What is value(s)-based marketing?

Searching the web for values and marketing brings up two main areas of communication: a communication strategy that appeals to your customers’ values and ethics and a strategy whereby you provide valuable content to potential customers by solving problems for them, posting tutorials for free, etc. In this blog post, we briefly explain the two value marketing approaches and why we take them one step further.


Values-based marketing describes an approach to marketing “strategy that appeals to your customers’ values and ethics.” The goal is to foster a values-based connection with customers that increases trust and goes beyond merely promoting products/services. According to a survey by Edelman (2014), shoppers crave this form of connection— 87% of consumers responded saying they look for meaningful relationships with brands. A great and very well-known example of successful values-based marketing of this approach are Ben & Jerry’s who very openly communicate and market their values of social justice and inclusion (see picture). Many companies embrace their values, just as Seric, one of our clients, who have founded the charity SmartSTEMs that works towards empowering young people towards working in STEM fields.

Ben and Jerry’s Resist campaign sparked a lot of attention and appealed directly to their desired customer base.

Stuart Macdonald, Founder and CEO of SmartSTEMs , advocates not only for young people in STEM fields but also for the use of sensible technologies to connect people.

…and value

Value-based marketing, however, is slightly different: it refers closer to the purpose of the content that is shared which aims to deliver value to potential customers rather than just promising value and waiting until someone pays for it. It’s marketing that’s useful to you from the off. This can come in form of tutorials, eBooks, or blog posts. The internet is bursting with this form of communication. Think of all the free YouTube tutorials or influencer channels that provide you with valuable content without you ever having to buy anything first.

The golden synthesis

When we at Multiplied By talk about value(s)-based marketing, we go one step further. Not only do we incorporate both of the above approaches, but we put them at the centre of everything we do. Sure, promoting your business with its values is good, but what’s even better is promoting socially good organisations. Not organisations that sell something and also have some nice values (after all, who likes a business that promotes good values just as a means to an end?) but organisations that are good and exist mainly to further good values, e.g. social inclusion, mental health awareness, etc. We don’t fancy mindless design for just another pretty logo. We don’t support design or websites that are not inclusive. We don’t support organisations that treat their staff badly. In short, whether you’re a charity, social enterprise or commercial business, if your mission is to make the world a little bit better, we’re right there with you.

It is that same spirit that informs our approach to the second form of values-based marketing. Throwing products at people in a world that throws products at people left right and centre is likely not going to do you much good. Providing content that brings value and actually helps people solve a problem is much more likely to gain traction. Specifically, we follow the They Ask You Answer (TAYA) approach by Marcus Sheridan. The basis of TAYA is simple: answer people’s questions in a knowledgeable and honest fashion. Sounds easy and not very innovative, but can be tricky when it comes to pricing and addressing potential problems with your products/services. We believe that putting your customer’s needs and questions at the heart of everything you do is the best way to not only market your organisation but to make a positive difference every day, step by step.

If you are on the same wavelength and need some creative support, why not get in touch and let us know how we can help you get your values out into the world? (And even though as a business, of course, we need to make money in order to survive, you have our word that we practise what we preach. Values come first, always.)