BlogDagmar 26.03.2024

Conscious consumer here, brand are you ready?

Brand development

Did a brand message or action make you evaluate it based on your own values today? To smile, smile or get very annoyed? If yes, there was a debate between the brand and your values. The pandemic, political instability, economic fluctuations and the climate debate have changed consumer values. The fast-forward change in values also affects brand marketing and offers a great opportunity to meet conscious consumers, writes Taru Karlsson, Client Manager at Dagmar.

Dear consumers, what do you value?

As consumers, we are more close to ourselves than perhaps ever before. We have more time to reflect on our own lives, our values, and what and how we consume. Our mindset is becoming more and more experience-hungry – instead of acquiring new things – and the desire to live in the moment is an emerging trend.

According to a study by The Hall & Partners, people’s dreams are now more down-to-earth and simple, and a strong will for justice is growing. Selfishness has given way to a sense of community, which is reflected in favouring local products and services and satisfaction with one’s own homeland.

According to Barclaycard’s research, 64% of Britons made greater use of local services and products during the pandemic. Of those, 91% plan to continue supporting local businesses even after the pandemic. More status and money are increasingly cheered for those who do something meaningful for the community. Volunteers, hospital staff and food couriers have gotten the spotlight they deserve, taking away attention from celebrities recommending brands. And the planet – its well-being is now on everyone’s lips at the latest.

Customer understanding and authenticity as the basis for credible value-based marketing

Consumers are now weighing up more extensively how things fit into their values. In addition to conscious Gen Z and millennials, a growing number of people consider brand backgrounds and values to be an important selection criterion for their purchases. Brand, so boldly bring out your values! Act, be concrete, take a stand and stand behind things that are meaningful and in line with your values.

An example is the global beauty retail giant Sephora, which tackled the perception of racial inequality in the U.S. retail industry. Sephora’s core values include tolerance, diversity and equality, so something concrete had to be done. Sephora commissioned a study to collect information on the extent and forms of occurrence of the phenomenon. Based on the results, we started to improve both the customer and employee experience by creating new instructions for training, marketing and sales situations. At the same time, other retail brands were challenged to make an impact. As Sephora CMO Deborah Yeh noted in a Forbes article, “Sephora has hundreds of stores and thousands of employees and while we cannot change the entire industry, we can make an impact.”

Read also: Companies waste money on short-term advertising and forget about brand building. This is how marketing becomes more effective.

A long-distance runner who has trained consistently will do well in this sport

At its best, brand values are an intrinsic part of the thinking and operations of the entire organization. If values are not ingrained in the brand’s DNA, it might be worth considering whether it is still the right time to do value-based marketing. Is it even necessary for all brands? If value-based marketing is considered for the wrong or too superficial reasons, it is better to leave the work to others. Consumers recognize sheer gloss – and a social media storm may be around the corner. Consistency is an asset in this sport as well.

A good example of long-term, value-based brand work is the British airline Virgin Atlantic and its frontman Richard Branson. Branson writes on his blog, “I’m a firm believer that business can play a really positive role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community and I’ve been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ rights for decades.” When values are strongly visible in the company’s everyday life, Pride Flight-type events do not feel like individual actions glued on top.

How does your brand approach values and value-based marketing?

Are values already an integral part of your business goals and strategy? Or could they add value in the form of meaningfulness to your existing or new customers?

If the journey is still in its early stages, it is better to be fair about the fact that our values are not yet reflected as we would like, but the goal and the steps to achieve it have been finalized. For example, K Group’ s Kiroileva Hiili campaign encourages us all to make climate-smart choices and tells us what kind of actions K Group has already done for the climate – but it is also fair to say that there is still work to be done in matters of responsibility.

So it doesn’t have to be all done. The crucial thing is that what is done is done genuinely, with a big heart – and that you can stand behind everything with your back straight, even in tough situations.

Read also: How to see your brand affects your sales and marketing affects your brand

Read more