A new study from Initiative, the Interpublic Group media shop, has found that consumers connect value/price to brands in such a fundamental way now that marketers should no longer use the measure as a promotional tactic but rather as part of a brand’s longer-term strategy.
Initiative worked with Bold Research to survey 800 consumers about their views on brand value. “The new normal of consumers seeking value is at the heart of the brand experience and is truly never going away,” the study concludes.
According to Sarah Power, executive vice president insight and strategy at Initiative, the study will help refine client media plans going forward. “People tend to think of some channels as promotional like coupons or radio and others like TV as a branding channel. We’ve learned that people shouldn’t think about them discretely. I think you’ll see more hybrid approaches going forward.”
The research showed that online video is a strong channel across the board for conveying value messages. For Millennials, brand-sponsored apps and Facebook brand pages were found to be effective. Baby Boomers tend to see value in terms of brand performance and often seek out articles, blogs and online video for information about brand value.
And value is often defined differently by various consumer groups, according to the study. For example, Millennials seek the “cool factor” when searching for value, while more skeptical Gen Xers look for consistent performance. Given those differing perceptions, “marketers need to pay close attention to their target and choose value messaging that makes sense,” per the study.
According to the research, Amazon was the favorite brand among consumers. This is not surprising in some ways, given the online retailer’s relentless focus on delivering value and customer satisfaction. The company bested contenders such as Target, McDonald’s and Apple.
According to Power, clients often ask the agency for advice about shaping value strategy. And while price remains important, “the context is you have to perform and have a great product at a great value no matter what,” she said. Consumers, she added, “want it all. And they believe they can have it.”