Constructing Main Manufacturers With Belief And Goal
"Brand that I can trust" is an attribute that brands have long measured. In retrospect, it was hardly a distinguishing feature a decade ago. Oddly enough, all mass competitors would score high, so we never spent too much on it. Why? I think it meant something different back then – it meant the brand’s reputation and acceptable product quality. In other words, is it a safe purchase or not? However, this attribute has taken on a new meaning today, especially with the entry of Gen Z into the workforce. Around 81% of Edelman respondents say they "trust the brand to do the right thing". It's no longer about the product and the brand name (I mean, it's safe, but it's not enough on its own). People need brands to take a stand on social issues and put their money where their mouth is. The days of fake support, checkbox support or unusual CSR initiatives are long gone. People are demanding a consistent approach.
Brand purpose = competitive advantage
Because trust builds up over time and can be broken overnight, it's a very fragile attribute for a brand. For brands born in the past decade, this is the strongest long-term competitive advantage they can build and build by incorporating social goals into their core DNA. Significant advances in technology and social media can enable a true-to-scale 1-to-1 connection with trademark lawyers.
When you think about launching a brand, make sure you understand what you want to stand for and build it at the core of your brand ethos. However, it is easier said than done to find a meaningful social purpose for a scaled brand and then connect with it. The majority of the big brands were born decades ago today. Consumers' perceptions don't change overnight. Building a social purpose requires a strong belief that matches the brand, tenacity, and financial resources for consistent messaging. In addition, it must feel right for your product category and also increase overall sales.
Some big brands that have consistently implemented this agenda are Nike, Starbucks and Target. Nike's commercials consistently made a social statement that creates a positive conversation. In this way, they can use an advanced mindset of consumers and create positive brand affiliation. Starbucks by expressing their opinion on social injustice and creating their cafés as a place for communicating ideas. The longer customers stay, the more they love the brand and the more value Starbucks creates for the life of the customer. Creating images and clothing for oversize models means the right thing (a comprehensive message) as well as reaching a larger target group. When a social purpose is identified for an older brand, it often remains an up-to-date message. Since the connection with sales is not always clear, the idea does not receive meaningful internal support from the stakeholders, which creates a vicious circle in which sales remain focused, which we know is not the best way to do this today To drive growth. So what should we do to define our brand purpose and tackle this crisis of confidence that we're dealing with?
Back out to go forward
Going back to our roots helps. Immerse yourself in our brand DNA. Why was our brand founded? What was the underlying truth that has resonated our brand for decades? How has that thinned out over time? Who are we targeting? Who do we want to address today? What is most important to you? How does our brand DNA help address what is important to our employees? Once you've defined the “why” of your brand, “who” you're referring to, the “how” – the social purpose – becomes apparent. If it feels authentic to your brand, the execution follows. If the execution for your brand is effortless, sales follow. To gain a foothold among consumers, start with small and fine-tuned ideas and then scale them as they resonate.
In my role as Vice President of Marketing at Revlon's Luxury Division, we're looking for ways to get consumers back in touch for all of our brands. For example, at Elizabeth Arden we often go back to our founder. Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. It was on the cover of Time Magazine when women had no right to vote! She went with the suffragette women. Spent red lipsticks that became synonymous with women's liberation. (Remember that wearing lipstick wasn't common for middle-class women at that time). This story really inspires us about our brand. (Conveniently, it goes well with one of our product categories). Earlier this year we teamed up with I am a Voter to encourage women / people to vote. Of course, Covid-19 slowed us down on our rollout, but we think this is the place for us. Small steps will hopefully lead to a big movement later.
Contribution to the Branding Strategy Insider by: Oshiya Savur, VP Marketing, Luxury Department, Revlon
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