Values-based marketing drives successful businesses because it results in relationships with customers that are based on purchases being driven by an expression of values, not soulless transactions. This strategy is so potent that it can drive the success of an inferior product. So, how does a company express its values effectively? What does this look like in practice?
Many Apple phones are objectively worse machines than Android phones (Apple phones have worse cameras, are slower, and are inferior machines based on many other technical measures).
So, why is Apple one of, if not the biggest company in the world? It’s because through its marketing, Apple has successfully tied the purchase of their product to the exercise of a value in the mind of their consumers.
The “Think different” campaign from Apple featured different celebrities from history that did something remarkable. These celebrities had to “think different” in order to achieve what they did. Albert Einstein had to invent a whole bunch of Physics. Amelia Earhart had to be daring enough to attempt a dangerous journey. And, according to Apple’s marketing, by purchasing an Apple computer you would be thinking differently in the same way that Einstein and Earhart did.
Purchasing an Apple computer was not an exchange of money for a product, purchasing an Apple computer was a statement of values. By creating this connection in their customer’s minds with this advertising campaign, Apple showed how a company can express its values effectively.
Objectively, Corona is a terrible beer. It has no taste, it goes flat quickly, and it needs a lime to have any flavor whatsoever.
That being said, their marketing is nearly perfect. Corona is one of the most popular brands in the United States. So, how did this objectively sub-par product become so popular? It’s because they connect the purchase of their product to the expression of a value in the mind of the consumer through their marketing.
You buy a Corona beer because their marketing has successfully connected the value of relaxation with buying their beer through their slogan “Find your beach” and beach-themed visual imagery. Wherever you are, buying a Corona makes you feel like you’re relaxing.
You do not need to be a massive corporation with dedicated teams of marketing professionals to use values-based marketing to develop values-based relationships with your clients or customers.
You just need to identify what values drive you and then put those values into your advertising effectively. If done successfully, you’ll develop the same kind of brand loyalty you see between large companies and their customers.
I put together some prompts for beginning that thought process here.