A company’s values are a critical component of its identity. Regardless of company size, establishing clear values is critical for building a unique, cohesive and aligned brand.
What is the link between values and marketing? The most effective marketing form puts the customer first by developing a connection and defining brand values. Value alignment builds customer loyalty and advocacy, so backing values is crucial across the board.
Values go Beyond Branding
While branding should reflect values and vice versa, there’s far more to this relationship. Ideally, values will resonate with all staff members, be meaningful, and offer insight into the customer’s view of the business. Marketing teams can develop brand loyalty and augment engagement by aligning values to target audiences.
A values workshop is an excellent way to communicate authentic values. To check if your organization’s values truly reflect the core of your brand, ask yourself the following:
- Are the values important to my company and staff?
- Can I use values to guide people in making decisions?
- Do they embody the elements the team is proudest of?
- Will employees believe in these values a few years from now?
- Are employees enacting these values?
Even one negative answer poses a risk. Companies should not create a marketing and communications strategy based on inauthentic brand values.
Economic Fears and Values
Having nice values on paper and living them are two different things. Many companies do not invest sufficiently in their resources, staff, and values. At a time when global recession fears are looming, it’s shared and enacted values that help companies keep their best and most reliable employees.
Customers are attracted to brands that live their values and put them into action. A values workshop can bring people closer to the values they once adopted but may be neglecting to consider in these difficult times. They are a bond that makes organizations more robust and resilient in the face of adversity.
The maximum number of workshop attendees should be around 30. Ideally, plan for it to be two hours long. This framework will encourage proper engagement.
Send a survey with the following questions ahead of time to gauge attitudes:
- What are your personal values?
- What values does our company/organization represent?
- Which values should shape our interaction with customers when delivering products or services?
- What values have helped us be successful?
- What values do successful organizations in general share?
Before the workshop starts, don’t forget to organize the responses to your survey. They are good conversation starters and reliable indicators of your employees’ initial thoughts. The purpose of your organization – why it was founded – is also a good starting point. You can discuss how your values reflect your purpose.
Invite people from across your team, not just senior executives, as this is likely to skew your discussions. Use a classic whiteboard for note-taking to encourage honest and open discussion. Use post-it notes and other tools to provoke active participation and to gather as many ideas as possible.
Start by asking attendees to identify values that they associate with your organization’s culture and to rank them in order of importance. Write the list on the whiteboard and reduce it to 10 top values.
Discuss the top 10 Values
You need to discuss each of these values in detail. Encourage sharing and make sure people hear each other out. If the group of attendees is too large for you to manage, divide it into subgroups.
In the course of the discussion, your list of 10 values might undergo changes. You might find some are nearly identical and refine or remove them. There is no perfect number of values. No matter how many you come up with, ensure they are all authentic and resonate with your team.
This is not an easy and effortless process. Be prepared for revisions and further discussion.
Make Changes and Give Feedback
After refining your values and reaching a final list, share the first draft with your team. Revert to the questions you sent out in the beginning. They will help determine the extent to which your values resonate with your team and brand.
Keep your team involved by sharing updated drafts, making changes, and collecting feedback. Eventually, you’ll have a final draft that genuinely reflects your organization and brand’s values and that your team is happy with.
If needed, dedicate some time to refining your values’ wording. The way they’re articulated is as vital as their essence.
Prepare to Share Your Values with Customers
The workshop is nearing its end at this stage. With the finalization of the list, talk about how the values reflect your organization and can help it move forward. You can start making plans to share them with your customers through campaigns, marketing materials, and other projects.
Embody Your Values
Now that you’ve created your values, you must take steps to make sure they live on in your organization. Employees need incentives to stay engaged. Include values in employee reviews and in promotion plans to make sure they are more than just words and your organization actually embodies them.
Establishing authentic values can help attract new talent, drive the brand from inside and outside, and improve employees’ motivation and satisfaction. No effective marketing strategy will omit value building.
Why Create a Marketing Strategy with Added Value?
The global marketing scene is undergoing constant changes. Companies and other organizations must stay current. When it comes to targeting the perfect group of customers, there is a continual need to align companies with an exceptional, intrinsic value. This is where a value-added marketing strategy comes into play.
More and more businesses are basing their marketing and branding strategies on particular outcomes, challenges, or beliefs. This strategy goes above and beyond what the business is selling. Authenticity should power value marketing because it can generate maximum benefit for the company and the customer.
Consumers are tired of aggressive sales tactics, intrusive and repetitive ads, and gimmicks. Marketers today need to think outside the box and develop new approaches to conventional B2B marketing tactics.
The Essence of Value Marketing
Any workshop should include a discussion of value marketing linked to the organization’s values. Also known as client-centered marketing, value marketing focuses on strategies that look to go above and beyond customer expectations and drive consumer loyalty.
Value marketing campaigns want to make clients dedicated to the brand and help promote its services or products by leaving positive reviews.
Customers are more likely to demonstrate brand engagement when the business can prove it understands their unique needs, challenges, or situations and has the ability or resources to help them. Customers will realize the company delivers on its promises and show support.
A lot of businesses are using value selling to interact with their target groups more deeply. It’s worth taking the time to imagine the impact on sales if a marketer were to leverage the same concepts that render value selling so attractive. The list of values arrived at during the workshop should have practical implementations.
How can those values apply to sales and marketing to drive the bottom line?
Value Marketing Categories
Customers do not share sources of value. Moreover, businesses have qualitative and quantitative differentiators they can offer clients. Depending on their goals and priorities, customers might give some values and value types more weight than others.
One must always define value through the client’s viewpoint for a value-based marketing strategy to be successful. If not, the business risks low attachment rates or high bounce rates, especially if its value statement is too general.
Here are the main types of value marketing.
Economic value is the trade-off between the monetary measure of the products or services a business provides and other types of value. Price and function intersect at monetary value. This metric is frequently quantitative in nature and connected to an economic or financial value that a product or solution can give a company.
Functional value reflects the degree to which the client can use a company’s solution. Marketing strategies related to this value type are based on the physical or utilitarian performance of your products and services.
This value defines the extent to which a business’s product or service makes the user feel good. This might include the freedom to express oneself, the need for validation, etc. Subjective value allows a business to encourage desired behaviour by sending effective messages to appeal to the target group’s needs and wants. This eases the decision-making process.
Last but not least, social value is attributed to the extent to which paying for a specific service or owning a particular product lets buyers connect and interact.
The Benefits of Value Marketing for Companies
Consumers are getting better at exposing manipulative advertising tactics and empty claims. At the same time, marketing campaigns are getting more invasive. Companies that fail to make good on their promises or are perceived as too salesy are being increasingly called out by buyers.
At the same time, B2B companies find it hard to measure, capture, and communicate the delivered impact. They often lack the means to quantify the value they’ve helped their clients fulfill. This leads to low conversion or attachment rates, lack of engagement, and high bounce rates.
Below are a few good examples of value marketing:
- Inspiring messages that communicate your values
- Visual storytelling that backs up your narrative
- Emphasis on social sharing
- Shared storytelling between your company and audience
- Added weight to communal connections
- Cues to audience-generated content
- A solid call to action
- Piquing the curiosity of your ideal buyers
Companies must incorporate these elements into their value-based marketing strategy if they want their clients’ active engagement. This will also attract more attention to the company’s message and offerings.
What Should Value-Based Marketing Target?
Customers look for a variety of solutions, features, and attributes in the companies they buy from, the most common being:
- Relatable value systems
- A genuine position that speaks for the company’s beliefs
- A solid set of values
- Proof that the company delivers on promises
- Meaningful interactions to engage with
- Consistent company representation
Traditional marketing is no longer sustainable, so investing exclusively in advertising isn’t a good idea. People won’t buy something because they are told to. In the long run, value-based marketing is far more affordable because it takes a more account-based approach. This approach lets businesses capture the target group’s attention and hold it.
Marketing that’s customer-centric is an organic way to create a healthy landscape. Businesses that adopt it can improve their value marketing framework without relying on margins too heavily.
Value-based Marketing and Customer Relationships
To have loyal customers, you need a lasting and sustainable relationship. You must earn their trust to create one.
You can build an emotional link with them by creating a customer advisory board, improving your customer service, or sharing your knowledge and expertise.
A satisfied customer is likely to share their positive experiences. They will become company ambassadors, attracting new customers and helping your business grow and flourish. Value marketing has the significant advantage of forging a bond based on trust between a business and its clients.
It also provides a lucrative opportunity to position a company as an industry authority by delivering content that:
- Highlights expertise
- Is fresh and exciting
- Influences customers
Building an emotional relationship with staff and clients by creating a reliable value-marketing plan will set you apart from the crowd. It will keep people engaged and give them a sense of belonging. Hold a values workshop to make this happen – it won’t require a stratospheric budget. You might not believe it, but the move from a business to an emotional relationship will save you lots of money and grow your return on investment (ROI).