So many brands are vying for our attention nowadays — but most have little or no impact on our lives apart from adding to the noise and ever-increasing clutter we find ourselves drowning in every day.
Havas Group compiled a report stating that 75% of brands could disappear tomorrow and be easily replaced, with less than half of brands (47%) considered trustworthy. Worse still, people are becoming more cynical of brands, with 71% saying they are tired of their empty promises and 66% of consumers wanting more meaningful experiences.
What is a meaningful brand?
Meaningful [mee-ning-fuhl] full of meaning, significance, purpose, or value; purposeful; significant.
Meaningful brands are purpose-led, transparent, socially and ethically responsible organisations that truly understand their customers’ needs and genuinely look for ways to offer value to their lives and broader society. Brands that make a real difference in people’s lives are typically more profitable and create zealot-like advocates. The type of brands that people say they cannot live without.
Desert Island Discs is a long-running radio program in the UK. The program features a guest, usually a well-known public figure, who is asked to choose eight pieces of music, a book, and a luxury item they would take to a hypothetical desert island.
Imagine you were on a desert island and had to choose the brands that matter most to you. Which brands are irreplaceable and add the most value to your life? What are your desert island brands?
Some people wouldn’t be able to operate until they have their morning fix of Starbucks coffee, whilst others couldn’t bear the thought of being severed from their Apple iPhone.
Every organisation wants its brand to be the only choice that people cannot live without, but becoming a meaningful brand can be hard work. Here are some helpful steps for building a brand that matters.
How to build a meaningful brand
Creating a meaningful brand involves connecting with customers emotionally and aligning your brand with a purpose beyond just selling products or services. Here are some steps you can take to create a meaningful brand:
- Get under the skin of your customers: Find out what makes them tick, keeps them up at night, what they believe in and how you can improve their lives.
- Define your brand purpose: Identify the deeper meaning and values behind your business, and ensure that they align with the needs and values of your target audience.
- Communicate your purpose: Use your brand’s mission statement, messaging, and visual identity to communicate your purpose clearly and consistently.
- Walk the talk: Ensure that your brand’s actions align with its stated purpose and values and that you are transparent about your business practices.
- Humanise your brand: Use storytelling and other tactics to connect with customers on an emotional level and make your brand more relatable.
- Create consistent brand experiences: Develop unique and memorable experiences that align with your brand’s purpose and values.
- Encourage stakeholder engagement: Create opportunities for customers and your employees to become involved with your brand and its purpose, such as through social media, events, and volunteer opportunities.
- Stay relevant: Continuously re-evaluate your brand’s purpose and values, and adjust them as necessary to stay relevant and meaningful to your target audience.
By following these steps, you can create a brand that resonates more deeply with customers and employees alike — a brand they would choose above all others.
How can B2B brands be more meaningful?
Today, B2B brands must compete and differentiate themselves within crowded and increasingly commoditised markets. Too many B2B brands focus on product features and benefits. Smart B2B brands that can connect emotionally to their customers’ needs, beliefs, interests, and aspirations will move beyond a transactional relationship and build meaningful connections.
Here are some helpful examples of how B2B brands have positively impacted their customers’ lives and added real value by becoming an invaluable partner, not just a supplier:
A collaboration hub whose promise is to “Make work life simpler, more pleasant and more productive”. Born out of frustrating internal communication such as endless emails, Slack’s understanding and devotion to customer needs help to create superior UX that connects teams and unifies their workflows to drive business productivity.
An all-in-one Marketing Platform for small business, Mailchimp empowers customers around the world to start and grow their business. Mailchimp was originally conceived because email software was oversized, complicated and expensive. Understanding small business is in their DNA and their mission of empowering the underdog resonates deeply with their customers.
Certified B corps are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. B Corp understood that there was declining confidence in businesses and greenwashing was rife, this lead to customers losing faith in them. In today’s world of tightly integrated supply chains, companies need high levels of trust in their business partners. They knew that in order for businesses to win over cynical audiences a highly trusted certification was necessary to bolster brand equity and credibility.
Would you like help with creating a more meaningful brand? If so, call us on 01323 430700 for an informal chat or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.