The Value Of Brand Values: How Firms Proclaim Them In Emails

Inboxes will soon be filled with values-driven email campaigns -- particularly on sustainability, judging by interest in the subject on the part of marketers, the email vendor Mailjet reports.

Mailjet sent emails with various subject lines, to 75,000 subscribers in the U.S. and UK. 

Of those in the U.S. and UK, 29% opened emails on how to leverage email to proclaim sustainability as a core brand value.

“Sustainability has become one of the most demanded brand values by consumers, and clearly more and more brands concerned about their environmental impact are looking at how to put this at the forefront of both their actions and branding initiatives,” states Michyl Culos, head of marketing communications at Mailjet. 

In addition, 27% opened emails with content on how to celebrate inclusivity through email campaigns — a pertinent topic given the recent PRIDE celebrations.   

It’s not clear whether this is serious interest by brands or an insincere desire to jump onto this growing trend. But MailJet reports that several brands are expressing their values through email.



Take the shoe brand TOMS. The company includes its One for One motto in every email, promising: “With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need,” according to a recent post by Mailjet’s Beatriz Redondo Tejedor.

In addition, TOMS expresses its values upfront in its welcome emails. “WELCOMETO OUR MOvEMENT!,” proclaims one such email.

For TOMS, “it’s all about positioning itself as a ‘movement’ and a ‘family’, rather than a faceless corporation,” Redondo Tejedor writes. 

The post continues: “After signing up, the user can customize their relationship with the brand, choosing which stories they’d like to hear from the get-go.”

Then there’s Lush, which says in an email that its values “are at the core of everything we do. From ethically sourced ingredients to fresh, vegetarian cosmetics made by hand, you’ll find each value in everything we create.”

“Lush dedicates an entire email to talk about what they stand for,” Redondo Tejedor writes. “Its powerful copy (‘Our values are in our products’) makes it clear that sustainability is not just a box to tick, but something Lush takes very seriously.” 

Don’t forget Patagonia, the granddaddy of values-based brands. The company has an email campaign for its Micro Pu Hoody, emphasizing its ongoing R&D. 

Here’s one caveat. Culos warns that “If a brand is seen as not actually caring about a value and just surfing it, consumers will take notice.”

Culos adds, “For this reason, it’s key for brands to use tools with safeguards in place so that communications around brand values (among other subjects) can only be sent once approved by the appropriate person internally.”

Culos is right. Consumers, especially value-driven millennials, can spot cynicism a mile away. Don’t come off like the salesman in Glengarry Glen Ross, who when reminded by a prospect of a law, claims that he helped write that law. 

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