Earlier this month we held our first ‘Build a Brand Movement’ event of 2018, which (if we do say so ourselves) was a brilliant evening of inspiration, insights and of course pizza! We wanted to first, say thank you to all those who attended and gave up their Wednesday night to learn about the importance of integrating purpose into their mission. And secondly, a huge thank you to our brilliant guest panelists; Bacardi Global Brand Director Zeenah Vilcassim, Virgin Money Creative Director Tim Arthur and Founder of MyFreda Affi-Pavizi Wayne for sharing their personal journeys and filling the room with unlimited entertainment!
We’ve finally had time to soak up all the great topics discussed and we thought we’d round up our top 4 tips captured from the night to help you build your brand movement. Enjoy!
1. Start from the inside out
“We all have to align internally before we can push out any external comms” - Zeenah Vilcassim, Global Brand Director Bacardi
I’m sure we won’t be the first to acknowledge that integrating ‘purpose’ has become a total buzzword in the media world, but the reason we often see skepticism or backlash is usually because it’s not carried out effectively internally or externally.
A unanimous piece of feedback from all the panelists was that the key to forming a successful brand movement is making sure your purpose is embedded in EVERYTHING you do in order to drive a passionate workforce internally. To do this, it’s massively important that the company’s mission is led by the people at the top in order for it to have a trickle-down effect. Does 'lead by example’ ring a bell?
Creative Director of Virgin Money Tim explained that their ‘Everybody Better Off’ (EBO) ethos is something that CEO Jayne Anne Gadhia constantly drives and reinforces within Virgin Money to ensure their product, values, and brand are consistent. This type of leadership is what embeds EBO into everything they do; whether it’s used in meetings, product pricing, staff assessments or even asking each employee ‘what did you do that was EBO this week?’. Aligning everyone behind a clear purpose is what makes Tim and others at the business, proud to be part of Virgin Money.
Figuring this out is the first key to success and will open the doors for business growth, building a team that believes in what they’re working towards and forming a desirable brand. If you’re looking for more guidance on this, check out Kin&Co’s ‘How to avoid fucking up purpose’ report for a deeper dive!
2. Ask people why they follow you-you might find something new
Whether you’re a new brand or you’re an established brand, asking either your employees and customers why they follow you is integral to forming an honest brand movement. If you’re a new business, ask the few employees you might have or the early followers you’ve adopted ‘why they love your brand?'. For MyFreda’s founder, Affi, she discovered she attracted a real range of female supporters but it was the social purpose aspect of the brand that resonated with women and built her movement. Providing women with access to a basic human need of feminine care products is a mission that women of all backgrounds can unite behind. Ultimately it’s the underlying values that connect her consumers and understanding this has helped refine her proposition and communications.
Similarly, more established brands like Bacardi need to regularly do market research to analyse why certain customers do and don’t engage with their product - don’t just base it on assumptions or category patterns, because you could be completely off the mark. Zeenah explained that her mission is to make the alcohol industry less sexist and more inclusive, she wants to do this by providing consumers with the product knowledge to enable them to drink what they want how they want it. To do this, she also emphasised the importance of asking ‘why?’. "There are many reasons why women don't drink whisky….is it because there isn’t a pink whiskey? Probably not. Is it because it's a complicated category that even men find complicated? Probably yes!".
Taking the time to really understand what your audience truly values and discovering the best way to use this, could be deciding factor in your future success. So don’t leave it to what you think you know, start asking why!
3. Offer more than just your product.
“It’s not like a banking space, it’s an incredible experience” - Tim Arthur, Creative Director of Virgin Money
Once you’ve established your purpose, bringing it to life is one of the most exciting parts of building your movement. And if you’ve got it right, you shouldn’t be short of creative ideas!
At Virgin Money their EBO ethos enables them to live and breathe their mission through not only their brand but also their service offering. They do this a number of ways, but a notable example of this is the Virgin Lounges. Accessible to all Virgin members, visitors can help themselves to free coffee, wifi and enjoy the beautiful spaces for work or pleasure. In the Sheffield lounge, they’ve even got a bowling alley on site which is free for families to use, so for those who are hard up on cash can enjoy the facilities at no additional cost. Tim explained, “It’s not like a banking space, it’s an incredible experience, a small thing to Virgin but a big impact on people’s lives”. This extension of their brand elevates Virgin Money above other banking companies and provides that ongoing support outside their core offering. Always coming back to their EBO mission and ensuring that everything they do is about making their customers lives better.
If however, you're at an earlier stage of your business (where creating experiential spaces isn’t financially achievable), it’s worth considering what you can be offering your audience past the product that embeds your brand values and provides additional value. If you missed our presentation at the event, we shared how Hubspot, Hellmans and Moxy Hotels have all used different methods to create engagement outside their product and service offering - download the presentation here to view how.
4. Don't expect to see overnight transformations.
“My challenge is much greater, I want to change the world.” - Affi, Founder of MyFreda
When it comes to measurement, the biggest thing to be aware of is that change doesn't always happen overnight. Your results are very much driven by the mission you are trying to achieve and the way you go about doing so. For MyFreda, their goal is to see a shift in perceptions of ‘what it means to have a period’. This is a cultural change in mindsets, one that Affi recognised can't be assessed over 3 months! Her goal has a much longer process and shouldn't just be measured on profit and sales, it should be measured on the impact made in society.
Zeenah also explained there’s a big difference between measuring output and measuring impact. She stressed that “You can’t measure impact in a years time frame through econometric analysis or social media sentiment - that’s just an output. To measure your impact you need to allow three, five, or ten years to see if you really shifted that dial for consumers". Although we live in such a faced paced world where we expect to see answers immediately, measuring a movement is not something that will always hold a financial or a statistical value within a short space of time.
The difference between measuring a ‘topical’ campaign versus purpose led communications is that you have to give it time to create an impact. If your first piece of communications doesn’t see an immediate result, that doesn't mean that you throw it away and move onto another idea, it means you measure and assess to see how you can improve. For all the senior decision makers and those who hold the purse strings out there, remember that setting achievable, long-term metrics that align to your vision and mission, is the key to measuring the impact of your brand movement. The hardest part is establishing what these few core metrics should be.
As we’re sure you can see, the evening was filled with hugely insightful advice and tips on how to build purpose into your business in the most effective way. To recap remember:
Start from the inside out and lead from the top
Dig deeper to discover why you attract your followers
Provide more value than just your product
Set achievable measurements and be patient
At Mattr.Media our mission is to help brands to uncover stories that help bring to life their purpose. We capture these using video to help amplify the great work you are doing inside and outside your organisation. If you want to get in touch to discuss your brand movement and how we can help bring this to life, please email Josh or Stef to set up a meeting. We’ll also be continuing to host our ‘Build a Brant Movement’ event series throughout the year so follow us on LinkedIn for more information.
Photos by Tom Sharman