The marketing world is ever-evolving, and new strategies frequently emerge to help businesses connect with their target audience. The most recent innovation is value-based marketing. This marketing method has become increasingly popular and focuses on running ad campaigns that emphasize customers’ values, such as feminism and environmentalism. This technique is contrary to the conventional marketing strategy that only focuses on a brand’s product, benefits, and worth.
Brands are capitalizing on the belief systems of their audience as it helps them build stronger and lasting emotional bonds and increases trust. Value-based marketing is a way to show your customers that you practice what you preach. And the customers instinctively align with your brand’s purpose, thereby purchasing your products/services.
So, value-driven marketing is a way to boost your brand relevance. Here is why brand relevance is of key importance for your business.
Brand Relevance Is The New Brand Awareness
It is no brainer that having similar values as your customers makes you relevant to them. And brand relevance is way more essential than brand awareness. Many companies focus on increasing brand awareness, but they fail to realize that prospects never convert just because they know you. Therefore, brand awareness, though important, is not enough. What matters the most is how you align with their values and ethics and support similar causes. This resonates with them, compelling them to stick with you in the long run.
Here are the key differences between brand awareness and relevance: brand awareness represents a company’s effort to reach new people who are oblivious of their brand. It deals with making people — currently at a stranger stage — know about your existence. Educating people is the most common route to making them aware of a brand and products. Eventually, they become visitors, leads, and buyers.
However, since a modern buyer is highly educated and empowered, awareness rarely translates to higher conversions. You will have to go the extra mile to convince them since they have many options to choose from. This is where brand relevance comes into play, helping you outshine your competitors and win your customers’ hearts.
Brand relevance refers to educating customers about how your products are an ideal solution for them and can improve their lives. You are going from simply knowing a person to becoming an integral part of their lives — this will require more effort. Relevancy is about letting them know that you understand them and can cater to their needs. Therefore, brand relevance is considered a comprehensive marketing approach as it aligns your products with the customer’s goals.
To improve your brand relevance:
- Figure out who your ideal customer is.
- Understand their emotional pain points.
- Find out how you solve their problems.
- Train yourself to communicate that you are their problem solver to them.
How Do Brands Utilize Influencers For Value-based Marketing?
Figure 1: Influencer Winnie Harlow promoting Fendi. Source: Winnie Harlow
Influencers play a vital role in value-based marketing. They are the ones bridging the gap between customers and brands. They understand customers’ values, which is key to successful value-based ad campaigns. Moreover, they can also convey that you have a similar belief system to their followers. And this is what impacts brand relevance and helps you establish an authentic connection with your target audience.
However, to succeed in value-based marketing, you must find the right influencer. An impressive number of likes, shares, comments, and followers doesn’t make an influencer fit to endorse your brand. Niche targeting plays a critical role when looking for influencers. Ensure the influencer you choose is relevant to your brand, shares a similar target audience, and believes in the same values.
It is also noteworthy that customers prefer tight-knit, small social communities to ones with thousands of members. Over 54% of customers believe that smaller communities have a more significant influence since they are more trustworthy. Therefore, do not overlook micro-influencers, as they will strongly influence your target audience.
Figure 2: Famous micro-influencer Tia Kirby. Source
Besides, micro-influencers are more invested in their audience and are passionate about their work. Losing even a single follower impacts them significantly. Therefore, they make all efforts to stay in the good books of their audience. As a result, they can nurture relationships with their audience. The best part is that their followers equally trust them and are ever ready to follow their recommendations.
5 Examples Of Value-based Marketing
Figure 3: Danielle Bernstein promoting Fiji Water. Fiji Water
Fiji Water partnered with a famous Instagram influencer and the brand owner of WeWoreWhat, Danielle Bernstein. The ad campaign aimed to position their water as a go-to beverage for health-conscious individuals. The campaign is known to be one of the most influential campaigns since Fiji Water’s choice of the influencer was on point.
The collaboration tried to build a stronger relationship with their audience, which did not make their promotion seem forceful, and the product placement was seamless. In the advertisements, Bernstein promotes her products, and the pictures include a bottle of Fiji Water. This made the promotion look natural.
Figure 4: Nat Geo and Microsoft’s campaign. Source: Nat Geo
You can also learn important lessons on value-based marketing from National Geographic and Microsoft’s collaboration. Microsoft launched its “Make What’s Next” campaign with National Geographic. The campaign aimed to encourage young girls to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Microsoft’s objective was to transform the way young women viewed STEM and apprise them that STEM can be a tool to solve multiple global challenges. To that end, they connected many girls to their female role models from varied industries. These girls were also offered purpose-driven experiences that linked STEM concepts to real-life situations.
This is a classic example of value-based marketing, as Microsoft capitalized on the societal issue regarding women’s role in STEM-related professions. The campaign drove positive content and positive sentiment, and both these brands gathered praise from their audience.
Figure 5: Buick’s Pinboard to Dashboard campaign. Source: John Lincoln
Buick is an American automobile manufacturer that partnered with various digital influencers for its “Pinboard to Dashboard” campaign. Buick held a Pinterest competition and asked these influencers to create Pinterest boards based on their styles and passions. The board that won inspired the design of Buick’s new luxury car – the Encore – and the color palettes and textures in the influencer’s board were incorporated into the car’s design.
This campaign drove over 17 million site visitors. Interestingly, Buick partnered with influencers not having a direct link to the automobile industry. Therefore, Buick received visits from surprising channels. This campaign highlighted that Buick cared about its audience’s opinions and values. This helped the brand create a distinct tie with its target audience.
Figure 6: American YouTuber Devin Graham, promoting Subaru’s campaign. Source: Devin Graham
Subaru is another famous automobile manufacturing division of Subaru Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate. Their campaign #MeetAnOwner is another incredible example of value-based influencer marketing. Subaru partnered with various influencers to showcase the features and benefits of their new car, Impreza. The advertisements showcased influencers driving Impreza in multiple locations and aimed to attract the attention of millennial buyers.
Subaru hired nearly 20 influencers belonging to various industries. While some were artists, others were adventure photographers and athletes. The campaign’s objective was to boost positive brand sentiment and expose Subaru to a broader audience. Including influencers helped Subaru generate feel-good sentiments, and even the advertisements emphasized the emotional aspect of buying cars, rather than only underlining facts, figures, horsepower, and fuel economy.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Figure 7: Abercrombie & Fitch partnering with full-sized influencers. Source: Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch is an American fashion brand that initially catered to “cool kids” who, as the CEO puts it, weren’t “overweight or unattractive.” In other words, the brand sold clothing items only for kids that were conventionally attractive and met society’s beauty standards. However, Abercrombie & Fitch had to change their brand positioning at the onset of educated Gen Z buyers believing in inclusivity. The brand had no other choice than to get rid of its traditional, intolerant mindset since the Gen Zers prefer buying from brands with similar values and beliefs.
Therefore, Abercrombie & Fitch rebranded itself using value-based influencer marketing. The inclusive brand message remained their primary objective, as it would help them overcome their identity and financial crisis. Hence, they partnered with many influencers, especially full-figured models, that helped audiences believe that the brand is for everyone, irrespective of their physical appearance.
These five examples reveal the critical role that influencers play in value-based marketing. If you are ready to leverage value-based influencer marketing, we will connect you with credible influencers. AtisfyReach is our AI-driven influencer marketing platform that bridges the gap between influencers and brands, streamlining collaborations with influencers.
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