Consumers are becoming more health and environmentally conscious, emerging ethical trends are at their peak, and safe and ethical brands are what consumers desire. As a result, social change is happening and buying decisions are evolving, consumers require brand transparency and openness about brand processes and values to suit their adjusted social and personal values.
The marketing and branding landscape is going through a revolution, the brand strategy must adapt and listen to the consumers needs and desires. The development of the original 4P’s of marketing has adapted with the original ‘Price, Purpose, Positioning and Packaging’ making way for the emergence of the fifth P, which is the Purpose. Consumers are becoming more health and environmentally conscious, emerging ethical trends are at their peak, and safe and ethical brands are what consumers strive for. Social change is happening, buying decisions are evolving, and consumers require a transparency about brand processes which will suit their social and personal values.
‘Good is the new cool’ , but how do you achieve this and still stay true to your company’s core values? Here are a few tips on how to be ahead and connect to the new wave of consumer:
Know the brand purpose
It may sound obvious, but knowing your brand purpose is integral; brand values and purpose should align. However, before you can determine “why” you exist, think about what you believe in, and what you’re willing to fight for; they’re your brand values. Once you’ve established your brand values, you can ask yourself, why does the brand exist? This is your brand purpose; your brand purpose is the meaning behind your existence, an idealistic view of what you want to become to your audience and competitors. This should be consistently built upon and grow with your brand. Don’t just think on the financial side, think about the greater social economy and the end results.
Don’t assume every other business is a competitor or enemy, align with businesses who carry the same ethical and social values – champion each other and make the change greater. Combine talents or strengths in order to attract more business; it will strengthen the brand voice and enable both brands to excel.
Think people, not consumers
Words matter. ‘Consumer’ is a term that is evolving, but some brands tend to depersonalise the people they are marketing to by calling them “consumers”, forgetting their customers have ideas, problems and emotions of all kinds; they care about certain issues and as a brand we should care too. Consumers want brands to value them much more, a great way to lead is by speaking to the people first.
Champion the mantra – lead with the cool
Don’t just vocalise a brand voice with no intention; lead with intention and follow through. Lead with the cool, make sure your cause and values are engaging by using initiative ways to show that the company cares and has a fantastic personality. Transparency is key; information and ethics are easier to find out – therefore brands must lead with being transparent and continue with this. Back up the brand promise with an action plan, ready to go to the market and lead with it; put the ethical and social personality in the limelight.
People are the media
People lead the narrative; social media allows this and has given citizens a further voice which sometimes grows quicker than brands can predict. The brand voice on social media needs to be strong and well thought out; a great way to do this is by showing you are involved via engagement. Campaigns that connect, resonate and that make an impact, work because people listen and care.