Top Value Brands—Part 1 of 3

A recent study published by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research (as cited by Straczynksi 2009) listed what they refer to as “top value” brands. Those brands that made the list included those most frequently cited by approximately 20,000 respondents as delivering value as well as those perceived to deliver the most value within their respective product categories. Wal-Mart topped the list, being named most frequently as offering value with 18 percent. Target (10 percent), Sony (nine percent), Kroger (five percent), and Kellogg’s (five percent) also featured prominently as top value brands.

Although published findings confirm that which we already suspected, they beget a series of other questions that deserve exploration. For example, what does value mean and how can that be translated to help other businesses? How did some of these companies come to be perceived as providing value? Does that value translate into success and on what levels? After all, these companies are not necessarily the cheapest vendor within their product categories.

In this three part series, we explore some of these notions in an attempt to uncover part of that which will help other businesses learn to be successful by delivering this notion of “value.” We recognize that there are many components to value as well as many functions within the business that contribute to these companies obtaining perceived value. However, this series will focus exclusively on the role marketing plays establishing “value” and how that can translate into performance success. We welcome your thoughts on how marketing has influenced consumers to label these companies as providing “value,” and how that affects your behavior as a consumer as well as that of their customers.

Where this post frames the conversation, the next posts (to be delivered over the next two weeks) will break down value into more palatable components in regard to the marketing function. The next post will explore how some of these companies have positioned themselves within the mind of their target consumers. The third post will break down how these companies have used design as a tool to communicate that value.