Cultural value – mastering the new marketing currency

03 Aug 2017|Added Value

Some of today’s fastest growing brands have embraced marketing’s most important emerging currency – cultural value.

At a time when people care less about brands, Lush (environment), Airbnb (community) and Under Armour (empowerment) have championed something people DO care about.

These brands – and others like them – moved beyond traditional advertising to connect with consumers on a deeper level, embracing an aspect of wider culture reflecting the concerns and desires of their audience.

In other words, they created cultural value.

Kantar Added Value discussed this changing landscape with more than 100 key contacts, and more than 80% of them identified ‘connecting with culture’ as a key to future growth.

It is becoming harder and harder for brands to differentiate themselves in an ever more crowded marketplace. At the same time – in an era of so-called ‘peak stuff’ – people have begun to define themselves not by what they buy, but what they think and how they live.

Cultural value taps directly into this dual trend.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, then it helps if you stand up for something you believe in, championing issues and causes that resonate with your audience and chime with your own brand values.

Cosmetics retailer Lush is a prime example, creating cultural value by embracing ethical production and packaging and making the fight against animal testing the most readily identifiable aspect of its brand.

By championing the concerns of its audience, it more than doubled its sales in five years.

In the face of ever increasing competition, brands must look to be meaningful, relevant, and authentic. Put another way, just a little bit more human.

The brand by itself is not enough anymore, no matter how good the creative. A more profound connection is required, in which brands shift from focusing on a share of the market to securing a ‘share of life’.

By reflecting the interests of their audience, and by making a difference to their lives and the world around them, brands create a deeper bond than is ever likely to be attained by traditional advertising.

Don’t just sell to your audience, connect with them – by creating cultural value.

Download the Cultural Value report here.

Written by Izzy Pugh, Global Lead, Helen Firth, Senior Director Kantar Added Value.

Image credits: Kantar Added Value.

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