How to develop an internal brand substance
Brand purpose is the belief system for the impact that they are going to have on your audience’s life. Is important to know what your brand’s vision is like so you can influence a positive impact on your customer. Starting with the question, what cause can our brand contribute to, that could positively impact something or someone?
Are you helping people? who are you helping? what are you helping them with? Does it have a knock-on effect in their lives? is this something in your industry? community, town, or country that requires support? Does your audience feel the way you do? What’s the common dominator?
Look closely at your audience, find what they believe in as a group and what improvements they would like to see in the world, especially in the ocean. To get some ideas, here are some of the most pressing ocean issues: Plastic pollution, net pollution, animal welfare, coral conservation.
There should be a link between your brand and your audience why do want to be part of this conversation. The link should be fairly obvious because the link will be the first place that the authenticity police will look. You don’t want to take a stand that is completely unrelated because no matter what cause you decide to align your brand with, those who support that cause genuinely will be pretty passionate about it. If they feel that your brand is using the cause for the sole purpose of positive PR and leveraging that cause for good marketing, then they know how to voice their opinions about that.
When you find your cause, then is how to take action, decide what is that you are going to do to support it. What are you hoping to do? funds, time? How are you going to do it? Resources, skills? Will you be shinning a light on the subject of education or studies. Will your actions be physical? beach clean-ups, raising awareness? Digital? webinars? conferences.
All this requires a lot of thought. is good that you have an ocean-related cause, but you need authenticity to back up your brand. You need to take action on that purpose or else the purpose has no substance.
If you and your brand are not ready for those purposeful commitments, is still important that a belief in the brand is instilled early on because it’s a key element in building a strong foundation of substance.
Discovering Human Brands
One of the main differences that your clients will get by purchasing from you versus your competitors is in the tangibility of your brand and how human your brand is. Your audience wants to have a human connection with a brand and most of the other brands won’t be developing that human connection in their mind.
With the internet and the use of social networks, brands have engaged in a two-way conversation and suddenly customer’s wants, needs, cares and beliefs now matter more than before and they are key influencers for brand strategies.
More and more brands are asking their customers what they want and they are listening to them as well. Through a series of strategic and human engagements, they are building these human relationships that are the foundation for today’s modern brands. This won’t be a marketing fad that will be over in 10 years, this is the future of brands and branding.
A human trait that is becoming more and more topical in branding and is becoming a crucial element within the human brand is brand authenticity. Essentially, consumers want to know how much of what a brand is saying is genuine and how much of it is just marketing. Just another ploy to pull the wall over the customer’s eyes so they can shift as much product as possible.
One of the main reasons for the merge of brand authenticity and transparency is rooted in the scramble for brands to become more proactive when listening to their customers and to be more human and more purpose-driven.
Suddenly, Brands, especially big ones, were expected to have all these human traits that didn’t have before in order to just survive. Beliefs, Visions, Missions, Values, Personality, Characteristics, Tone of voice, Conversational style and even political views. They were thrown into the deep end by the consumer who had authentic humanistic expectations of brands but there was an added catch.
If these human characteristics didn’t feel authentic enough, brands would get a public flogging and from this point on, Brand authenticity became the standard for the consumer to judge brands’ humanistic traits. More specifically, the beliefs and the values that brands claim to have. Many brands are moving to align their actions to their audience’s beliefs and values as well and many more are attempting to portray aligned beliefs without much substance behind their claims.
This is a real issue now and luckily, brand authenticity has kind of come to the surface based on that. In the environmental and sustainability space these actions have actually been termed as greenwashing.
These inauthentic actions from opportunistic brands have made the consumer more suspicious of purposeful endeavors and claims of values and any other action that doesn’t lead directly to a sale. Authenticity is therefore is an increasingly important aspect of a brand strategy and any brand attempting to make claims of a higher purpose had better be backing those claims up.
In this section, we are diving right into internal branding and this whole section which is broken up into 4 different sections.
Aligning Internal Believe systems
Brand purpose is the why of what you do as a brand aside from money. Brand purpose answers the question aside from commercial interest: Why do we do what we do? This question asks the brand to look inside itself for an answer that has a bit more substance than just simply being another entity that makes money. It asks the brand leadership to identify the greater good behind what they do and then commit to that greater good for the internal benefit of the brand as well as who or what that cause helps.
Aside from the cause that they look to address modern brand purpose serves two purposes. The first purpose and the original is to foster a sense of inner belief within the brand amongst the brand leadership and the personnel. A belief that the work that they do is more than just the work that they do, that there’s more meaning behind it and that it ultimately does some kind of good for someone or something when there is a genuine purpose that fosters the inner belief, the impacts evident right throughout the business. Inner belief breeds positive culture and a sense of camaraderie and that expresses itself in every department of the business and it can be felt by people outside of the brand as well as inside of the brand. This type of belief isn’t easily built but if you can achieve it, it can have a tremendous impact on the growth and the value of an overall brand.
The second purpose of brand purpose is to ensure that belief behind the purpose is shared with the belief of the audience which ultimately fosters a sense of connection. This connection is steeped in human emotion and communicates this sense of togetherness which helps brands to build that trust so, in other words, it is really important that your audience believes in what your brand believes.
This latest version of brand purpose has become highly relevant in the modern branding era due to these evolving relationships between brands and consumers. Consumers are increasingly making more and more buying decisions based on the substance of a brand not merely their products or their services, feature or benefits or even their price.
In fact, increasing numbers of consumers are happy now to pay a premium for the greater good and positive impact of a shared belief that they have. They get the seal of approval from their customers about their purposeful endeavors, not only cement that loyalty with their customers but those customers instantly become vocal advocates which help to spread the word and ultimately grow that brand.
A brand purpose is essentially a brand’s reason for being beyond making money. A brand promise may give the buyer an idea of what to expect from the product or service, but the brand’s purpose goes way beyond that. A brand’s purpose connects with consumers on a more emotional level.
Brand vision refers to the ideas behind a brand that help guide the future. When the brand vision clicks, it reflects and supports the business strategy, differentiates from competitors, resonates with customers, energizes and inspires employees and partners, and precipitates a gush of ideas for marketing programs. When absent or superficial, the brand will drift aimlessly and promotion strategies are likely to be inconsistent and ineffective.
A brand mission is a short statement that declares a brand’s purpose. a Brand’s mission is a foundational statement about a brand’s identity that is meant to both inspire customers and provide strategic direction. Provides a consistent direction to strategy. Is every day’s commitment to achieving the brand’s vision.
Brand values are a set of guiding principles that shape every aspect of your business. They’re placed at the very core of your brand and are there to dictate your brand message, identity, and personality.
Working with purpose
When we feel we have sense of purpose and that the work that we do on a regular basis actually means something, more than just the nine to five shift, then we are more likely to be successful and to excel in whatever we do because if we believe in it then we probably enjoy what we are going as well. If a person feels that the work that they are doing is meaningful or making some kind of difference then it feels that they’re exactly where they were supposed and doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing which is quite liberating.
More than ever before people are asking questions about the work that they are doing. They want to feel that there is some kind of meaning behind what they’re doing and that the work that they do can’t just simply be replicated by a robot.
Millennials followed closely by generation Z’s have this much higher expectation from their employers, which means that brands are feeling this meaningful pressure both from externally as far as their consumers are concerned but also internally, from their personnel as well.
“Whatever a target group “believes” or “Believes in” is something that will get attention of the brands
Great purpose belief – What your audience belief
Brand purpose is about having a position in what your brand believes, preferably aligned with your audience’s beliefs and committing to those actions as a brand. If you wish to build a brand that protects the ocean and wildlife you should expect some actions and attitudes from your audience such, as selecting environmentally-friendly aligned suppliers, using clean energy, reducing carbon print or paper usage. This puts you in a position to be able to discuss your beliefs in your communication or your social posts to generate some conversation around that topic.