Understanding Audience Values and How They Impact Digital Strategyby Kari Schroeder on July 7, 2022Advertising
Why Is It Important?
It builds trust. Simple as that. If a customer or potential customer knows the values, they will shop or support a brand. By reflecting values and instilling trust through inclusivity and connection, a brand can portray itself to consumers as a brand built just for them.
Important Factors To Consider
These values have started to drive consumer engagement, brand loyalty, and expectations. Gen Z and Millennials tend to gravitate toward values of knowledge and curiosity. Gen X Boomers are drawn to family, honesty, authenticity, relationships, and working hard. With these values in mind, 67% of Gen Z has reported choosing to support or not support a brand based on its values if they did not align with their own. This infographic shows how Gen Z relates to brands and how they look at brands differently
Is taking a social or political stand important?
Only 1/3 of brands think it strengthens their consumer relationship. That being said, 80% consumers think that brands should be more involved in solving societal problems, making it more important that brands may think. One example of a brand seeing success promoting their values is Nike and the brand’s support of Colin Kaepernick. While some people were upset and talking of boycotting the brand the majority response was positive and strengthened Nike’s brand reputation as well as well as their overall financial success.
Knowing how your target audience feels and thinks is important and allows brands to be able to tailor messaging and imagery in a way that resonates best.
With GenZ becoming a more prominent and relevant online presence, understanding their feelings and wants is becoming more important. Millennials and Gen X know what they want and brands have been catering to those audiences for years, and understand what they like. But with Gen Z getting older, more opinionated, and becoming a bigger presence online it’s a new audience to cater to and prioritize.
In the past, many brands have steered clear of making their values or beliefs known through their advertising for fear of losing or not acquiring new customers. However, in today’s society, evidence shows that it is more important than ever to clearly express company values, beliefs, involvement in societal issues, etc. Playing it safe has become the more damaging option in recent years.
With younger generations especially, indicating their proclivity to brand support being directly related to these values is driving an added importance to focus on them. The younger generations are what is our future and shaping strategies of brands worldwide. If brands fail to keep up or chose to take the safe route, it will eventually become detrimental.
According to eMarketer, “By 2023, digital is expected to comprise nearly two-thirds of ad spend.” So, while it is crucial to establish shared meaning and purpose with your customers, it’s especially important to do so in your digital channels.”
Make it a priority to create digital content that promotes diversity, inclusion, prominent social issues, and family/relationships, (or any combination of these) with and honest and authentic messaging.
Knowing all of this, it becomes imperative for brands to consider their audiences, which generational segment most of their audiences come from, and what they are most drawn to. Following that, it is best to determine how brand values play into those audiences and what they care about.
As some values overlap between generations, it’s possible and encouraged to create a strategy that appeals to multiple with one message or concept. This will help with message alignment across all digital ads, website, and other marketing efforts to ensure the same values are being portrayed across all aspects of the brand.