Jared Hogan

The Value in Values: How Brand Loyalty is Changing

In 2024, we know consumers are demanding more from the brands they love than ever before. Not just in the products and services offered, or price points amid inflationary concerns, but in their willingness to take a firm stance on values-based issues — and to stick with it. 

According to results from a recently released survey by Ipsos, an overwhelming 7 out of 10 consumers reported choosing brands that specifically reflect their personal beliefs. More surprisingly, a large share of respondents also reported walking away from brands because the company’s stance (or lack thereof) on important issues didn’t align with them personally. 

Here are a few key findings from the survey, as reported by marketingcharts:

  • Nearly one-quarter (23%) said they had stopped using products or services from a company due to its stance on a particular issue.
  • About one-fifth (21%) had stopped using a company’s products or services because of the company’s political leanings.
  • Almost half (48%) said that if a corporation takes a stand on an issue, it should stick by its decision, even if it makes some consumers angry.

Clearly, consumers are willing to change their behavior based on the issues that matter to them, like social and racial justice, sustainability, or political affiliations. But what will it take for brands to maintain their loyalty given these higher standards of cultural participation?

Herein lies an opportunity for companies and organizations of all sizes to plant their feet squarely in the values that already matter most to their core identities, then own those positions to create deeper loyalty and identification for their customers.

So, what does all of this mean for my brand or organization?


Choose Your Battles Wisely

Simply put, read the room. Then read it again. When deciding whether or not to weigh in on hot-button issues, consider if your brand has a particular stake in the subject matter or a relevant perspective to add to the conversation. If not, it’s okay to sit out on some of those too-hot-to-touch topics.

Stick to Your Guns

Are you willing to stick to your stance once you’ve shared it with the world? Waffling will get you nowhere with the sentiment-savvy shopper who wants to know you’re on their side of things. That’s why it’s important to choose your given position thoughtfully beforehand, so you can demonstrate follow-through when and where it matters most.

For proof, we need look no further than last year’s Bud Light marketing fiasco which led to a $1.4 billion decline in annual sales and the resignation of AB-InBev’s CMO. Why? Because they picked a position but refused to stick with it, instead backing out of the conversation altogether. Yikes.

Be Prepared for Pushback

No matter how well-intentioned, some stances on subjective topics will be met with critique. But once you’ve committed, it’s important to own the outcome. How will you respond if your position is questioned? Knowing how to respond beforehand will help you ensure your position can be tied back to your values and larger purpose.

The times they are a-changing. Is your brand ready?

At Geile/Leon, we’ve been helping brands and organizations navigate evolving consumer sentiments for 35 years and counting.  Helping companies develop and crystalize their mission, vision, and values is all part of our brand process.  Once those are in place, they can be used to help identify the causes and stances that align with a company’s core mission and values.  Want an expert ally by your side who can help you live out your brand’s true values? We’re just a call or click away.