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Winning customers with value: How to stand out beyond price cuts

8451 SME Profile Headshots 385 X 400 Becky Elredge 2 X 2 X
By: Becky Eldredge, VP, Commercial Loyalty
Subject Matter Expert
Shutterstock 1426361819 M 1 Blog

Customers are looking for opportunities to stretch their budgets. Pinched by high prices, getting a “good value” for their money is important when it comes to selecting a brand over competitors. But for most customers, price is not the only factor that determines value. As a result, it’s important for brands to understand the other factors that determine value from the customer’s perspective. Here’s how.

Understand what value really means

Value isn’t just about the price tag—it’s also about product quality and the shopping experience. When these components meet customer expectations, it builds a feeling of trust that’s an important part of the value equation.

Recent research from 84.51° found that some of the most important factors that influence brand selection have nothing to do with price, and that value and trust are intertwined. As shown in the chart below, when asked what informs their decision on which grocery and household item brands to buy, respondents said important factors include that it’s “a brand I trust,” it’s “relevant to me” and it “delivers on its promises.”

Loyalty WP Chart Value And Trust Blog

Source: 84.51° Loyalty Insights Study February 2023

Identify what matters to your customers

Meeting customer expectations requires first understanding whether your current products are satisfying customers’ needs. In-depth consumer research provides data insights that help brands understand which features of a product or service are most important to consumers, and what the optimal combination of features for a product or service should be.

Once brands understand what customers want from their product, they can simulate scenarios to understand the impact of different attribute perceptions. Measuring the value that customers put on features and simulating real-world tradeoff decision making enables brands to optimize their products and services to resonate best among key audiences.

Build brand trust

To fortify trust in their brand value, brands can highlight the relevant features and benefits that meet customer expectations and needs. This might include focusing on ingredients (e.g., locally sourced, organic, health benefits) to make customers feel good about their purchases; showing how products save time or can feed a family of four (think one-pot meals with easy cleanup) or highlighting the cost advantages of a restaurant-quality meal made at home — no tipping needed!

Customers are also looking for credible information about the brands they buy — especially in the areas of health, wellness and sustainability. This customer expectation gives brands the opportunity to share more information about their corporate priorities, initiatives and sourcing to show they care about creating products that will help shoppers build better lives. All of these tactics build trust and convey value that goes beyond discounts by creating an affinity for the brand among shoppers. While they want to get the most for their money, shoppers also look to brands to help them live out their own individual values and reach their personal goals.

Team up with retailers to build trust

Because value moves beyond the price tag to quality and experience, it’s crucial to provide customers with a positive shopping journey. Factors that contribute to that experience include ease of purchase and availability of information.

While customers want choices, offering a multitude of varieties, sizes, selections and alternatives can create complexity that leads to uncertainty. People want options, but they don’t want to struggle with making a choice. Brands can work together with retail partners to define, analyze and deploy the right strategy and execution tactics to take the complexity out of choosing.

The value connection

Communicating value to customers in an inflationary environment requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates many factors beyond price. If trust in a brand is high, the perceived brand value increases. But the opposite is also true — brands with zero trust have zero value to customers. Understanding the connection between value and trust enables brands to build more valuable experiences that satisfy customer needs to build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Get more shopper loyalty insights

As economic uncertainties and product disruptions continue, customer loyalty attitudes and behaviors will shift alongside them. To learn more about what brands can do to monitor, earn and keep customer loyalty in this environment, read our new white paper: The loyalty shift decoded: Key insights for winning shopper devotion in an uncertain economy.


8451 SME Profile Headshots 385 X 400 Becky Elredge 2 X 2 X
Becky Eldredge, VP, Commercial Loyalty
Subject Matter Expert
As VP of Commercial Loyalty, Becky Eldredge is responsible for driving accelerated growth for Kroger's industry-leading commercial loyalty portfolio. Since joining 84.51°, formerly dunnhumbyUSA, in 2004, Becky has ...learn more

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