Why Values Should Drive Purchasing Decisions
The phrase “Money talks” doesn’t mean what it used to. It used to be that wealth would give power and influence to those who had it. But today’s generation of consumers is shedding new light on the phrase — buying decisions are now being based on shared values, and that’s a message that companies need to hear.
Corporate Values are the New Competitive Advantage
Since the start of social media, brands have worked hard to tear down corporate barriers to make them appear more “human.” As it turns out, consumers are listening.
Consumers use social media to get to know more about a brand, not just in terms of the products they sell, but also the image they sell. Sprout Social research found that 78% of people want brands to play a role in connecting with people on social media. What’s more, nearly 6 in 10 say they buy more from a brand they feel connected to and nearly 8 in 10 will buy from that
brand over a competitor.
Part of creating these connections means promoting the values that brands believe in and live by. These values are so much more than a list of words on a webpage, written once and never to be updated again. Rather, they should be the same values that guide a brand’s decisions, fuel its operations, and direct its hiring to ensure all employees align with those same values.
Values matter more than you might realize, and their roles are gaining importance. A SurveyMonkey study earlier this year found that 46% of respondents care more about social values than they did last year. What’s more, 78% of consumers made at least one purchasing decision last year based on a company’s values. More than 5 in 10 consumers say that they’re more likely to buy from a company that shares their values, compared to just 4% of respondents who say sharing values isn’t important at all.
That’s quite a difference, one that clearly impacts a company’s bottom line and shows the true power of the consumer.
Values that Matter Most to Consumers
In today’s business climate, it’s no longer a matter of asking “Do company values matter?” but rather “Which values matter most to my customers?” The answer, of course, will vary from organization to organization. But as “money talks,” consumers have brought attention to a few common themes based on their buying decisions:
Sustainability — the conscious, ongoing effort to maintain the planet’s resources and leave little impact on the environment — continues to be a key driver in consumer decision making. Customers expect the companies they do business with to be good stewards of the earth and act responsibly when developing new products and getting rid of waste.
A Deloitte study found that 32% of consumers are proactively adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, so it makes sense that they expect brands to do the same. IBM also found that 6 in 10 consumers were willing to change their shopping habits if it meant reducing their environmental impact. In fact, they’re even willing to pay more for it.
Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) continue to shape consumer decisions based on sharedvalues. The aforementioned SurveyMonkey study found that 68% of respondents rated racial equality as the third-most important value, followed closely by gender equality and LGBTIQ equity.
Last year brought a heated election cycle with everything from vaccines to labor shortages becoming politicized. Consumer buying decisions saw their fair share of political stances too. About 62% of respondents from the 2020 Consumer Culture Report stated the importance of buying from a company that shared their political beliefs.
While animal rights have not been a specific target in recent years, the rise of veganism and “clean living” products demonstrate that animal values still matter to consumers. In fact, animal focused companies like the ASPCA create and maintain lists of companies that connect consumers with companies and brands that have achieved certain certifications or standards, like the Animal
Making Value-Driven Buying Decisions
It’s not just that nearly two-thirds of consumers are buying from brands that share their values. It’s also that more consumers are ditching companies that don’t share those values. To make it in today’s competitive landscape, businesses must proactively share and live up to their values — doing one
without the other simply isn’t enough.
At HiTouch Business Services, we’ve built corporate social responsibility into our culture. We leave our communities and business partners better than we found them by offering transparency, sustainable solutions, and the utmost care and concern when it comes to helping our clients support
We invite you to explore our corporate social responsibility values and how we’re living them in every project.