As transparency becomes increasingly important in business, more and more consumers prefer businesses with values that support their own beliefs and causes. How can your business promote its values? Supporting charitable organizations is one way, of course: In a recent study conducted by Euclid, Brand Perception Effect, 85% of consumers say they prefer to patronize business that give to charities. Your business could also take a political stand — although that could be a risky move with the potential to alienate some of your customer base.
Attracting Customers by Marketing Values
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate your business’s values other than giving to charity and getting political. Here are five ideas to try.
1. Show your support of American workers and U.S. businesses. Source American-made products from local and regional manufacturers and designers. Attract shoppers who care about buying American by calling out these products as “Made in America” with in-store signage, in your marketing materials or on your website. Promote them on patriotic holidays such as the 4th of July or Memorial Day.
2. Show your support of your local community. Sponsor local youth or adult sporting teams, community events, or community organizations. Even something like being an active member of your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club communicates that you care about the community where your business is located enough to get involved in making it a better place.
3. Show that you value the environment. Reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Purchase recycled paper for your office, refill your printer ink cartridges instead of buying new ones, and buy energy-saving equipment. Sell products that are created from repurposed or recycled materials, or manufactured in environmentally sustainable ways. Hold a promotion encouraging customers to donate used clothing, used bedding, used housewares, or whatever is relevant to your business. Give them a store credit for their donation, and give it to an organization where it can do good instead of filling landfills.
4. Show that you value your employees. Offer competitive salaries and generous benefits packages. Provide perks, when possible, like flex time, remote work, and other extras to keep your employees happy. Spotlight your employees on your website or in your marketing, being sure to give them credit for all their hard work. (After all, without them, where would you be?)
5. Show that you value diversity. Make a conscious effort to hire people of all ethnicities, ages and genders. That might require reaching outside your network of friends and colleagues, but it’s worth the effort. Create and enforce workplace policies that make your company an inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all your employees.
More than four in 10 consumers in the Euclid study say a brand’s alignment with their personal values is important to them—and for younger consumers, the numbers are even higher. As values become a differentiator for businesses, and as millennials get older and their earning power increases, communicating your values through your business can help you attract and retain customers.
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It is about standing for a cause but not being too protective of it. It is about helping the cause and not being defensive.