Why Your Business Values Should Align With Your Customers
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Why Your Business Values Should Align With Your Customers
Technological advancements are emerging at a record pace. These advancements have forced businesses to implement the newest business tools to keep up with our ever-evolving world. As a result, companies are placing less significance on forming genuine connections with consumers.
Building genuine relationships with customers is essential to your business’s success. These relationships enable bigger wins when it comes to your marketing and sales efforts. When consumers have an emotional connection with your brand, they perceive it to be more valuable. Consequently, they make more purchases and are more loyal to your offerings.
To establish a strong bond with your consumers, you have to focus on building a real relationship with them. Besides the standard relationship drivers (e.g., trust, reliability, and appreciation), shared values are vital to forming an ongoing relationship with your customers. CEB found that 64% of respondents recognized shared values as a top reason for having a relationship with a brand. This statistic reveals the importance of leveraging your value system.
To help you nurture fruitful relationships with customers, this article will look into shared values, their benefits, and how to cultivate value alignment with customers.
What Are Shared Values?
Shared values are beliefs that both you and your consumers hold. They usually allude to your brand’s mission or broader philosophy. These shared values are a great way to strengthen the feeling of closeness between you and your customers; besides wanting a valuable product or service, customers want to see you care and provide for wider communities. Showing this care can foster deep connections with consumers, whereby consumers may begin to perceive your brand as a reflection of who they are.
The Benefits of Aligning Values
There are plenty of benefits that come with establishing shared values with consumers. These include:
Providing Customers With a Better Understanding of Your Brand
One of the simplest ways to communicate what your brand stands for is through your value system. A comprehensive understanding of your business’s values paints a clear picture of what your business’s purpose is. Therefore, integrating your values into your marketing strategy can help you convey your brand’s story to eager customers, building the base for long-lasting brand-customer relationships.
Establishing Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty starts with shared values. A study by Cone Communications stated that 89% of Americans are more loyal to brands that display shared values. This loyalty is due to consumers wanting to purchase from brands that drive change, address critical issues, and are part of movements that make the world a better place.
Trust emerges when companies place consumers’ needs first. Beyond completing legal responsibilities such as data security and privacy, you can foster trust through your brand’s values. Consumers want to see you fight for causes they believe in. If your verbal statements are reflected in your corporate actions as well, you convey openness, transparency, and honesty to your consumers. This alignment showcases your integrity to customers, hence building the solid foundation for a trust-based relationship.
According to 5W Public Relations’ 2020 report, 71% percent of consumers prefer to purchase products from brands that line up with their values. With the combination of trust and brand loyalty, consumers are more willing to buy from your company if you share the same beliefs. This is because consumers want to see their personal views reflected in their purchases.
Connecting With Newer Generations
Newer generations are more vocal regarding social issues and injustices, leading to a shift in how these younger demographics shop. Moreover, eighty-three percent of millennials want companies to align with their values, with 62% of them preferring to buy products that convey their political or social stances. The purchase preferences of younger generations are drastically different from those of older generations: only 21% of consumers aged 55 and over prefer to purchase such emotionally charged products. Given this shift in consumer behaviour, emphasizing shared values may be an excellent way to reach younger consumers.
The Five Steps To Aligning Values With Consumers
Step 1: Create Internal Alignment
Before establishing a value-based bond with your consumers, you must make your values known internally, as they have to be emphasized and reflected in your business practices. To do this, you have to ensure employees are aware and on board with company ethics, beliefs, and values. Doing so ensures that employees use similar values to drive their operations.
There are several actions you can undertake to discover and cultivate internal brand values. These involve:
Asking employees what they believe your company stands for and using these to identify shared values.
Internally communicating values both verbally and in writing.
Sharing corporate history, brand stories, and compelling visuals that align with your brand values.
Organizing events, training sessions, and orientation programs that reflect your value system.
Step 2: Pinpoint and Address Consumers Needs
After nurturing your values internally, you can look at your target consumers’ beliefs. Understanding consumers’ inner drivers and value systems will allow you to see the overlap between you and your consumers. After pinpointing shared values with consumers, you should integrate these when crafting your buyer personas. In doing so, you ascertain that you deliver your marketing communications directly to a relevant audience that strongly resonates with your brand’s communications.
Step 3: Express Support for Issues That Align With Your Values
Solidifying your values into your brand image involves more than stating your beliefs on your website. You should continuously convey your values within appropriate and relevant contexts.
You can do this by actively voicing your support for issues related to your business proposition, values, and offerings. For consistency, you should express this support both internally and externally. Your employees, internal processes, and communications should voice the same belief system. Any discrepancies may lead to consumers feeling mistrust or a sense of misalignment.
Step 4: Create a Community
Everyone likes to be part of something bigger than themselves, and consumers are no exception. If your company makes customers feel as though they’re part of a close-knit community, they’ll feel a sense of unity with your brand. You can use communities (e.g., groups, forums) to display solidarity with specific issues. Establishing these can be a powerful way to connect consumers, grow your company, and foster a community of dedicated consumers.
Step 5: Account For Customer Feedback
It’s important to realize that your customers’ needs, wants, and values are not static. Societal and technological changes are ongoing, and so are your customer’s needs. These changes require an open mind to adapt to consumers’ new demands as they arise with time.
One way to keep track of customer needs is through feedback and reviews. These can provide you with valuable insights into customers’ perceptions of your brand and what they appreciate. You can also seek out feedback from lost customers by using surveys. Surveys can reveal why lost customers no longer want to shop for your products. This type of feedback can inform your future strategies and help retain existing customers.
Establishing shared values with customers is a surefire way to build long-lasting relationships. If customers know what you stand for, and resonate with it, they are more likely to trust you and be loyal to your brand. As such, highlighting similar values can help you fortify the humane aspects of your brand, nurturing an effective and mutually beneficial relationship with customers.
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