Consumers and companies like to do business with brands whose values align with theirs. These consumers don’t buy products and services based only on quality and price, but they consider the impact of their buying decisions on the environment and on society.
Why Values Matter
Brand values are beliefs and principles that govern a company’s operational behavior and its interactions with customers. Values can make a company unique and help it stand out from the competition.
Traditionally important values like honesty, openness, good service, and respect still matter. Increasingly though, socially conscious consumers also expect brands to operate by values that respect global environmental sustainability, promote workforce diversification and accessibility, welcome inclusion, and even take stances on hot-button social issues.
Last year, Google commissioned research by Harris Poll which found that 82% of shoppers like to do business with a brand that shares their values. A full 75% said they had stopped dealing with a brand because of conflicting values. More than half of respondents — 60% — are concerned about global supply chain abuses, and 66% said they seek eco-friendly brands and products.
DocOrigin Can Help
Most companies and organizations recognize the need for social responsibility and are putting proactive policies in place to address it. While that is undoubtedly a very good development, it presents challenges for communicating how to put those efforts into action.
The normal routes include social media, advertising, and web pages that outline a company’s positions and commitments. This general spray-and-pray approach can work, but it doesn’t always target clients with precision.
A more optimal option is to use white space on the transactional documents and statements that are already being mailed to an established client base.
Using bills, invoices, or statements for this purpose isn’t difficult and has several advantages. A document-generating software system like DocOrigin has customizable templates so brands can choose where to insert marketing messages on the page and create high-engagement communication vehicles driven by customer profiles.
Our versatile software also automates statement generation, either in printed form, as emails, or HTML formats that document recipients can view with any browser. An array of professionally designed templates ensures the latest designs produce eye-catching and effective pieces.
Companies produce transactional documents each month or quarter, creating non-intrusive consistent communications. Values-based messages don’t add to the printing and mailing costs. Since customers open and read each document almost 100% of the time, it’s a good way to stretch marketing dollars. In addition, companies can create messages to fit in the space left over after monthly items are listed. They can tailor the messages to specific groups or even specific individuals for maximum impact.
Values communication requires a deft touch. The Google poll also found that 72% of respondents believe companies and brands overstate their sustainability efforts. It’s not hard to imagine the same skepticism applies to other values-driven goals.
A statement or an invoice is a chance to speak directly to clients. Messages should be engaging but honest and authentic. Empty words will not serve any brand well.
Try to avoid too much self-promotion and focus on actions and progress related to a particular value-driven goal, especially at the local level. Communicate local achievements and successes and keep customers up to date. Or target particular groups that share the same concern for global sustainability, for example.
Companies can leverage white spaces on invoices, purchase orders, bills, statements, and other transactional documents to communicate with customers in a consistent and authentic form. It is a perfect way to reach customers with timely messages that resonate with their value systems.