The famous grocery store Whole Foods has recently announced a new nationwide marketing campaign, centering around new commercials that showcase the corporate values of the chain. Whole Foods has never needed to launch a national campaign to boost sales, but lately the chain has struggled.
The grocery store has been nicknamed “Whole Paycheck” because of the high prices. However, the store has a faithful following among those who appreciate the high-quality brands, organic selections and fresh foods. These loyal customers are not enough to offset the disappointing sales that have plagued the store in the recent months. The new ads will showcase the high ethical standards maintained by the chain regarding their values, standards for food suppliers and other important factors. They hope that this new ad campaign will help potential customers understand what sets this chain apart: High-quality foods and high standards.
Why the need for this new approach? As most lower-cost chains, such as Wal-Mart, expand their organic selections for cheaper prices, people are less likely to pay extra at a more expensive store. Whole Foods is now compelled to convince paying customers that what they offer is more valuable and therefore, worth the extra cost.
There are lessons to be learned from Whole Food’s approach to advertising. Instead of promoting lower prices and sales (which they are offering, regionally), the store is attempting to connect with consumers on a whole different level. They are promoting some of their core values as a company: sustainable farming, locally grown produce and more. It is hoped that this will attract more health-conscious consumers, bring in new customers who care about their food source and bolster the fledgling sales numbers.
While it remains to be seen if this approach is successful, it does raise an interesting question: Can a business maintain and grow a customer base simply by promoting their core values as a company? Instead of promising the lowest prices or even pointing out the flaws in a competitor’s product, it is time to acknowledge that consumers are, more than ever, shopping with their conscience. If a business has not already done so, it is vital to have core values identified, established and clearly communicated with a customer base. This works even for businesses that are not related to the food industry.
The benefit of having core values, even as a business, is that it acts as a compass for all of the decisions and actions of the company. The values of the company, either stated or those enforced by management, will be the guiding force of a business. The intrinsic worth of a stated, thoughtful and intentional set of standards or values cannot be overstated. As in the case of Whole Foods aspirations with the new ad campaign, your company values could make the difference between attracting new customers or blending in with the competition.
Core values are important–Whole Foods understands this and is confident that these values will be enough to increase profitability. Like this, we can help you understand how your values translate into how you do business–and even impact your overall success.