The one common question that unites anyone at the helm of a business, regardless of their sector or niche, is this: how do we get people to truly care about our brand?
Our CCO Patrick Keogh rallied a room of thought and business leaders keen to know the answer and posed the question, ‘how do you build a powerful brand and unlock emotional capital’ to three willing and expert panellists: Tiwalola Ogunlesi – Founder of Confident and Killing It, Jemma Wong – CMO at PlasticFree.com and Amy Bourbeau – Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer at Seismic.
Here are just a few of the insights captured at our monthly Marble Breakfast event.
1. Building a movement
Rather than focusing on campaigns and moments, we need to think bigger. Visualise the movement you want your brand to create and the level of change you are striving for.
Jemma Wong emphasises needing to dig deeper than the relevance of your brand, focus instead on our collective relevance in the world. Brands need to focus beyond their product or service and the campaign that promotes it. What is your brand standing for? Is this as clear as you think to your team and to your audience? Going back to basics with a manifesto is how every successful movement has started.
Movements also need to be led. They require intentional leadership to show what’s possible, not necessarily to show it will be easy. Any level of change has to be seeded gradually to show the world what the future can look like. You need people to lead the narrative around the change in a way that is easy to understand. This will also be vital in finding the carriers for change that your brand needs to create a sustainable movement as opposed to moments in time.
2. Brands = Communities
Brands are ultimately made up of people. When we break it down, communities are collectives of people who care. Your brand and its values needs to be the thing they care about.
How do you do that? Involve your community members as much as possible, digital transformation means all too often, brands undervalue the power of human-to-human connection and the significance of co-creating with your audience. Your brand and its consumers are one community, do not make the mistake of treating them as separate entities. Your community is your biggest driver in amplifying your message. The more valued they feel, the more buy-in they have. When you are working on expanding that community, you already have ambassadors that will help to organically increase your brand awareness.
3. Authenticity - the why
Movements and communities have to stem from something of value, a purpose. People buy into the why as much, if not more than the product or service itself.
Authenticity also stems from respecting the history of your brand and what has come before, even if it does not directly reflect the direction you are going in now. To show you truly care, you need to show up. Radically participate. Show up even when it doesn’t feel comfortable and the values and purpose in all that you do cannot be questioned, they will be celebrated and most importantly, remembered.
Patrick Keogh challenged our guests to think about their own brands and ask themselves three key questions to make a start on the plethora of valuable advice we heard from our experts. Give these a go:
- What are the things you should be thinking about differently?
- If you were to start today, how would you do it? Start with a blank piece of paper, literally.
- Are you simply inheriting the legacy of a business that has existed for a long time, or is the work you do deliberate and focussed?