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My Values, My Brand

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Getting consumers to feel that a brand “shares their values” (SMV) seems to be among marketers’ top priorities these days. This presentation demonstrates that that guiding brand development via SMV is fraught with brand values contradiction and low returns in terms of acquisition, retention and generating social brand behavior. "Share my value" can produce brand shizophrenia.

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My Values, My Brand

  1. 1. My Values, My Brand
  2. 2. Should brands “share” consumer values? If so, which values should they share? • Consensus values – eco-friendly – good corporate citizenship • Polarizing values – progressive vs traditional? – conventional vs free-thinking? – humanistic vs materialistic? “Sharing” polarized values means making choices – or proliferating brand variants with different values – does financial brand value increase as a result? What is the pay-off?
  3. 3. -0.06 -0.05 -0.04 -0.03 -0.02 -0.01 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 Makes Me Feel Good About Myself Responds to My Needs Is Recommended By People I Care About Frees Me To Be Myself Excites Me Shares My Values Inspires Me Appreciates My Business Brings back Good Memories Has My Interests At Heart Simplifies my Life Helps Me to Express Myself Provides A Little Treat For Me Makes Me Look Good To Others Teaches Me Challenges Me To Think Differently Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Brand Purchase Intention Mexico USA Are brands that “share my values” more likely to attract new users ? Although the brand experiences/attitudes most highly correlated with non-users’ purchase intention differ between the USA and Mexico, in both countries the correlation with “shares my values” is no higher than the average.
  4. 4. Are brands that “share my values” more strongly preferred by users? In both the USA and Mexico “shares my values” has among the lowest correlation with users’ brand preference of all brand experiences/attitudes -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12 Simplifies my Life Helps Me to Express Myself Excites Me Has My Interests At Heart Frees Me To Be Myself Inspires Me Teaches Me Shares My Values Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Users' Brand Preference Mexico USA
  5. 5. “Shares my values” – does it translate into greater financial brand value ? The fact that the same findings were replicated in two separate surveys conducted in the USA and Mexico, lead us to conclude that getting consumers to feel that a brand shares their values is definitely not a direct route to a stronger brand franchise. But, what if brands that “share my values” encourage greater brand- related Social Activity – looking for them online, posting about or liking on social media, or recommending to their friends? That could lead in the longer term to these brands having more users, more loyal users and higher financial returns.
  6. 6. Do brands that “share my values” have a higher level of social activity? In both the USA and Mexico “shares my values” does not have a particularly high correlation with brand-related social activity - unlike (in the US) “helps me to express myself”, “excites me” , “frees me to be myself” and “inspires me”. -0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 Appreciates My Business Challenges Me To Think Differently Frees Me To Be Myself Helps Me to Express Myself Is Recommended By People I Care About Makes Me Look Good To Others Responds to My Needs Simplifies my Life Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Level of Brand-related Social Activity Mexico USA
  7. 7. Types of brand-related social activity • “Advocacy” – Posting or blogging positively about the brand, and writing to the company to say good things about the brand. • “Community” – Searching for the brand on line, and recommending it to other people • “Involvement” – activities such as entering a competition, signing up for a newsletter or downloading an app.
  8. 8. Do brands that “share my values” motivate social activity ? In both the USA and Mexico, the correlation of “shares my values” with Community is much below average. -0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 Appreciates My Business Brings back Good Memories Challenges Me To Think Differently Excites Me Frees Me To Be Myself Has My Interests At Heart Helps Me to Express Myself Inspires Me Is Recommended By People I Care About Makes Me Feel Good About Myself Makes Me Look Good To Others Provides A Little Treat For Me Responds to My Needs Shares My Values Simplifies my Life Teaches Me Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Social Activity - "Community" Mexico USA
  9. 9. Do brands that “share my values” motivate social activity ? In both the USA and Mexico , the correlation of “shares my values” with Involvement is no different to the average. -0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 Appreciates My Business Challenges Me To Think Differently Frees Me To Be Myself Helps Me to Express Myself Is Recommended By People I Care About Makes Me Look Good To Others Responds to My Needs Simplifies my Life Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Social Activity - "Involvement" Mexico USA
  10. 10. Do brands that “share my values” motivate social activity ? In the USA, the correlation of “shares my values” with Advocacy is much higher than average – similar to other brand experiences – “challenges me to think differently”, “inspires me” and “excites me”. -0.14 -0.12 -0.10 -0.08 -0.06 -0.04 -0.02 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 Appreciates My Business Brings back Good Memories Challenges Me To Think Differently Excites Me Frees Me To Be Myself Has My Interests At Heart Helps Me to Express Myself Inspires Me Is Recommended By People I Care About Makes Me Feel Good About Myself Makes Me Look Good To Others Provides A Little Treat For Me Responds to My Needs Shares My Values Simplifies my Life Teaches Me Difference (+/-) from Country Average Correlation of Brand Experiences/Attitudes with Social Activity - "Advocacy" Mexico USA
  11. 11. Does “shares my values” motivate brand-related social activity? • In the US, brands that “share my values” are more likely to be to associated only with the type of activity, that we have called “Advocacy”. • A number of other brand experiences and attitudes are also associated with the same level of brand “Advocacy” as “shares my values”. – “ challenges me to think differently” – “excites me” – “inspires me” • Brands that are felt to project more than one of these experiences are associated with a substantially higher level of “Advocacy” than those that project just one of them. “Shares my values” is best considered as part of this broader group of brand experiences that we call “Mentoring”. Together they do create a higher probability of engaging in this one type of brand-related social activity.
  12. 12. “Shares my values” – The last word • It is BlackBar’s, data-supported, view that marketers are chasing moon beams when their goal is to make their brands’ value conform to customer values. – First this is an elusive goal…which class of values?, what specific value? which different values are relevant for my brand ? And held by which different customers segments. – Second and more important is that the returns on “shares my values”(SMV) are significantly overstated. SMV is at best a second tier factor in building consumer consideration and preference. • So we say stop making your brand into a schizophrenic and save money on those shrinks (consultants) that collect the fees.

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