The web, social media, and smart phones have created a media landscape that is more fractured than ever. At the same time, they have facilitated a dialogue between companies and consumers that has led to new demands for authenticity, transparency, and accountability. As a result, smarter marketers and big brands are making three key strategic shifts:
1. Purpose is driving profit: Whether it’s a B2B company like IBM talking about how a better world is being ‘Made by IBM,’ or a small fast-casual restaurant chain like Chipotle stealing market share by promoting ‘Food with Integrity,’ it is clear that Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z prefer brands doing good.
2. Futures need rewriting: Sometimes a strategic shift requires blunt action. CVS Caremark just banned the sales of tobacco products, renamed itself CVS Health, and launched a nationwide ‘Quit smoking’ campaign. Meanwhile, Axe deodorant owned by Unilever (who also makes Dove with its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign), shifted its marketing away from objectifying women to ‘Make love. Not war.’ Both demonstrated the need for a brand to reposition the company, products and marketing to respond to new business drivers.
3. Customers build brands: The rapid rise of GoPro and its very successful IPO turned on the fact that the brand was built by its customers sharing their videos, rather than by a slick ad campaign. The same can be said of the very successful ALS fundraising campaign that gave each participant a very demonstrative way to show their commitment and nominate other participants.
These are but three of the key strategic shifts that start-ups and high-growth companies must make to their marketing inspire employees, partners, and customers to build their business with them.
If you are interested in making the critical shifts that are needed for your brand’s success, we invite you to join us at this year’s We First Brand Leadership Summit on Oct 7-8 at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills. It’s a 2-day training event focused on how you tell the purposeful story of your brand in ways that build your business. Every attendee completes a Social Branding Blueprint at their event as their social marketing roadmap for 2015, so you walk out with real value in your hands. You create this plan with the help of a world-class line-up of experts including:
Unilever – Marc Mathieu, SVP Marketing
The Coca-Cola Company – Derk Hendrickson, GM EKOCENTERS
IBM – Chris Crummey, Worldwide Exec. Dir. of Sales
Facebook – Andy McKeon, Global Customer Marketing Lead
Participant Media – Karina Kogan, EVP of Digital
Nutiva – John Roulac, CEO/Founder
Patagonia – Rick Ridgeway, VP of Environmental Initiatives
UN Foundation – Aaron Sherinian, VP of PR & Communication
We First – Simon Mainwaring – Founder/Chief Creative Officer
If you’d like to work with this team to create your plan for 2015, register at WeFirst14.com and enter the special discount code: IMPACT(in all caps) at registration to save $500 plus you get a free ticket for your favorite non-profit. Every brand must shift their marketing to capitalize on new business drivers and we look forward to positioning your company for success in 2015.
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.