We live in a world now where asking why has become second nature. Why should I vote for this, why should I pay for this or why should I pay attention to this?
And guess what, as a brand guardian, you need to be able to have an answer to these questions! Not only do purpose driven brands outperform the stock market by 206% (Havas) but a study of 1000’s of CEOs showed that 88% of them believe that a business must have a clear purpose beyond profit to attract the next generation of talent (Cranfield School of Management). Nuts and bolts, ensuring you stand for something as a brand is’nt just vital for thriving, but it’s become necessary for surviving.
So, the natural question… how do you do this? Well, at our last ‘Build a Brand Movement’ event, we heard from 3 brand leaders who seem to have figured it out. Karma Cola are tackling the globally expansive fairtrade problem by building social issues into their business strategy, Eve Mattress are looking at advertising communication beyond selling their mattress products to enable people to have “the perfect start” and finally, Lynx literally turned it’s entire business around from their social ashes to become a phoenix of male empowerment.
You can check out what each of them spoke about HERE. But for some absolute nuggets of inspiration, let’s sum up for you the key takeaways:
KARMA COLA: “If it looks good, it tastes good and it does good, people will love it”
Simon Coley is founder of beverage disruptor Karma Cola. He explained that it was the discovery that there is actually no cola in traditional cola soft drinks that prompted him to create a fairtrade, community driven cola brand. The company literally bring good karma to every step of the production cycle- from the producers, farmers, environment and of course the consumers get something out of it too. Whilst it’s elegant design and delicious taste goes some way to explaining their success, Simon puts a lot of their rise to fame simply down to the power of their storytelling...they can hand on heart explain what goes into their products to their customers and because these products are literally building bridges in Africa and helping farmers daughters go to school, these emotive stories are the things that are convincing people to spend money with them. And guess what? Because of how well received the brand story, Karma Cola is now growing the family to a whole range of other soft drink (see full presentation HERE).
EVE MATTRESS “Your why is your north star, you should always come back to it”
Kuba Wieczorek, CMO and co-founder of Eve Mattress believes that a brand has to be honest in their marketing, because without this approach customers simply will not trust the message you’re trying to relay. Having a brand purpose is integral to this, because it gives you the chance to reflect on whether what you are communicating truly feels like it’s coming from your brand. And whilst TVC’s, Out Of Home campaigns and online content creates fantastic awareness, Kuba gave us some amazingly simple examples of how Eve Mattress do this with their purpose “everyone deserves the perfect start”, from putting on free wellness retreats for the general public to helping talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds have full time jobs with the company (see full presentation HERE).
LYNX “Pain makes you move”
Fernando Desouches, ex Global Brand Director at Lynx explained how the brand discovered it’s purpose only by hitting rock bottom. Having spent years as a trusted brand amongst young men, Lynx lost sight of the changing attitudes towards sex, particularly amongst younger generations who were turning away from their quite dated ads which suggested you could win the hearts of beautiful women by wearing their product. It was only by losing meaning to their target market and millions of dollars in the process, that Lynx starting enquiring what they meant to the modern man. Research into beliefs, social commentaries, surveys and focus groups led to an understanding that “masculinity is a reflection of what society considers masculine”. The conclusion? Lynx realised that if it empowered every young man realise they are the ones who decide what being a “man” is defined as, it would become central to this very conversation. ”Become the best versions of yourself” became their new mission statement and by focusing all internal and external communications around this, the brand not only saw incredible reaction by consumers but a huge uplift in sales (see full presentation HERE).
So what can we take away from these stories to help you create answers when your audiences start asking “why” about your brand? Well, firstly, to be relevant to your audience you need to start from within. Ask yourself what is the problem you are really solving and what does your audience truly care about? Secondly, it’s all well and good having a fancy mission statement, but how can you live and breathe what you stand for? Whether it’s donating back to society or simply having principals in the way you work as a business, bringing staff to customers together around something that feels honest and true to who you are is vital. And lastly, always speak honestly. People have never liked being sold to, but even more so in today’s world. If you can connect authentic stories that you’re champinoning with your brand mission, you’re onto a winner.
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