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Consumers today have a choice of dozens of businesses to shop with – so having strong brand values can really set you apart from many of your competitors. Whilst some customers shop for price and others shop for convenience, there is a large percentage that also shop for brand.
Many brand values are kept very simple and present a message of ‘dedication to customer service’ or ‘dedication to safe delivery’. This singular commitment to one or two areas of the business can be a powerful unique selling point that gives you an edge over the competition.
The allusions to commitment and dedication also give a strong impression to potential customers that you are trustworthy and dependable - as you have a 'cause’.
Whatever your unique proposition is, try incorporating it into your core brand values and present it as a core of your business. This will make it very clear to customers why they should shop with you over others - whether it’s your customer service or your ethical sustainability.
The very feeling of ‘standing for something’ can help build an active community around your brand. Whether your business is standing up for more skills development, equal jobs for women or for a children’s charity, customers like to be a part of a community and be part of a worthwhile cause.
Some customers may only follow you on social or subscribe to your newsletter once they find out about your values - simply as a show of support of the issue. But this keeps you front of mind with these customers and so when they need your product, they will remember your brand more fondly.
This can also help your employees and partners, according to Real Business. Their article has some good reasons why sponsoring a charity can be good for business.
Customers never just want a product. They want an outcome and they want a lifestyle.
For instance, nobody just wants a new, stylish kitchen - they want a lavish home with dinner parties and a place to cook their favourite meals with their partner or for their friends and family. They want more than a kitchen.
So take this approach when thinking about your brand values. If you’re a fashion brand, give your customers a lifestyle which involves your brand values - whether this is a commitment to innovative style or a dedication to an animal charity.
How many times have you purchased something online and immediately felt guilty because it was either too expensive or because you didn’t really need it. This is definitely a common feeling!
But when you have brand values, this can take away some of the guilt that customers feel when shopping impulsively.
For instance, if a shopper buys an pair of Toms shoes when they can’t really afford to, they feel less guilty when they remember that for every pair of shoes sold, the company gives a pair to a child in need.
If you’re interested in how to encourage more guilt-free shopping, Repricer Express has a good article with tips including philanthropy and giving your customers more choices around who to support.
Our final reason why it’s important to have strong brand values is that you form an emotional connection with your customers - especially if your values involve a cause or issue that’s close to their hearts, such as Cancer Research or the British Heart Foundation.
This really sheds a positive light on your brand and not only will potential customers remember you, they will remember you positively as a good, caring brand.
An emotional bond between customer and brand can be much harder to break than a bond forged on convenience or price.
If you want to learn more about brand values, please do get in touch and we can work with you to identify what may work best for your business. If you already have brand values but are struggling to communicate them effectively, read our blog post on communicating them using digital.