Finding True Values-Driven Brands To Spend Your $$$ On This Holiday Season

Times are changing. It’s not enough to have a quality product anymore. Thanks to social media and consumer-facing marketing, consumers have started to care about more than what is landing in their shopping cart. We want to know the brands we’re giving our hard-earned dollars to. We want to feel connected in just a tiny way, because we admire what they represent. I actually talk about this a lot in my podcast, because as business owners, the surest way to success is not just quality products/service, but a focus on core values. Once we connect with a brand for its values, we’re much more likely to become a lifelong customer. Sure, you can buy something cheap on Amazon once, but was there any sense of ethos with it?


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We had a very sunny and special weekend. Despite it being winter here, it felt like the middle of June in our hearts.⠀ ⠀ When a loyal customer returns and makes an order despite the fact that you don’t have sales for Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, or on whatever hundredth shopping day it is in the sea of shopping days, it’s a dream for every brand. This weekend was a good opportunity to check in on our relationships with our customers. We wanted to know, had we provided enough memorable experiences and sparked enough joy to stand out on a weekend where everything is based on flash sales and immediate gratification?⠀ ⠀ And we did it! We received more orders this last weekend than in the weekends before. We feel relief and joy — and not just because of the numbers, the money. We’re gratified because YOU, our customers, chose our brand and that means we are loyal to one another. Because of you, we know we’re on the right track as we strive to run a business that’s based on with our values and our ethics. Thank you!⠀

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Why it’s important

These days, anyone can open a business. Technology has made it pretty simple. But because of that, there’s a lot more noise than there used to be. Chances are, if you’re looking for something, you could throw a rock and hit 10 other businesses offering the exact same thing at a similar price point. Originality is a coveted quality, but it’s also becoming rarer.

We tend to spend more money during the holiday season than any other time of the year. It’s just a given. There are gifts to buy, outfits to purchase, décor to snag. But you have a choice where you buy it. When you take the time to learn more about the brand behind the product, you learn about the heart. Why did they start this business? What does it mean to them? Who are they? Wouldn’t you feel better knowing the gift you’re purchasing is supporting a small family rather than a big corporation? A lot of the best products actually come from a personal experience or life-changing event that fueled the start of the business. And that means there’s heart, and there’s passion. The people who run their businesses with forward-facing values are committed and invested to providing the best possible product or service because it means something to them. It isn’t just another drop in the bucket. It’s important to seek out these businesses and find the ones that align with your values. You’ll feel better about your purchases, and likely end up with a higher-quality product that supports someone’s dreams.

How to find them

This is the beauty of social media. Brands utilize platforms like Instagram to share their heart and the purpose behind their brand. An example I like to give is Girlfriend, which makes activewear out of recycled materials. If you follow the company on social, there’s no question about what it stands for. Its values are all about caring for Mother Earth and celebrating women. You could buy workout leggings almost anywhere, but when you find a brand that you connect with based on values, you’re going to feel better about your purchase.

We have an unprecedented access to information. This is empowering to us as consumers! It’s up to us, as these consumers who care about the values of the brands we’re buying from to utilize online content and find that visibility into these companies looking to secure our purchases. Here’s the thing to note though, we have to also expect their values to be reflected across business functions, not just in ad copy. They need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. 

It’s not about just sorting “Low to High” when shopping. This season, we encourage you to shop intentionally and really do your research. Follow brands on social media for awhile before you make a purchase. Subscribe to their newsletters and read the content they share. You’ll be able to find out pretty quickly if there’s a real heart you connect with behind the brand, or if it’s just another mass manufacturer trying to make a sale.

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram