Being accountable to one’s customers can mean a lot of things. We no longer live in an era where ethically providing quality goods or services at a fair price is a stand out notion. This has become the expected standard. Now, to stand out, brands need to find out what they stand for.

Consumers have always wanted to be associated with brands that embody the same things they do as individuals — this is nothing new. What’s different is that today’s customer is overwhelmed with choices. A Media Dynamics study on ad exposure reported that consumers see an average of 5,000 advertisements and brand exposures per day. This new and competitive digital landscape is a challenge, but there are ways to come out on top. Companies will continue to thrive if they begin to give this new customer, empowered by choice and knowledge, exactly what they are looking for.

What More Could This New, Empowered Customer Possibly Want?

What we all do: They want meaning, they want purpose, they want intent. They are no longer satisfied with knowing what you’re doing: they want to know why you are doing it and — ultimately — how it will affect their own well-being.

Is Adapting a Meaningful Brand Purpose Really Necessary?

It is if you want to position your brand strategically in the marketplace. Results released from Havas’ latest Meaningful Brands study statistically demonstrates that “meaningful brands” gain, on average, 46 percent more share of wallet spend. The Meaningful Brands Index (MBI) — Havas’ new metric of brand strength — is considered the first of its kind to connect human well-being with brands at a business level. With so many buying options out there, consumers would rather put their dollars towards a company that is driven by purpose that extends beyond the organization’s success.

Finding a Meaningful Brand Purpose

Finding a meaningful purpose that fits with your brand and your target audience is essential — this we know. But how? Begin by taking a look at your business mission statement to decipher the vision behind the business. This vision can serve as inspiration and should definitely be kept in mind when you are looking for a meaningful purpose. Conduct a competitive market analysis to see what others are doing well in your space and find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Look at culturally relevant issues that are important to your target audience and your company. Ask questions: What is your company good at? What is your company passionate about? What can be done? The key here is to find what your potential customers care about and see what your company can do to support their position to benefit the greater good. Once this purpose has been solidified, your company should conduct a thorough brand audit to ensure your visual identity and brand messaging still resonate with prospective audiences and that they still support your now purpose-driven brand.

How to Follow Through

Making sure your business model can support this purpose is essential. And be sure to fulfill the promises you make — consumers these days won’t buy into a one-off press release stating good intentions. There has to be real evidence of a brand meaning and accountable action. The only thing worse than an unknown brand is an untrustworthy one. Finally, produce new, quality content that reflects the interests of your purpose and speaks to your customers, their community and what they stand for.

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