How Values-Based Marketing Can Take Your Ecommerce Brand Further - picture
Posted by Amanda

Today’s consumer wants a relationship with every brand they buy from. The average person sees thousands of advertisements each day, and many have learned how to “tune out” the noise in favour of brands that want to foster relationships and build trust.

Woman sitting on sofa with her phone
Photo credit: Laura Chouette

By appealing to a customer’s values and ethics, you can stand out from traditional marketing noise and foster real connections. Your ecommerce digital marketing strategy becomes less about the products or services you sell, and more about the customers, themselves.

You can start by building your own values into your advertising and promotions. As an ecommerce company, by making them a part of your core brand message, you’re showing your target audience exactly what you stand for. You’re “humanising” your brand, and that’s something people will feel more connected to — likely leading to an increase in sales.

Let’s take a closer look at values-based marketing and how it can boost your overall brand while building your bottom line.

Why Is Values-based Marketing Important?

When you dive into values-based marketing, you’re showing your audience (and everyone else) that your business stands for something. It shows what you believe in, and why those beliefs are important to your brand. Everyone might not agree with those values, and that’s okay. The ones who do will feel a closer connection to your brand and be more likely to stick with you.

A values-driven culture helps employees feel good about the brand they work for. It opens communication and improves transparency by making the motivations of your company clear

Think about times when you’ve changed your personal opinion of a brand based on negative things you’ve seen or heard. Things like doctors committing malpractice or a clothing company relying on unfair and unethical labour practices are usually enough to turn customers away. Positive company values do the opposite — they attract people.

Some would say we’re in the middle of a values-based economy. Because people are often overlooking traditional advertisements in favour of supporting companies with causes, your brand might not be able to afford not diving into values-based marketing. Things like social media and online review sites have only increased that importance. Word-of-mouth advertising has always been worth its weight in gold. Social media has made it easier for people to talk about brands — whether it’s negative or positive.

Values-based marketing is important for your public image, building trust with your audience, and standing for a cause. But, it’s also a great way to establish a positive company culture and a work environment people actually enjoy.

A values-driven culture helps employees feel good about the brand they work for. It opens communication and improves transparency by making the motivations of your company clear. A strong company culture may improve the connectedness of your employees to the brand itself.

Understanding Your Audience

If you’re not sure which causes you should stand for, take a closer look at your audience. Obviously, if there are certain values and beliefs that mean a lot to you, personally, your brand should reflect that. But, it’s also essential to understand the belief systems of your market. What matters to the people you’re trying to connect with?

For example, if you’re trying to attract Gen Z customers, you might consider taking a stance on things like:

Most generations are well-versed in understanding when a brand is “faking it” to gain notoriety. So, the most important thing you can do, no matter which stance you take, is to be sincere and genuine. Do what you can to make a visible difference when it comes to the causes you support. That can include things like hosting events, donating a percentage of profits to your cause, or simply raising awareness through your branding efforts.

If you’re not sure how to get into the minds and motivations of your audience, ask yourself a few questions about your products or services. When do people think of your brand? Where are they when they’re using your products? Most importantly, in what context are they thinking of your products? Collect data and analytics on your target audience, including typical behaviours and buying habits. Doing so will help you understand what they might value most when it comes to the brands they frequent.

Staying True to Your Brand Message

We touched on the importance of being genuine and trustworthy, but it’s just as important to stick with your brand message for years to come. That doesn’t mean you can’t take on other belief systems or bring forward additional values later. But, the last thing you want is to make a complete “flip” from one extreme to the next. Doing so will indicate to your audience that you weren’t genuine in your beliefs.

Values-based marketing takes courage. It’s necessary in today’s economy if you want to stand out from your competition, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to share your beliefs with the world and take a firm stance on something. As an ecommerce business, your biggest goal is growth. Taking a stance will undoubtedly offend some people and turn others away. But, it will also attract a lot of the “right” people who might not have otherwise discovered your brand.

Don’t be afraid to stand for something and to make those values a part of your marketing strategy. You’ll feel better about your business, foster a healthier work environment, and build a loyal audience that wants to stick by your brand.