The Foundation of Value Based Marketing

The Foundation of Value Based Marketing

10 May 2024

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This informal CPD article ‘The Foundation of Value Based Marketing’ was provided by Alt Marketing School, a modern marketing school for marketers who want to do marketing differently and advance their career along the way.

Value-based marketing has been more and more part of our recommended LinkedIn reads in recent days, and with good reason. Imagine walking into a shop where the staff knows not just your name, but what makes you tick, offering exactly what you need in a way that aligns with how you see the world.

That’s the essence of it — marketing that prioritises customers' values and needs over just selling stuff. It’s like that shopkeeper who knows every customer by heart, but in the digital age, where subscribers and likes are the new currency.

This kind of marketing taps into what really matters to folks, making sure the products and messages hit home. It's not just about bombarding potential buyers with ads. In fact, it’s about genuine connections, understanding them on a level deeper than ever before. In a world cluttered with endless choices, value-based marketing aims to cut through the noise, building trust and loyalty by showing customers that brands get what’s important to them.

Defining Value-Based Marketing

So, what is the deal with value-based marketing? If you strip it down to the nuts and bolts, it is a strategy that focuses on aligning a brand’s core values with customer needs and values. It's like saying, “Hey, we’re not just here to sell you something. We’re here to make your life better because what’s important to you is important to us.” It leverages marketing campaigns that resonate on a personal level, improving conversion rates because customers feel seen and understood.

This approach goes beyond the standard pitch-and-sell. By incorporating user-generated content, it wraps the brand story around real-life experiences of loyal customers, boosting customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Plus, it opens the door to deeper emotional connections, making folks not just buyers but part of a community that shares the same values. Imagine marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing — that’s the sweet spot value-based marketing aims to hit.

The Importance in Today's Market

In the hustle and bustle of today’s market, where energy costs are soaring and everybody’s got something to sell, standing out is tougher than a yellow flamingo in a sea of pink. That’s where value-based business practices shine. They’re like a beacon, guiding potential clients through the fog of endless sales pitches towards something genuine. This approach humanises brands, transforming transactions into relationships and customers into advocates.

Why? Because today’s savvy shoppers sniff out authenticity like a hound.  56 percent1 of customers are more loyal to brands that align with their values, or “get them.”

Nowadays, we crave connections that go beyond the buy-now button, seeking brands that mirror their values and contribute to their world. A value-based business doesn’t just aim for the wallet. It aims for the heart, crafting messages that resonate personally, making buying decisions easier and more meaningful. In a crowded marketplace, that’s a game-changer.

The Influence of Values on Consumer Behaviour

Now, let’s look at values and consumer behaviour. Two shops sell the same sneakers, but one donates part of the proceeds to re-wilding forests in South America. Let's say you are an experienced hiker, who loves the outdoors and has spent a whole summer exploring Ecuador and is passionate about the environment.

When you are looking for a new pair of shoes, which one jumps out at you? The one that’s got its values on its sleeve, for sure. 

This is essence of how values sway consumer loyalties. Customers lean towards brands that walk the talk, aligning their purchases with their beliefs.  And it shows return custom too, as 64 percent2 of customers with a brand relationship claim aligned values as the reason for coming back. 

Value alignment fosters a strong bond, making customers more than buyers as they become part of a shared mission. This shift towards value-driven decisions is flipping the old marketing playbook on its head, pushing brands to rethink how they connect and communicate.

The Role of Core Values in Branding

Chatting about core values in branding is like discussing the secret sauce behind your grandma’s legendary stew. Brand values are the heart and soul of a company, the principles guiding every decision, campaign, and interaction with customers.

They're what set a brand apart in a sea of sameness, as, it turns casual browsers into followers. Think about it. When existing customers see a brand consistently living out its values, they don’t just stick around; they become vocal advocates, spreading the word faster than wildfire. This transformation from customer to champion is the magic of effective branding, cementing a business in the hearts and minds of its audience like a trusted friend.

Three Questions to Identify Core Values

These are the guiding principles that a company holds dear, they're not just fancy words slapped on a website. If you are looking to identify three values to get started, these three prompts.

What's the Bread and Butter?

Think about what drives your business each day. If your company were a person at a party, what five words would they use to describe themselves? This isn't about surface-level perks or what you think might sell; it’s about the gut-level stuff that gets you up in the morning. What fundamental beliefs or principles do you absolutely not compromise on, no matter what?

Where Does the Rubber Meet the Road?

Consider the decisions you’ve made that felt right, even when they were hard. Can you identify a pattern or a recurring theme in these decisions? This is about connecting the dots between what you say you stand for and what you actually do. For instance, if claiming ‘sustainability’ means you’ve passed up cheaper, non-eco-friendly solutions, you're starting to see the outline of your core values in action.

Who Sings Your Praises?

Listen to the stories your most loyal customers tell about you. What aspects of your business do they highlight when they recommend you to others? Often, your customers will perceive and celebrate your core values even before you pin them down yourself. This feedback is like gold dust, revealing the true impact of your core values on those who interact with your brand.

Shaping Your Brand's Story

Foundation of Brand Identity

Pivoting from the what to the how, the foundation of brand identity is much like building a house. You start with solid ground—the core values. These values are the sturdy bricks and mortar holding the whole structure together. You wouldn’t’ put up wallpaper before the walls are built, right? Similarly, a brand can’t slap on a friendly face without the integrity, innovation, or whatever values they stand tall on, supporting every layer of their identity.

  • Consistency Across All Touch-points: Values serve as a guiding principle that helps ensure every aspect of your brand—from your marketing materials to your customer service—remains consistent. This consistency is what customers come to rely on. For example, if one of your core values is 'sustainability,' this should be evident in your product packaging, marketing campaigns, and even in your choice of suppliers.
  • Shaping Your Brand's Story: Core values help in crafting the overarching narrative of your brand. They influence the kind of stories you tell in your marketing and the overall impression you leave on your customers. For instance, a brand that values 'innovation' might highlight its journey of creativity and cutting-edge developments through stories of challenges and breakthroughs, making its communications more engaging and relatable.
  • Attracting the Right People: When your brand clearly communicates its values, it naturally attracts customers, employees, and partners who share similar values. This alignment helps in building a community around your brand. For example, a brand that stands for 'ethical practices' will likely attract customers who prioritise ethical consumption, as well as employees who are passionate about ethical issues, creating a strong, value-driven culture.

The Impact of Value-Based Messaging on Brand Strategy

Now, let’s talk turkey about what value-based messaging does to your brand strategy. Imagine your brand as a tree. Your core values are the roots that everything else springs from. When you water this tree with value-based messaging, rooted in the rich soil of customer feedback and a value-based pricing strategy, boy, does it flourish. Why? Because customers' perceived value skyrockets when they see your brand's values mirror their own.

We're talking about creating a loyal community, not just a customer base. Harvard Business2 say brands that align with shared values and ethics create deeper connections with consumers.

Implementing a value-based messaging approach can change any decision you make. Your marketing campaigns, product development, and even customer service practices can evolve to reflect the values your brand champions. This isn’t just about slapping a price tag on something. In fact, it's about telling the world what you stand for and watching those who share your values gravitate towards you. It's about refining customer personas, creating valuable content and build customer loyalty.

Guiding Questions to Implement Value-Based Marketing

  1. Does this activity reflect our core mission and the values we stand for? Begin by examining if the marketing activity in question directly supports your brand's mission and core values. This is crucial for maintaining a consistent brand message across all platforms and activities. If an action doesn't support or reflect these core aspects, it may be worth reconsidering its alignment with your overall strategy.
  2. Are there any ethical considerations or conflicts with our values that this activity might raise? Evaluate the ethical implications of your marketing initiatives. It’s important to consider any potential negative impacts or conflicts that could arise with your stated values. This scrutiny ensures that your brand maintains its integrity and trustworthiness in the eyes of your customers.
  3. Does this activity contribute positively to the customer experience in a way that aligns with our values? Consider the impact of your marketing on the customer experience. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to reinforce your values and deepen customer engagement. Activities should enhance the customer's interaction with your brand in a manner that is consistent with your values, such as commitment to quality, transparency, or sustainability.

Reflect on your Brand Values

Go back to our questions and identify 3 core values for your marketing. This is where digital marketing shines like a knight in shining armour, riding in to spread the word about what you stand for. It uses every tool in the toolbox – from social media to your website – to broadcast your values and ethics to potential customers. 

Now, think about your brand's values as an effective invitation, or better yet, a compelling invitation. It's about drawing in those who share your vision and values, turning potential customers into actual ones. This is where customer psychology then becomes part of the conversation.

You're not just selling a product or a service. In a way, you’re offering a path to a better self or future that aligns with their values. When your brand reflects upon its values, it becomes more than a choice; it becomes a community and a lifestyle that people want to be a part of. So, grab a mirror and take a good, long look. What you see there could be the key to unlocking your brand’s full potential.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Alt Marketing School, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.




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Alt Marketing School

Alt Marketing School

For more information from Alt Marketing School, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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