Understanding Customer Behavior: Values

Now that you know a little about your market’s demographics, and have made some speculations about what motivates them, you’ll want to make sure you consider your customer’s potential values before moving forward with your marketing plan.

In a marketing context, understanding your customer’s values means understanding their general preferences and how they define “good” and “bad.” While the values you’ll be most concerned with are obviously the ones that directly relate to your offerings, it’s beneficial to brainstorm broadly since you might uncover something unexpected that you could leverage effectively to promote your business (or will want to be careful to sidestep so as not to alienate your customers).

What Do Your Customers Value?

Here are a few examples of values your customers could have and how your marketing plan could account for them:

Transparency: Having a clear list of services and prices available on your website, noting how you source all the materials that are apart of your offerings, or making sure you and your employees have well defined script for any complexities within your sales process that frequently need explaining.
Simplicity: Offering one-click ordering that’s easy to find on your site or choosing a flat designed single-color logo.
Environmental/Social responsibility: Purchasing green and fair trade products and noting this promenently on your website and marketing collateral (Starbucks is a good example of a company that is trying to brand themselves as socially responsible in a major way these days).
Craftsmanship/Artistry: Highlighting the process and attention to detail that goes into your services. You could do a series of youtube videos that give your customers a behind the scenes look at how your offerings are made.
Time: Set clear expectations about how long it will take to deliver your offerings on your website, or if time is really of the essence for your customers, make the decision to be the fastest around and highlight speed in your tagline.
Individuality: Featuring your custom or small batch offerings.
Partnership: Have pictures of you and your team on your site and testimonials about what it’s like to work with you.

Same Behavior, Different Motivations

One thing that’s important to note is that your customers might have the same motivation to make a purchase, but are informed by different values. For example: Two customers might be interested in buying a Tesla electric car. One customer values the environment and believes an electric car will reflect his heightened environmental consciousness. The other customer values aesthetics and believes the car’s design will highlight his excellent taste. Each customer has a different set of values, but are motivated by a shared need for prestige.

Values are not the driving force to make a choice in the way needs are, but understanding your target market’s values will make it clear for your customers why they should do business with you instead of one of your competitors.

Want More?

In the coming weeks we’ll cover how account for customer attitudes in your marketing plan, how to segment your target market, and how to validate that a market is one that can be tapped into and is actually large enough to support your business. Follow @wpbusinesstips on Twitter or subscribe to our mailing list to get our new posts every Thursday.

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2 Responses to Understanding Customer Behavior: Values

  1. It is nice to learn on how to understand customer’s values.. It is important in building a business.

  2. Hi Harper,

    Terrific article! I love your analogy of the two Tesla customers: different values, same purchase. Value #2 you mentioned — simplicity — is one that I’ve personally seen to be a high priority.

    Cheers,
    Jonathan

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