The notion of what it means to be a brand has changed. On one side of the coin, the barriers to entry to launch a new brand are lower than ever before. I could come up with an amazing idea and launch a product or service on the internet tomorrow. On the flip side, a lot of brands are essentially transactional, compete on price and, to date, have relied on brand equity for their success.
Your brand is an emotive concept and is more than the value a customer gets from interacting with you. Your brand is the sum of a customer’s experiences over time. Sure, it’s the value they get from your products and/or services, but it also encompasses how it feels for the customer to engage with you, how the customer feels about engaging with you and how the customer perceives and talks about you.
And, this is the thing: With so many brands vying for consumers’ attention, the ones that stand out are those that are most closely aligned with consumers’ values. Consumers—but also employees and investors—are driving brands towards business models that are beneficial to the world. They’re assessing what a brand says, what it does and what it stands for. This has given rise to the concept of a “purpose-driven brand” or, put simply, a brand that stands for something.
The most successful brands are differentiating themselves through their values to build meaningful connections with their audience. They’re not hooking on to the issue of the day with an empty PR stunt (this Gartner article has some great tips for brands looking to take a stand on what not to do), or picking a cookie-cutter value and calling it a day. The best purpose-driven brands are finding a topic or value that’s actually relevant to their industry and building new products and services that improve society.
The new reality is this: Brands that stand for something bigger, align themselves with consumers’ values and take action on social issues are more likely to connect with consumers on a deeper level. It’s no longer good business sense to create a brand just to make money—nor is it acceptable.
Do you need help determining and articulating your values and brand-purpose? Contact us today!