Leading by example.
This is the role of brands in a world where change is expected to preserve life itself.
Why is it so important that brands reconsider their marketing strategies?
Because brands now have a choice: adapt and raise their voice for a sustainable world, or collapse like endangered species.
Let's assume CEOs are choosing to adapt and strive for their businesses survival. This means adapting the way they run their business and their brand. The traditional marketing plan is outdated because brands need to manage their marketing strategy with purpose, authenticity and compassion. They need to pay attention to the consequences and damages of any activities on people, resources and the environment, and take responsibilities for what matters. Whether it is for social, economical, political or environmental concerns, brands need to become activists and create solutions to build a sustainable world.
5 Reasons Why Brand Activism Is The New Brand Marketing:
1. The Promotion Of Values
A brand is composed by a set of core values that define it. The values are shared by stakeholders and incorporated in any dimension of the company (human resources, marketing, sales, customer service, financial management,...).
The role of marketing is to communicate and promote those values to people the best way possible through different product and services, media and channels, voice and messages. Whether a brand values human relationships, compassion, innovation, change, uniqueness, reliability, fast-delivery, positivity, advanced-technology... how does a company give a voice to values without truly impactful actions?
Brand activism is about turning core values into a mission. It can be defined by a set of actions that promote brand values to add value to people's life. The voice given to the brand values through activism is real and authentic, not only about increasing sales and market share. Activism is not about a market, an industry, it is about transforming the society and choose altruism to benefit the society itself, which means going beyond the scope of the company.
2. The Creation Of Brand Awareness
Marketing uses a set of tools to make the brand visible, available and desirable to the target audience. Based on the brand's values, attributes and competitive advantages, the marketing team will design the perfect strategy to create awareness. Nowadays, brand awareness is based on word of mouth, social media promotion, direct and indirect communication and sales,...
Brand activism creates an awareness that is "detached" from the core activity, and related directly to the brand mission. It convinces people to believe in a brand before initial purchase and opens the door to potentially new demographics and selling opportunities. Brand awareness comes from an emotional touch point that creates deep experiences. As we know, experiences leave footprints in the mind, and the more compassion brands prove , the longer the memory will last and impact people's decisions.
3. The Differentiation From Competitors
The goal of a marketing strategy is to position a brand on the market while differentiating it from its competitors.
Ask yourself this question: for a same quality of product/service, an equal price and similar customer service, would you choose a brand that only sells, or a brand that saves?
Establishing an activism strategy, aligned with the core values and mission of the brand, will create a natural and healthy gap from competitors, minimizing people's difficulty to choose between an activist brand and a non-activist brand.
An activism strategy sets a brand on another dimension of the market: the voice of the brand not only resonates with the target audience, but with humanity in each person sensitive to the cause advocated. People who wouldn't be choosing an activist brand may become attracted to it because the voice of the brand arises attention and interest. The brand itself becomes, unique, not competing with another brand, but striving to do better every day.
4. The Initiation Of Meaningful Relationships
Marketing creates relationships with people, activism deepen it.
When choosing a brand, people are looking for guidance and inspiration.
A brand that pursues an activist mission becomes a leader of change. Advocating meaningful causes creates a unique attachment and relationship between a brand and people. Conclusively, people attached to a brand will be open to purchase more, become loyal, and advocate for the cause in question.
Through educating, informing and empowering people to support the brand mission, long-lasting and meaningful relationships are created. Communities are built and bloom, transforming people into ambassadors of change, taking responsibility for their behavior with the support of a brand they love and admire.
5. 6Ps Are Better Than 4Ps
Well, the Price, Product, Promotion & Place have 2 new siblings: People & Planet.
Marketing is about the 4Ps, activism is about the 6Ps.
The desirability of a brand implementing 6Ps is obviously increased in comparison with a brand building a marketing strategy only on 4Ps.
Including sustainability concerns into a marketing strategy creates more authenticity and dissociates a brand from "greenwashing" and "profit-based" businesses. Promoting a cause that is beyond the brand's financial interests is a power. Yes, the power of marketing is replaced by the power of compassion, and people love it!
Brand activism means creating brand awareness, through the promotion of values, initiation of meaningful relationships, without having to compete with the neighbors. A better way to anchor a brand on the market, expand the audience, a conquer people's trust in the long run.
Brand activism is marketing with a purpose that is no longer just an option.
6. BONUS: What's Coming Next?
The creation of brands emerging from activists: a growing number of brands are launched in order to support a cause.
We are facing the opposite of the trend: brands are now born from a mission vs mission are deriving from existing brands.
People start materializing their thoughts and battles into products that would help them support their vision and purpose through finance and awareness creation.
To be continued...