Gartner Eyes Misalignment of Brand Actions and Values
Only 19 percent of marketing leaders believe their actions, positioning, and messaging are fully aligned with their companies' actual values, Gartner noted in its Gartner Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019 report. This disconnect between company values and actions comes as 70 percent of consumers say they distrust marketers, the research firm also reported.
"With consumer skepticism at an all-time high and disconnects between brand promises and realities triggering negative associations, marketing leaders cannot afford to have their brand values out of step with their actions," said Chris Ross, vice president analyst at Gartner.
Figure 1: Alignment of Brand’s Actions, Positioning and Messaging With Brand Values
But that is exactly what is happening, with most companies only partially aligned with their values, meaning that their brand actions and messaging are somewhat consistent with their values, but not fully aligned.
“This gap between brand values and brand action is exactly where consumer trust can be broken and where brands risk falling into the chasm of consumer skepticism," Ross said.
To overcome this challenge, Gartner recommends marketing leaders take the following actions:
- Gain clarity on the current state of alignment between brand values and actions. To do this, marketing leaders will need to pull in numerous data sources or establish new channels of insight. However, an intimate understanding of the current state of alignment is vital to inform how to shape and prioritize initiatives to address the issues.
- Ensure brand values accurately reflect the desires and culture of the organization. This might mean eliminating values that no longer serve the organization or do not reflect the realities or aspirations of the company. Prioritize the remaining values, using them as a touchstone for future brand activities. Marketing leaders should have a keen understanding of the most important customer values and use those to create shared values between the company and the customer.