A greater sense of personal responsibility is redefining the way your customers perceive value. Personal responsibility, and the social kudos that comes from personal responsibility, is making a profound difference in the way customer’s buy and attach to a brand. People are looking to make a contribution to the world with their brand of choice.
This shift in individual consciousness is as disruptive as technology and global markets are to the marketplace, some brands will fail while new leaders will emerge.
Ten years ago, when we were approaching marketing challenges, we held the belief that we had to answer the customer’s question:
“ What is in it for me?”
Today we expect a customer to also ask:
“ How do you impact on people and communities in your supply chain?
“What are your brands environmental credentials?”
“ How will this impact on my well being, mind, body and spirit?”
Customers are increasingly aware, that the way they consume, is shaping the world they live in. Customers expect brands to empower them to be change agents, change agents that can redefine how we use the earth’s resources and the social outcomes we create.
The delivery of new socially inspired business models are not about the meaningless incentives to “like” a brand on Facebook, they are in fact about the powerful delivery of social value ie: human interconnectedness and the ability to deliver outcomes for a greater good, not just about me.
Social media brings back what villages always had in place, and great leaders have intuitively understood, that by being seen to make a social contribution, you become revered, trusted and a conduit to trade and commerce. Clever brands get this as well. A brand’s investment in social consequence creates social capital.
Social capital means a brand has a social network, a social identity, a social role and a high perceived value to the community. By being a worthwhile member of the community, members of the community take a stake in the survival of the brand.
A study by Umair Haque on Meaningful Brands uncovered that consumers found just 30% of brands had meaning in their lives ie: deep attachment and a vested interest in the brands sustainability, while conversely, 70% of brands held no meaning. Those brands that had meaning, delivered on well being, social and environmental outcomes.
In effect consumers are growing up. We have moved past the age of children when we believed everything we heard on television and brands were perceived as knowing more and acting in our best interest. We moved through the consumer age of self obsessed adolescence, when brands made us “special” and conspicuous consumption was cool. Today we stand in an adult if not elder space, one where we want the respect of others in our social network, respect based on values, not material possessions.
Hearts and Minds brand approach looks at brand at the level of personal transformation, taking an individual closer to their ideal self through the brands promise. Today research tells us that an individual’s personal transformation includes their desire to make a contribution. If your brand does not yet have a well being, social and environmental charter, it is time to revisit your brand through research and look for how your brand can extend into well being, social and environmental realms. When you have done this, take this charter to the world through great deeds and social media.
Hearts and Minds
Founder Thought Leaders Circle