To have a Brand Purpose is a great thing, but for consumers to truly trust that it is genuine -Brands must communicate their values internally first.
In 2017, net trust in global companies to act in the best interest of society was negative. And while two-thirds (65%) of consumers want to support companies with a strong purpose, less than half (45%) can name a single company that makes “a positive difference in society through its products, services and operations.”
As consumers try to meet their own needs and fulfill their hopes for the world around them, they are feeling less empowered to influence corporate behavior and more challenged in making their aspirations a reality.
We live in times of distrust in the world and more and more brands and corporates are now coming up in the news for their top bosses being outed for lack of values, transparency and ethics that usually are meant to form the keystones for any brand. Take the case of Uber, BHS, and most recently Audi to name a few.
For any brand to sustain their customer loyalty, their purpose needs to first be understood within- with their employees and teams- It needs to be communicated via tangible actions that convey to their internal teams- that the brand genuinely cares. This will then set a precedent where the employees themselves become the brand ambassadors, brand influencers from top to bottom.
In fact True brand purpose becomes a virtuous chain and is not linear but spherical and the internal teams feel this- they can trust that they belong to an unfolding process that is far bigger than themselves, a process that encompasses values of decency, mutual respect, caring, and above all utmost transparency which in turn help consumers to see it as a genuine effort.
Any brand campaign to garner more followers externally, pull more consumers etc first needs to be measured internally. Is the product/service genuine? Does it meet a genuine need in the times we live in? Will they add value to people’s lives or will it just be another distraction & another smokescreen? These are not just imperative questions but they actually become the brand’s true values which is first analysed by the teams and the people working within for it to be a genuine success in the world out there.
Body Shop is one of the first few brands in the global scenario that ensures that their values are first conveyed and understood internally. Their global campaigns and initiatives, for e.g. its recent ‘Forever Against Animal Testing’ petition to get animal testing in cosmetic brands worldwide has set a precedent and it first started off as an internal brand value. All their products have been tested first, and they have garnered a genuine brand loyalty over the years.
The brand also has a corporate framework based on publicly reported targets with respect to its ‘Enrich not Exploit’ responsibility. This level of transparency within then naturally unfolds to the general public and customers.
Walking the Talk
60% of brands around the globe are missing the opportunity to foster true loyalty with their consumers by failing to measure the impact of their purpose campaigns internally and in society
When a brand’s purpose is actually realistically taking action within, its employees are infused with a quality that then spreads out tangibly to its consumers- the world. True relating within, fostering and valuing beautiful relationships that are devoid of internal competition, jealousy, bullying tactics that have become the norm in top managements all across, then evolves the brand to a purpose filled life and all its campaigns actually imbue and emanate a quality that is felt right through the heart of its consumers.
In a study conducted by Dentsu Aegis- the research looked at the the winners of Cannes Lions Grand Prix and Gold awards. Over the past four years, 29% of the awards have been given to ‘purposeful’ campaigns, and in 2017 alone this number jumped to nearly 50%. This is an indicator of things coming.
We are currently living in an era- where anything that is false is now felt, every exploitation is being outed, and the younger generation that are making up the workforce are seeking out brands and companies that have Purpose that walks the talk. An era where every employee is a brand ambassador for your company. And the question to ask is- Unless they are inspired and motivated by the brand’s campaigns, how can you expect the consumers who do not make up the internal teams to be inspired?
There are immense possibilities that open up and brings the world in and we naturally gravitate towards brands that has its employees as its best consumers. To have a grand purpose is one thing- but what exactly are you as a brand or the corporate CEO doing about it? It’s not about inspiring moments anymore but about the ‘Big Picture’, consistency and caring for another’s welfare.
This seems appropriate for the times we live in- as consumers are no longer going to be impressed by ‘nice’ brands or brands that ‘fake it’. Is the brand making a difference internally with its own people and then is it becoming a beacon in society is what will stand out more and more in the coming years and decades.
No more jargons, no more huge budgets on advertising campaigns that try and lure the consumer in with false promises of the brand being purposeful. Time for hollow marketing is long gone, corporate greenwashing is not something your brand wants to be accused of and most importantly it’s now being asked that brands show evidence of their campaigns’s impact on society. Individuals and societies are evolving and so must brands.
Walk the talk first and Reflect that….Values are priceless and this is ‘True Positioning’ of any brand.
The new future is all about leading the way where businesses, individuals and societies thrive together.
Here at Elixir we genuinely care for our team. We work together, we care about what’s going in each other’s lives and most importantly we all move as one. As one collective- with Purpose at its heart.
Our brand founder and author of this blog Chetan Jha is leading not just change but also innovation across the board through best practises that echo understanding and reflection. He is available for consulting projects and loves speaking on various platforms. He loves tech, integrates digital into brick and mortar businesses and is passionate about the evolution of human kind.
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