In a fast-changing world, customers are looking for companies that share their values. Choosing which values to communicate is therefore an ...

Why companies need to take a stand

In a fast-changing world, customers are looking for companies that share their values. Choosing which values to communicate is therefore an important part of your content marketing strategy. Which core values does your company have, and how are they being reflected in your marketing?  

Tom Asacker, the author of The Business of Belief, claims that markets are conversations, governed by people’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Companies must thus take a stand and show the world what they believe in.

Smart businesses chose their core values carefully and consider how to communicate these beliefs through their marketing. Here are a few examples of companies that have been successful in this area.

Challenge the status quo

Have you seen Apple’s Get a Mac campaign that lasted between 2006 and 2009? In the video the PC nerd John Hodgman is compared to the creative ”Mac type” Justin Long. The campaign highlighted the differences between the two users as a way to point out the distinction between the products.

Apple wanted to attract creative people who also wanted to challenge the status quo. The strategy consisted in choosing which clients to attract (and which to repel), and then stand up for them. The iconic campaigns ‘Crazy Ones’ and ‘1984’ are further examples of how Apple communicated their brand’s ‘why’.

Stand up for the environment

The clothing company Patagonia has managed to successfully communicate its core values by acting transparently and telling stories from the real world. They see themselves as ‘the activist company’.

The founder, climber Yvon Chouinard, describes in his book Let My People Go Surfing the guiding principles and core values which he used to build his business. His account communicates Patagonia’s core values in a very convincing way.

Since 1985, they have donated 1 per cent of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Their clear stance on the environment has given them loyal customers from all over the world.

Stand up for the many people

The IKEA concept starts with the idea of providing a range of home furnishing products that are affordable to the many people, not just the few. Its philosophy exists in every part of the company and reflects Scandinavian values.

For this concept to work in practice, customers need to fulfill their part. This belief in co-operation is one of the many reasons why IKEA has become so successful. It’s through co-operating with the customer that the company has managed to cut down costs and provide furniture ’for the many people’.    

Which are your core values?

Core values help customers and companies find each other. Do you believe in the same things? Do you share a similar worldview? Remember: the core values you reflect in your marketing will attract certain kinds of customers and employees. What does your marketing say about your core values?

If you want to learn more about using core values in your marketing, download our guide to strategic content marketing.