Advertising isn’t just about selling products – it’s about promoting your entire brand and what you stand for. Consumers want to work with brands that align with their values, and they will even pay extra to support brands that are making a positive impact.
As such, making value-based decisions is quickly becoming necessary to remain competitive in today’s market. So, how is your brand shifting its native advertising to reflect your company’s values?
What Are Value-Based Decisions?
Your brand’s values are reflective of the belief system that guides your business’s actions. They remind you of what your brand stands for, and they serve as the motivation behind your company’s behaviors. Value-based decision-making is when your brand makes choices based on those core values or beliefs.
Some examples of brand values include:
Why Are Value-Based Decisions Important in Business?
Consumers are watching brands closer than ever before. According to SurveyMonkey, 46% of consumers are more concerned about social values today than in 2020. In addition, the same study revealed that 78% of consumers make purchases based on values, and 55% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that are aligned with their values. Only 4% of consumers don’t care whether a company shares their same values.
With a world of information at people’s fingertips, consumers can make more informed purchasing decisions today than ever before. They don’t just want to know what your company has to offer. They want to know who you are.
For example, Nike doesn’t just sell shoes. They sell a mindset that is reflected in all their ads and marketing content. They promote innovation, sustainability and a positive, can-do attitude. These values drive all their decision-making, from how they create shoes, how they advertise, and which causes they choose to support.
7 Ways to Make Value-Based Decisions in Your Business
These seven strategies based on successful businesses’ actions can help your company make more value-based decisions.
1. Be Clear About Your Values
Making value-based decisions without clear values is like running a race without knowing where the finish line is located. You might perform very well, but if you’re running in the wrong direction, you’ll miss the mark.
Before making value-based decisions, you must first outline your company’s core values and define how they apply to your advertising team. To find these values, ask yourself what kind of impact you want to make on your employees, customers, community, and the world.
Once you have identified clear values, you must ensure that everyone on your team understands these values in order to remain aligned. Sales, marketing, and every department involved in advertising should understand and enforce those values to create a unified message for customers.
For example, your social media ads should send the same value-based messages as your sponsored search ads.
2. Align Your Brand with Your Values
Once everyone on your team understands your company values, it’s time to shift your company culture and behaviors to align with those values.
Some ways to align your brand with your values include:
- Choosing customers based on shared values
- Managing investments that align with your values
- Offering products that uphold your values
- Hiring team members who agree with your values
- Choosing partners that align with your values
Sometimes, your brand will have to make difficult business decisions to stay true to your values. For example, you might have a profitable advertising idea that offers a high return but conflicts with your values. If you abandon your values to pursue a sale, your customers will see you as untrustworthy, which will hurt your business in the long term.
Instead, adjust your advertising strategy to balance your potential return with your core values. This way, you can still make a profit without compromising your integrity. For example, native advertising offers consumers a more authentic and valuable experience while still allowing your brand to achieve its sales goals.
3. Make Value-Based Decisions a Team Effort
Business leaders are not the only team members who should be making value-based decisions. Everyone in your company, and especially on your marketing team, can be part of this important initiative, from the graphic designers to the content marketing team.
To ensure that everyone is on the same page, include your teams in the core value decision process. Asking for feedback from different team members when coming up with your values can result in a more inclusive and representative brand mission.
4. Make Business Values Your Personal Values
Business values apply to your company, but they should also apply to the individuals within your company. If key employees contradict your company culture, it can hurt your brand’s image. When values translate to personal actions, they become character.
To keep your business aligned with its values, you must hire people who adopt these values as personal goals and beliefs. For example, if your company promotes trustworthiness, you want to hire trustworthy people whose personal lives don’t conflict with that brand value.
When people care about your values personally, they are more likely to consider them when making decisions for the brand.
5. Add Your Values to Your Decision Process
Your decision-making guidelines should include steps that consider your brand’s values. You should reflect on your values even when making small, daily decisions. Establish a list of criteria your choices must fulfill before they become a decision to help you stay accountable.
One way to align your values with your decision-making process is to base your objectives, mission, and goals on your values. Even if your entire team has the same values, each team member might show those values differently depending on their personal views and responsibilities. By aligning your objectives with your values, you can ensure that your marketing teams remain on track with your business values, even if their individual decisions differ.
6. Tell Others About Your Values
Some of the greatest accountability partners are your customers because their opinion is what matters most in many situations. When your customers understand and resonate with your values, they are more likely to purchase from your brand.
Keeping your brand transparent also increases your authenticity with your customers. According to a survey of US-based consumers, approximately 46% of customers spend more money when shopping with brands they trust. In addition, 66% of customers list transparency as a top business quality.
You can be transparent about your values by including them in your advertising efforts. They should be reflected in your advertising images, wording, and placement. When your values guide your content creation decisions, your digital content will be customer-centric and focus on more significant issues than just your product and its features. Your content marketing and advertising will also highlight the impact you have on customers and the community.
7. Continually Reexamine Your Values
Society constantly changes as new information comes out, customer behaviors change, and new needs arise. As society changes, you must also shift your business values to reflect the latest trends and demands in order to remain relevant with your audience.
You should also continually examine how your business operates to identify opportunities for improvement, especially with regard to your core values. By continually auditing your advertising and marketing efforts, you can ensure that your decisions remain relevant and value-based as times change.
Examples of Brands that Make Value-Based Decisions
Here are three examples of brands that are making value-based decisions the right way. Their entire brand reflects their business values, from their advertising campaigns to design. Let their results inspire you to make more value-based decisions in your own company.
Dove is a beauty brand that takes redefining beauty seriously. Their brand decisions reveal that they care more about the people who use their products than they care about selling skincare products. Some of their values include promoting diversity, inclusion, and self-esteem.
Some examples of Dove’s value-based decision-making include choosing models, promoting stories, and advertising products that share their message, even if it doesn’t fit society’s expectations.
One of IKEA’s defining values is “sustainable every day.” They make value-based decisions in their marketing and advertising efforts by basing much of their messaging around sustainable living. They sell furniture, but they also sell sustainable solutions.
For example, they advertise their faucets as sustainable options for controlling water flow and reducing waste.
Coca-Cola is transparent about its core values. Some of these values include creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also value creating a healthy workplace built around equality and human rights.
Coca-Cola bases every decision around these values, such as by using sustainable bottle packing. However, they are most known for their memorable advertising campaigns, like their global slogan “Share a Coke,” which encouraged friendship and coming together. Their ads were successful because they promoted a product that upheld their values.
Align Your Ads with Your Business Values
Aligning your revenue goals with your business values doesn’t have to cause conflict in your company. You can be an ethical and value-based company while still generating quality leads and making sales. Through native advertising, you can develop a meaningful, customer-centric marketing strategy that encourages more consumers to shop at your value-based brand.
Learn more about RevContent’s native advertising solutions to see how you can use them to create a seamless and positive user experience with quality results.