The Edelman Los Angeles office had the great fortune of hosting the first official preview event for the brandshare™ study on Thursday, September 19. In a true meeting of marketing minds, many of our LA-based clients attended to learn more about how “it pays to share” as a brand, and what values truly resonate with consumers.
In the six dimensions of sharing described in the brandshare study, the tenet of Shared Values especially made the group take pause. At the core of Shared Values is the idea that brands’ business practices must align with people’s values and their beliefs about how people and brands can help the world together.
Sounds simple enough. But, in practice, this is one of the most important and more highly demanded – almost expected – kinds of sharing that many brands have yet to master.
According to the brandshare study, 92 percent of people want to do business with companies that share their beliefs. This means that people don’t just “like” a brand on Facebook and call it a day. Instead, they are willing take the time to engage with a brand that that shares their values, which directly translates into purchase, use and intent to recommend. This is the truest embodiment of how it pays to share.
But beyond adding to the bottom line, we learned that brands must be cognizant of their transparency and actually walk the walk. It’s no longer enough to write a check to a philanthropy and say, “We did it!” We must work with brands to help them live their values every day.
A perfect example is the Taco Bell (disclosure: client) Foundation for Teens, who joined us at the preview event. They recently announced their creation of a scholarship program that will bring educational resources to their employees by funding high school completion and career certificates to support the educational and professional development of their Team Members.
Their belief in the power of teens is something that is embedded within the heart of who they are as a brand. And because of their longstanding demonstration of commitment to this audience, who is at the core of their brand, they connect with people in a deeper and more significant way.
Let’s make giving back that much more meaningful. Transparency. Collaboration. Beliefs. These aren’t just buzz words. They are shared values to live by that will elevate brands from a product to an embraced essential.
So, what values do you share?
James Williams is the general manager of the Los Angeles office.