What does it mean to “buy on belief”?

Marketing should never get stagnant. It’s safe to say, if you’re not changing your strategies or evaluating new trends, your marketing efforts may never achieve their full potential. In order to keep your brand relevant and in front of the right audience, it’s essential to consistently review what’s popular and decide how to convey these messages to your audience. Buying on belief is not a new term or buzzword, however a recent study conducted by Edelman suggests it’s becoming more of a priority for consumers. According to the 2018 survey, 64 percent of consumers describe themselves to be belief-driven buyers and will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue, up 13 points from 2017. Does this mean your brand needs to blast their political views on their channels? Not exactly, but it does mean that your audience wants to buy on the belief of a greater purpose, and if the greater purpose isn’t something the consumer agrees in, they’ll make their purchase elsewhere. A great example is looking at Dawn’s partnership with wildlife rescuers. Through this partnership, the consumer can connect with the product, and recognize it’s greater good, thus making a purchase. Here are some of our tips for engaging and marketing with a purpose-driving approach:

Make your stance clear

We understand that it can be difficult to take a stance as an organization. There is always the risk of losing loyal audiences, but consumers really want to see the values and positions of important issues when they are about to make a purchase. In fact, 60 percent of consumers want brands to take a stand on important issues. Remember Patagonia’s stance after President Trump gave the order to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah? Patagonia launched “The President Stole Your Land” campaign informing web traffickers to donate to the cause and take action. Given Patagonia’s proven track record of grassroots environmental efforts and generous donations, this campaign was on brand and provided a stance on an important issue. Another company that took a clear position was REI and their Black Friday stance. Beginning in 2015, the outdoor retailer announced it would be closed the day after Thanksgiving and will pay its 12,000 employees as though it were a regular workday. For a retailer to take a stand on such a successful sale holiday was huge, but through the hashtag #OptOutside and earned media, it evened out. The message is clear to their core values – be outside.

Take matters into your own hands

Nearly half (46 percent) of all consumers believe that brands have better ideas for solving our country’s problems than government. Think of the plastic straw ban. You could say the phenomenon began after a viral video of a straw lodged in a sea turtle’s nose began circulating the internet in 2015. The video garnered more than 37.8 million views on YouTube. From this, straw companies and retail brands alike began to speak out and market their own products to the environmentally conscious audience. With hundreds of companies and brands now banning plastic straws or creating alternatives, they are able to market their product by taking a stand because it resonates with their target audience.

Public relations reigns

In a different survey, Edelman found that 45 percent of brand communication delivered on earned media was more successful in engaging consumers’ attention than paid advertising and owned media. This solidifies the notion that public relation efforts pay off, and they are often more trusted than advertising because of its natural storytelling and trusting element. Being authentic in public relations will be the determining factor in the way consumers view brands. In 2019 and beyond, consumers want a relationship with companies on a more profound level than simply transactional. Brands that don’t approach themselves apart will be left behind in the eyes of consumers.

Final thoughts

As the marketing industry continues to evolve, successful brands will adapt their strategies to accommodate an ever-changing audience. How will your brand take a stand? Will it be through a new campaign, social media initiatives or volunteer-led programs? No matter what you decide to do, Matchbook can help through our purpose-driven marketing philosophy. From web design, social media content, digital advertising, public relations or graphic design – we’re on your team as you navigate how to connect with consumers buying on belief. It’s Matchbook’s core mission to further impactful change, so we’re experts on buying on belief.