Marketing leaders claim their brand values and actions are not aligned

There is a disconnect between brand values and actions amid growing consumer distrust in marketers, research has revealed.


Just 19% of marketing leaders believe their actions, positioning and messaging are fully aligned with their brands’ actual values.

This disconnect between brand values and actions comes as 70% of consumers report they distrust marketers, according to the inaugural Gartner Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019 report.

Chris Ross, vice president analyst at Gartner, said: “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.”

The Gartner Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019 reveals that most brands are only partially aligned with their values — meaning 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,” added Mr. Ross.

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 prioritise initiatives to address the issues.
  • Ensure brand values accurately reflect the desires and culture of the organisation. This may mean eliminating values that no longer serve the organisation or do not reflect the realities or aspirations of the company.
  • Prioritise the remaining values, utilising 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 brand and the customer.

The Gartner Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019 was conducted from May 2019 through July 2019 among 393 respondents in the UK, Canada and the USA. Respondents were required to have involvement in decisions pertaining to setting or influencing marketing strategy and planning.

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