Profit has long been a driver of marketing innovation—with good reason. But could today’s sole focus on profit-driven marketing strategies be undermining the appeal and alignment of your brand? In recent years, top brands across industries have found success in shifting their business models away from a singular metric of profit maximization and toward what is often called, “values-driven marketing.” While that term is used in a lot of different scenarios from cause-related communications to social content marketing to loyalty programs, what we find most transformative is marketing strategies that employ the company’s core values to create a deep, meaningful impact in consumers’ lives. Thus, the measure of success is not just profit, but also the richness of the experience itself, and the impact it has on strengthening the brand value and story with each customer.
Best yet, many of these value-driven brands have seen consumer loyalty, employee performance, and net profits all rise as a result. Take a look at these four companies which have improved their business practices and driven market success through values-driven marketing:
- Delta Airlines
Values-driven marketing can uncover new solutions to persisting problems, and Delta can prove it. Striving to be a “force for global good,” Delta has prioritized customer service for decades—and seen both customer satisfaction and market share increase because of it. When faced with complaints about baggage claim wait times, for example, Delta realized customers felt abandoned, not bored. By placing customer service agents at baggage claims, Delta was able to cheaply and efficiently overcome a business challenge that had plagued the industry for years.
Companies that focus on profit maximization often stifle innovation in favor of proven models. As a result, their marketing teams struggle to adapt to new market trends and more innovative competitors. Coca-Cola understood the need for innovative solutions when it developed its Development & Innovation Lab, a space for exploring values-driven brand strategy creatively. By using their mission to innovate brand strategy, Coca-Cola has been able to grow their own brand and attract top clients from all industries and regions.
Today’s consumers expect their favorite brands to invest in causes, not just business ventures. By aligning its brand fully around CSR and philanthropy, TOMS has built an empire around socially-responsible products, driving brand loyalty through a remarkably simple brand statement: if you buy their shoes, you help people in need. For TOMS, values-driven marketing sparked brand loyalty and business success for a niche product in a saturated market.
- Whole Foods
Values-driven business practices don’t only affect your external brand. Whole Foods prides itself on its mission—“whole foods, whole people, whole planet”—and has taken several steps to empower its own employees and align them with the company’s values. The result, according to co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey? “More money than you thought possible.” By aligning its employees with company values, Whole Foods was able to increase performance and drive business results.
In today’s markets, purpose drives profits. TopRight always aims to provide clarity around the strategy, story and systems that will move the business toward market domination. Aligning your brand both internally and externally with values-driven marketing can improve employee performance, drive brand loyalty, and build the brand strategy you need to #StayTopRight in your market.