Steve Jobs once said, “Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.”
Corporate power looms and fake news is spreading; people don’t want smoke and mirrors. Customers want integrity, empathy, and all round authenticity of the companies they’re giving their money to. This has been demonstrated in Cone Communications 2015 study that discovered “84% of consumers say they seek out responsible products whenever possible.”
84% of consumers say they seek out responsible products whenever possible, and 90% say they would boycott a company if they learned of irresponsible or deceptive business practices.
Take what happened to Uber, for example. There’s a culture of dishonesty there and the public eye is looking directly at it. Recent Uber president, Jeff Jones, said, “The problem is not that Uber needs to be humanised. It’s already human. Problem is, we don’t like [the person] it has become.” So now Uber are having to rewrite their brand narrative in order to recover their image. Writing for Forbes, Patrick Hanlon describes the need for a brand to have a supportive following: “Just as it takes a tribe to raise a human being, it takes a tribe to grow a company.”
- Patrick Hanlon
THINK ABOUT YOUR BRAND. WHAT MAKES YOU AUTHENTIC?
Your answer should be reflected in every aspect of your brand strategy. A good product is not always enough anymore. Customers (and employees) are expecting more social responsibility, and this responsibility should be tied to your brand values.
Lush for example, sells a Charity Pot body lotion and donates 100% of the price (minus taxes) to small grassroots organisations who are concerned with animal welfare, environmental conservation, and human rights. The image of Lush has become much more than ‘just a soap shop’ and instead a pioneer of social change whilst maintaining a successful brand. Lush also actively promotes its environmental policy, putting its values at the centre of its brand communications.
Or look at Patagonia, the outdoor gear and clothing retailer. They are extremely clear about their mission to help protect the environment and encourage social progress. Their Fair Trade Campaign video is showing people where and how their clothing is made; highlighting key issues including poor working conditions and low wages, and offering them a conscientious alternative. Within one week, the video had received 107,000 views and 14,000 likes on Facebook which not only got people talking about their brand, but the issues closest to their heart as well.
Obviously not all brands will be able to donate thousands to charity or promote social progress from the onset. What we can take away from these examples is their ability to create and maintain brand values that sit at the core of their business. So whether your values include honesty, social change or just good old fashioned friendliness, it’s vital that these are actively encouraged and promoted across your brand.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
We have our own set of values which we carefully adhere to in all elements of our work, it’s our Bear Code. We know that good design is honest. That’s why we bears value integrity and empathy
We also know that your business is your baby, and we take our babysitting duties very seriously. As brand guardians, we want to help bridge the gap between creative genius and commercial success. You want to make sales, and we want to help.
We believe that the key to a successful relationship is good communication and empathy. We keep in touch at every stage of the design process so that you never feel in the dark. We’re always free for a catch-up, whether it’s a quick phone call, a lengthy Skype chat or a chinwag over a coffee.
Speaking of which, if you’d like to hear more of our thoughts on brand values and how White Bear can help you establish and maintain them, drop us a line at…
firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3176 8975