Value-based marketing is one of the most thoughtful and genuine marketing strategies in which a corporation or business can engage. It is mostly used by entities that have already aligned their brand with their highest and most important values. In this type of marketing, the brand has to share the same values with its audience, allowing them to connect.
This authentic marketing strategy is mostly taken up by businesses that intend to do good. They seek to resonate with their target audience by appealing to their values and ethics and, in doing so, build a loyal following. Unlike other marketing strategies, it goes beyond pushing a company’s product or services. The brand builds a genuine connection with its customers and, in doing so, gets them interested in its products. Now that you know a little about this marketing strategy let’s delve deeper and help you decide whether it’s the right strategy for your business. Walk with us.
What Customers Want in Value-Based Marketing
What does it take to tell whether a company is value-based or not? Well, here are some of the indicators:
1. Familiar Value Systems
Your company should have value systems that customers can relate to or align with based on their experiences. This is by far one of the biggest indicators of a value-based company.
The value-based marketing system is all about genuineness. It’s, therefore, imperative for the company to be authentic in its undertakings to show the customer base that they truly believe in the values they portray.
3. Good Decisions and Follow-through
One of the reasons why value-based companies must always think their decisions through is because their customers get to judge them based on what they choose. Good Decisions and follow-throughs mean that the company closely holds the values it believes in.
4. Supported Causes
A value-based company should be behind causes or organizations their audiences can easily support. This is also a great way of showcasing the values an entity holds close to the world.
5. Meaningful Interactions
Nothing screams a value-based company more than meaningful Interactions centered on conversations around value provision and customer satisfaction. A company that intends to use this marketing strategy should employ brand representatives who know how to appeal to customers and help solidify their relationship with the brand.
Lastly, a company has to stay true to its promises, message, values, and mission to be termed a value-based company. It is the fastest way for any entity to gain a loyal following. It’s a proven fact that people are usually more willing to interact with businesses aligned with their values as opposed to those that are not.
Advantages of Value-based Marketing
Target audiences are increasingly getting better at spotting empty promises and manipulation tactics that are unfortunately common in advertising and marketing. It’s almost impossible to build a loyal customer base based on promises and claims alone in today’s world, which explains why many businesses are struggling.
Today’s world is also highly competitive, making it challenging to keep customers engaged without the right strategy. To thrive, businesses have to offer more than products or services. An entity that manages to get through to customers, build a genuine connection and make them perceive its products or services as the solution to their needs or problems will easily thrive. This is what value-based marketing is all about.
In case you need more convincing, here are some of the advantages of this type of marketing:
1. It Helps Build Strong Customer Relationships
Every business should strive to enjoy a solid relationship with its customers since this is the foundation of repeat business and customer loyalty. Value-based marketing takes a genuine interest in customers and positions the business as the answer to their problems, which is fundamental in building sustainable and long-lasting relationships. This marketing strategy ensures that businesses first gain the trust of their customers before proposing different products and services.
Therefore, add value to what your company offers to allow your target market or customers to enjoy an experience they have never had before. Some of the proven ways of creating a genuine connection with customers that this type of marketing uses include fostering relationships through a customer advisory board, freely sharing knowledge and expertise, regularly improving customer service, and centering customer interactions on conversations around value. You, therefore, become a trusted advisor instead of a mere vendor.
2. It is More Sustainable
With the increasing competition we witness in today’s world, it is safe to say that traditional marketing/ advertising is not as sustainable as we tend to think. Most of the channels traditionally used to push products and increase brand awareness are becoming more expensive by the day, especially with the increased demand for ad space. If you envision sustainable growth for your business, be prepared to appeal to the values and ethics of your customers.
Additionally, customers have been let down before by brands that promise but do not deliver; therefore, it can be challenging to sway their purchase decisions through mere advertising. This should tell you that merely investing in traditional marketing methods may not be sustainable for your business in the long run.
On the other hand, value-based marketing combines value-based and account-based marketing to help captivate and retain your customers’ attention. You don’t have to spend millions on repetitive ads that may not yield much.
3. It Turns Your Customers into Brand Advocates
We all love and appreciate excellent customer service and value for money. Since humans are social beings by nature, they are bound to share the positive experience they receive from your brand with friends and family, who will also want to experience the same for themselves. This means you only need one well-executed value marketing campaign to turn your customers into your brand ambassadors, allowing you to increase your customer base without sacrificing millions.
People love genuine relationships, so if you can create a bond based on trust with your customers, they will forever say good things about you. You will have to continuously deliver fresh and exciting content that highlights your experience and influences your customers.
Nothing is more exciting than your customers marketing your business through positive word of mouth. It shows that you have premium products or services and is a testament to your positive influence on their lives and purchase decisions.
4. It Helps Retain Customers
Value-based marketing can help convince customers that you have their interest at heart, making them choose you over and over during their initial and repeat purchases. Remember, a good value marketing plan ensures that you build genuine connections with your customers, which is the foundation to brand and customer loyalty.
This marketing approach also keeps customers engaged through fresh and exciting content, which they need to stick around. Instead of spending lots of money on marketing campaigns aimed at encouraging repeat purchases, you only have to make your customers feel like a part of a community and create lasting relationships.
How To Get Your Business to Adopt Value-based Marketing
Are you wondering how to pivot your business to value-based marketing? If you think that it’s the right decision for you, then here are the things you need to do:
- Define/ Redefine your core values. This means that you have to make your missions, vision, and values clear. It would be best if you also decided on the feeling you want your audience to have whenever they interact with your brand.
- Look back at your target audience to discover the best way of communicating your refined values.
- Learn more about how other competitors and brands are succeeding in their values-based marketing strategies and learn something.
- Adapt your strategy
Additional Tips for Implementing a Value-Based System for Your Business
Any business can take up this marketing approach and create long-lasting customer relationships. However, note that it can take different forms depending on the business’s exact needs. It’s, therefore, necessary to define the unique value your business and products carry, study your competitors, and identify your target audience to realize value. Only by doing the aforementioned things can you tailor your value marketing strategy to your audience and company.
Here are a few recommendations that can help your business benefit from this type of marketing:
1. Offer Excellent Customer Service
Value-based marketing depends on how good you make your customers feel, meaning that you should be prepared to offer top-notch service. You have to genuinely and actively look for solutions capable of solving their problems and make them feel heard at all times. Your business must therefore find ways of communicating value to the customer base and measuring value realization.
Top-notch customer service also means communicating with your customers well, i.e., ensuring that every communication is tailored towards attaining a shared value definition. Note that achieving a shared definition of value is the only way your businesses will know what products appeal to the customers or even exceed their expectations.
2. Ensure that Your Corporate Stories Includes Your Customers
The fear of missing out is more common than you think. It is also prevalent in customers who always want to feel that they are part of the company. Remember to include them whenever you talk about your business’s journey. You can share stories highlighting a day in the life of your company or how your customers have helped you achieve your goals. Such stories make them feel appreciated, which builds on the emotional connection between them and the entity.
Note that these stories can take the form of testimonials, which can be in video or written form, infographics, or case studies supported with accurate and quantified proof. Note that this calls for a level of creativity.
3. Educate Your Customers
Nothing shows genuine interest than teaching someone something new. Our family members and friends appreciate it when we tell them something they didn’t know or needed to perfect, and so do customers. Therefore, always strive to make your customers feel you are helping them instead of merely minting money through your products. They should feel that they come first at all times. How can you achieve that? Put yourself in their shoes. Only by imagining yourself in your customers’ position will you know what they find valuable regarding your brand.
Once you know what they value, use your expertise and knowledge of your company, services, and products to prepare relevant materials like eBooks, webinars, blog posts, video tutorials, or workshops. If prepared well, such materials will answer questions about your products and services, helping your customers take care of them. They will also know how to use them and their limits.
Your business should also have a site where such information can be freely shared and accessed by anyone who uses or is interested in your product.
4. Target Your Customer’s Emotion
Even though we are often advised to apply logic rather than emotions when making decisions, a good percentage of shopping decisions are influenced by emotions. Appealing to your customer’s emotions may be a good way to keep them returning.
5. Focus More on Selling Outcomes Rather than Products
In a world with a million products, only outcomes matter. This may explain why some brands enjoy as high as 60% market share while others who offer the same products struggle. Focusing on outcomes is the best way to increase your margins. Your eyes should be set on the benefits your customers stand to get from your products rather than the features. For example, sell speed and efficiency instead of selling a new laptop.
How do you do this? Simple. Understand what your customers hold dearest and create your value around them. Focus more on what your product can help them achieve when marketing it. What makes two identical products different is the value customers derive from them. This will also help customers who are yet to make up their minds decide.
6. Become a Good Storyteller
How you communicate the value of your product or service matters. Good storytelling skills help people or organizations create an excellent narrative around a product’s value and capture customer attention easily. Depending on who you are targeting, be flexible enough to develop compelling, all-rounded, complex, and quantified propositions.
Ensure that you can keep the client engaged as you explain the features and benefits of your products. Your messaging must also be crafted to target their deepest needs. Good storytellers sell, so be one.
Additionally, consider using different digital experiences when telling stories to prospects. It keeps them engaged and excited and increases your return on investments in the long run. You will have an easy time showcasing your products and convincing customers how you can help improve their experiences.
7. Pay More Attention to Customer Requirements
The value-based marketing approach is customer-centric, meaning that it is usually focused on the customer. Before marketing any product or service, pay attention to what the customer needs and the fact that it can change over time. This will help you come up with the best marketing approach.
We, therefore, advise that you dedicate some time to conducting a value chain analysis and consistently monitor your audience or target market to understand their ever-changing requirements in order to adapt well. Only then will you get to keep your clients happy and margins in check.
8. Make Sure Your Sales Team Has the Right Tools
Your sales team must be well-equipped if you want your value-based marketing plan to succeed. This calls for the right tools to help them connect to customers and show them the value of the products you sell.
The right tools also make it easy to tailor customer experience, prove value and close more sales.
Examples of Value-Based Marketing
To help you understand how this type of marketing works, here are a few companies that have embraced it.
1. Kraft Foods, Inc
Before the split that saw Kraft Foods, Inc become Mondelez International, it switched its advertising after market research showed a dangerous shift in consumer opinion occasioned by directly promoting junk foods to children. It had to change its marketing strategy and take a value-based approach to align its brand with customer values. Its CEO at the time, Robert Deromedi, even confirmed that failing to align with society is a sure way of destroying shareholder value.
2. WESTconsin Credit Union
WESTconsin Credit Union is one of America’s most successful financial cooperatives, controlling more than $1 billion in assets. It has over 100,000 members and offices in different Wisconsin communities. It depicted value-based marketing by entering into strategic business alliances with auto dealerships to develop an assistance program that saw over 100 low-income single parents buy vehicles.
3. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company expresses its value-based goals through its corporate reports. In 2000, one of the company’s reports highlighted its commitment to finding progressive, value-driven strategies and corporate practices to play a pivotal role in its external relationships in its domestic and international trade. Some of the targets in the report include promoting economic and social justice initiatives, spreading generosity to the surrounding communities, and fighting negative environmental impacts.
These are but a few of the businesses that recognize value-based marketing.
We have come to the end of our article, which we hope was insightful enough. Values-based marketing may be the right way to go if you intend to create meaningful connections with your audience. Make sure you redefine your core values, and everything else will fall into place.