Values are positive changes customer accepts from a brand. Values are divided in hard and soft. Hard values can be measured and soft values cannot be measured.
Hard values are easily recognizable by managers and customers because they can be measured. Typical hard values are price, speed, efficiency, weight.
Soft values are not recognizable and are often “hidden” because they can not be measured and remain intuitive. Typical soft values are innovation, novelty, community participation, social status, rite of passage.
Here are three situations when businesses choose to compete with soft values:
1) Customers see the products as a commodity. Soft values create differentiation. Example: Coca Cola.
2) A business sells many products and it is not efficient to promote them separately. Soft values allow promotion of a brand which includes all products. Example: Nike.
3) Products are too complex to promote to a wider audience. Soft values act as a simplified early contact with the customer. Example: IBM.