Across categories—from apparel to automotive, food and beverage to personal care—global competition, new domestic entrants, and digital transformation are making it more difficult for brands to stand out, to differentiate, to win new customers, to maintain loyalty, and to achieve word of mouth buzz. 

The metaphorical product shelf is more crowded than ever. 

At the same time, consumer needs and purchase criteria are evolving rapidly. Product-level attributes, such as price, quality and reliability, have become table stakes; they are necessary but not sufficient to win today’s consumers.

Indeed, our research shows that, now more than ever, consumers are looking for a different kind of value when choosing a brand or product.

Consumer Expectations

Consumers are looking for a brand that shares their values; they’re scrutinizing how those commitments are backed by action—both internally and externally; and they feel the strongest affinity to the brands that proactively engage them around their shared values. 

To understand and appeal to consumers on these criteria—to demonstrate alignment and develop affinity in terms of values and commitments to the most pressing societal issues—requires a different approach.

  1. Know Your Brand Values: A honest assessment of what your brand stands for and how it has advanced those goals helps ensure your message is consistent and authentic.
  2. Find Those Who Share Your Values: Network analysis of social media conversations reveals distinct, interest- and issue-based communities who will stand with your brand.
  3. Develop Tailored Approaches: Behavioral data guides us to develop plans and playbooks that outline where, when and how your brand can reach, engage and activate each of these distinct communities—online, in real life, and at the intersection of both.
  4. Evaluate, Optimize and Stand Taller: Highly-tailored, consumer-centric expressions of your corporate brand can drive measurable results: converting new customers, extending existing customer loyalty, and gaining word of mouth promotion. 

By uncovering and then strengthening authentic connection to people and society, this proven approach helps brands to magnify their core values and to develop a shared agenda with people who actively participate in those issues—thereby igniting progress in both individual lives and a world that needs it.

Vieregge, Dale
Dale Vieregge

Dale Vieregge is a senior director of digital strategy in APCO’s Washington office Read More