Being successful in business has always required a deep understanding of the marketplace and the factors that drive consumers to make purchasing decisions. These days, however, with the pervasiveness of smartphones and social media, combined with societal upheaval resulting from the pandemic and other major crises’, taking the pulse of buyers is not only trickier than ever, it’s also more vital than ever.
One facet that is becoming increasingly more important for consumers when making purchasing decisions is a company’s core values. While quality and price are certainly eternal benchmarks in choosing a product or service, they are not the be-all and end-all in determining a buying decision. In fact, more and more consumers are looking to purchase from companies whose values align with their own.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Bauer Leadership Center at Washington University in St. Louis and Vrity, a brand measurement company specializing in values, today’s consumers are more attuned to brands’ values and are even willing to pay a premium to support companies that share their values.
While some Americans have always taken a brand’s values into consideration, the tumultuous shakeout caused by the pandemic seems to have brought this intangible to the fore, according to Jesse Wolfersberger, CEO and co-founder of Vrity.
“2020 was an inflection point for many Americans,” Wolfersberger said. “Some percentage always cared about brand values, but now we’ve crossed a threshold where most people care and are willing to make purchase decisions based on values. It’s the new differentiator for brands and the genie is never going back into the bottle.”
One value that has been a mainstay for many Americans even before the pandemic is the respect and admiration for the men and women who have served in the country’s armed forces. Consumers often want to give back to veterans but don’t always have know-how.
Support for organizations and brands that make it a priority to employ veterans is one way for people to give thanks and give back to those who served and protected their country.
A good example of a business that has consistently prioritized hiring veterans is Ameripro Roofing The Downers Grove, Illinois-based company is the largest residential roofer in the country and is ranked ninth largest roofing company in the nation, according to Roofing Contractors Magazine. Since its inception in 2000, Ameripro Roofing has successfully completed 150,000 projects. The family-owned business has grown from one office to now having 19 offices in 12 states, employing over 500 people, many of them military veterans.
For AmeriPro, giving back to the veteran community is a huge focus of the company and not just on a customer level. The company has a strong commitment to recruiting and hiring veterans. Many veterans return from conflict zones and have a difficult time integrating back into regular society. Regular and meaningful employment is often a life-saving godsend to veterans. The company and customers benefit as well, as vets bring with them a valuable skill set that includes a strong work ethic, leadership ability, resilience, and problem-solving skills.
Gordon Zimmer, Human Resources Manager for AmeriPro Roofing, explains the importance of giving back, “When our country is in need, members of the military are there for us– and therefore it’s only right that we are there for them as well.”
Ameripro takes its commitment to veterans even further. The company is an active member of the Roof Deployment Project in alliance with Owens Corning. The project, which also partners with Habitat For Humanity, finds eligible veterans and provides a free roof for their homes, with contractors like Ameripro providing free labor. Since 2016, the Owens-Corning National Roof Deployment Project has built more than 100 roofs for veterans.
In June 2019, AmeriPro Roofing was recognized by Owens Corning for the second time for its contribution to the Roof Deployment Project.
“We are very thankful for the troops that risk their lives every day for our safety and freedom,” Nick Rosynek of AmeriPro Roofing said. “Our military families sacrifice more than the average family, and active duty families navigate stresses most of us can’t begin to imagine. Being part of the Roof Deployment Project is our way of thanking our military and veterans who serve our country so that we can build a better future together.”
Having spent the better part of two decades providing a trustworthy, dependable, and quality service, and giving back to the community by supporting veterans in multiple ways, Ameripro Roofing is perfectly situated to thrive in today’s values-based marketplace.
“Consumers care about brand values more than ever,” said Stuart Bunderson, director of the Bauer Leadership Center and the George & Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics & Governance at Olin Business School. “It’s not enough to simply make a good product. Today’s brands need to do right by the customer, their employees, and the community.”
“Those that do(care about brand values) will have the most loyal customers,” said Vrity CEO Wolfersberger.