Good leadership is at a peculiar deficit globally, with truth and ethics taking a back seat at times to power and profit. In the absence of leadership, people will turn to any organization perceived to be an honest arbiter of authenticity and a moral compass for values.
Value, quality, and brand purpose have been driving indicators last year of how consumers will try new brands and remain loyal, according to McKinsey & Company. Continuing into 2021, audiences' trust will continue to be an elusive value to earn and challenging still to retain.
Brands have an interesting decision to make; play it safe by creating work that further assimilates with everyone else, so as not to make waves, or be brave and create work focusing on what's important to audiences, empathizing with their journeys.
Anyone in marketing is familiar with the famous four Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). It has been the foundation of a marketing mix framework and approach since the '60s, still used today. Super Brands deciding to be brave, stand-out, and build rich connections and engagements with audiences must focus on two Ps (Purpose and People).
Share your Story
Start with your story – it may sound trivial or cliché, however many brands, for whatever reason, fail to communicate their story. Showing how your brand came to be, your raison d’être, can serve as a foundational blueprint highlighting; culture, values, purpose, and people.
Purpose is Vision
What does your brand stand for? Not just what your company delivers from a product or service, but what problems are you trying to solve, who are you solving them for and how are you making your customers’ lives easier. Often brands will get caught up with cool features and innovations of their products, building marketing campaigns fixated around those attributes.
Although informative, this may not completely capture people’s imagination to draw them in. Instead, concentrate on your audiences in need of your solution, rather than the tech behind the machine.
People bring Value
People buy from people, whether your brand sells automobiles or cosmetics. People talking to people can be as powerful of a marketing and selling tool as the most creative graphic design. There has been an explosion of leaders such as CMOs, VPs, Directors, and Managers, participating in podcasts, panels, webinars, and writing blogs like never before, helping elevate thought leadership and brand awareness.
Ignite your people internally to be your brand ambassadors externally.
Giving Back as Culture
'Giving' should be on the minds and actions of all leaders and brands. Leaders giving back to employees, employees give back to the organization, the organization giving back to social causes and so on.
Engulfed by a global pandemic, political turmoil and global warming, the world is in desperate need of relief. Here brands can make a difference by implementing actionable corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, supporting local and global communities. Super Brands not only support social, health, and climate causes but continually weave 'giving' into the social fabric and DNA of their organization.
Super Brands for Good
Now is not the time to stand on the sidelines and play it safe. It may have felt that way a year ago, but no longer. Audiences not only expect but demand more from their brands, not to solve the world's most pressing problems but to make the right choices when it comes to humanity. No need to be political or divisive; Super brands demonstrate global leadership through purpose, amplified by people.
The world needs more Super Brands to be an influence for good. Irrespective of organizational size from start-ups to enterprise - build your brand around purpose and people, deliver your vision and value to the world.
Written by: Zoltan Lorantffy