Observations by Anne Bahr Thompson
The conversation about brands doing good is become more and more mainstream. And, as it is, more and more of our CultureQ respondents are telling us that businesses soon will no longer have a choice but to participate.
But, how do you start? It’s a big world out there. What can your brand be doing to enrich people’s lives? The idea of doing good and impacting positive change feels formidable to many brands. Some days, it even may seem at odds with business objectives. So, to make Brand Citizenship more than just talk or a one-off initiative, we’ve developed an easy to follow process for developing initiatives and ultimately one strong direction. Remember, it’s ok to start small as long as you think big!
3 Gain a Holistic Perspective.
Identify and assess your….
Brand Beliefs – What do you believe in? What benefits does your brand deliver? How is your brand making consumers’ daily routines easier and enriching their lives?
Stakeholder Values – How do your different stakeholders define the value of your proposition? How do they think you make people’s lives easier or better? How do you take people along to make a difference?
Community Impact – In what ways, no matter how small, can you make a more of a difference? What things do you believe in that your brand take a stand on? How can you build bridges between disconnected communities? How can you ladder the benefits you deliver to your consumers up to connect them to something bigger than themselves?
When you step back and see the gaps a cause, a dream, a vision emerges. And, then it’s time to discover how you can apply what you’ve uncovered.
2 Ideate and Innovate.
Ways you can turn your vision into actions may be inspired by corporate social responsibility, human resources, community outreach or a variety of your brand’s current initiatives. In what ways can you:
Activate the Brand – How can the brand help communicate or affect change at all relevant touch points? Your “Brand Purpose” (as many people are now labeling it) may affect which channels and what types of communications you may need to reach your objective.
Engage Communities & Consumers – What things can your brand credibly support, defend or propose? How can your brand motivate others to rally around your ’cause’? With whom can you ally over time to help effect real change?
Finally, it’s time to put your dreams in perspective and see which are realistic and achievable.
1 Commit Manpower, Time, Money.
Compare your ideas against your resources. It’s now time to think about what you can do, not what you should or ought to do? Do you need to stop doing some things to make any of your ideas credible to your brand? Which ideas are realistic in terms of resources - time, money, manpower? Who outside of the brand team do you need to/should you bring alongside? Which ideas are motivating enough for people dedicate the amount of time needed to develop and implement them? Do you have the funds to fully develop and implement each idea or will you need to find them elsewhere?