly enjoy their products and quality of merchandise as well. TOMS has become an example to follow for other large companies because of how positively people have supported them over the years.
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Growing Your Business
Modern consumers do not want, but NEED to see original and trustworthy voices from the businesses they spend with. With an influx of empty messaging and hollow promises, the average consumer has become less patient with brands who are not genuine in who they are. It doesn’t take much these days to identify the brands that are not true to who they are. We’re finding that once you break the trust of modern-day consumers, it takes a lot to gain it back.
Practicing and acting on values-based marketing will separate you from the clutter and noise of competition and other brands. Finding your audience that resonates with your brand and messaging will quickly turn into a broader customer base and a bigger return on your thoughtful marketing efforts.
A values-based strategy can not only help you find loyal customers, but also the audience that is right and loyal to your brand alone. They will stand by you for years to come, have a long-term presence, and put in just as much effort into the relationship as you. Be brave, be authentic, and be you. That way, your customers know you are more than just a business but you are a part of their everyday lives.
Pivoting to Values-Based Marketing
Here are real-time steps you can take to making the switch to value-based marketing today. All it takes is a moment to think long and hard about why you started your business and what your purpose and goals are in life, professionally and ethically.
- Identify your brand values, beliefs, and goals
- Map out your (ideal) target audience. Think about who they are, what they believe in, and how they communicate that.
- Research how similar brands are executing this strategy and what you think they are doing right or wrong.
- Think about your current strategy and content and find the gaps where your messaging falls flat or hollow. Start plugging in more messaging that reflects values-based marketing.
- Eventually, implement this to be the main focus when discussing anything marketing-related.
- Always remember that your audience is listening and watching your every move. Anything you like, comment, or say publicly needs to align with who you are and what you truly believe.
In the world of modern digital marketing, customers are almost instantly giving their business to brands that they feel a genuine and authentic connection with. Brands that speak more about what they care about than why their product is “the best”. As confusing as it may seem, sometimes talking about more than what you’re selling can attract a more eager crowd. They begin to see you as a lifestyle, not just a one-stop-shop.
It truly is all about putting your customers at the forefront of your business’s marketing strategies. Focusing on speaking to them and not at them can mean all the difference in how your brand sticks to a target audience. Values-based marketing is a bridge that is going to bring you to your customers in a deeper, more meaningful, and lasting way.
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