A brand’s higher purpose is not about economic exchanges. It reflects something more aspirational.
A while ago, I was writing that building a purpose — driven business starts within. Shortly after, opening conversations around this topic made me realize that sometimes we misunderstand the significant role of a brand in this busy and noisy world of ours.
Brands matter and have a crucial role in our lives, agree. But a brand’s higher purpose is not about economic exchanges. It reflects something more aspirational.
Brands matter not only to gain more customers and increase market share with their appealing messages, but — so much more important — to signal society’s urgent problems.
Researching for some ideas, I was reminded of how important it is for brands to use their voices and audiences to signal various issues or to bring certain important issues to the fore. Beyond consumerism.
„A brand is really an emotional connection you have with a product or service” says Martin Lindstrom, Chairman, and founder of Buyology Inc, who was voted one of the World’s 100 Most Influential people by Time magazine.
Of course, a brand has an economical dimension and importance. Of course, a brand can be linked to many cultural elements such as religions, ethnicity, political groups. But society is also influenced by brands and society also influences brands. It’s a relationship we can’t deny. And this is what I want to talk about — the social importance of brand.
The Social Importance of a Brand
Our needs are different…
An amazing campaign that redesigns my way of seeing things, is the one that the city of Copenhagen made this spring. The municipality has elevated its public benches to raise awareness of rising sea levels. Spectacular, beautiful, out-of-the-box and with a real impact: the alarm on climate change was loud and clear for everyone.
Our bodies are different…
For example, earlier this year, Adidas has broken the norms and “Redesigned 100%” of its sports bras to provide the perfect fit for all women. The campaign boldly ignores community and censorship guidelines to aid understanding of an issue that many women face today. A showcase of 25 pairs of breasts, providing a small representation of the differences in body size and shape from one person to another triggered the attention of us all.
And so are we.
While across the world, events have been cancelled for the second year in a row, and Spain’s annual tomato-throwing festival, La Tomatina, has once again been put on hold, Heinz steps in to support the Spanish tomato farmers in the wake of the latest Tomatina cancellation.
So, what did they do? Heinz has stepped in to show their support, by turning delicious Spanish tomatoes into a limited-edition Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottle — featuring only the juiciest tomatoes grown in Spain. Cool intervention, right?
We all know that brands can help us express who we are, may satisfy people’s need for status, create differences, or give us a reason to share our stories. But this is not a brand’s most important role.
That’s why I wanted to share with you these recent examples. Nevertheless, a classic remains the Dove — №1 campaign, famous for its transparency, authenticity, ground-breaking use of global viral video that started with the anti-photoshopping film “Evolution”. Do you remember the Dove Real Beauty Sketches?
After so many years of immersing myself in the branding world, I can say that a solid brand is more than emotion, and numbers. A solid brand has power. A powerful brand uses its voice in a meaningful way. A substantial brand talks about inclusion, social responsibility, global warming, crisis facing issues. A potent brand creates trust and stimulates something within you. Makes yourself question things. And gives you an impulse to act upon them.
If you feel like talking about the voice of your brand, just send me a message.