By Nqobile Nkosi (Business Director: LIVE+)
A brand can only last for as long as it continues to resonate with its consumer's changing priority product values. A diamond lasts forever. Can a brand do the same? A brand's longevity is compounded with many factors when measuring its success. Because of this, brands and their brand equity must change with their consumers' changing needs, wants, and demonstrate their power to be purpose-driven.
A higher purpose marketing approach presents us with a human-like path to brand building, built around contributing to the growth, needs and lifestyles of the people for whom the brand exists. Moreover, it is a far cry from the traditional and retail marketing plans we used before to steer the boat to brand adoption and is a more effective approach.
Higher purpose brands also boast strong, unapologetic leaders who are not afraid of abandoning generic marketing approaches in favour of utilizing deep consumer insights about a consumer's lifestyle needs, aspirations, and concerns that are guiding their lives and therefore, create messaging and experience that speaks and connects to them.
So, the question for the brand should be “What’s your why?” and how to emotionally connect to their audience through higher purpose marketing. Brands face the challenge of continuously evolving the brand experience (the tangible manifestation of the brand experience) within the context of consistency in values (the emotional promise of the brand experience).
If a brand creates an emotional connection with its audience and serves a higher purpose that is unselfish and people-relevant, extraordinary things can happen and as a result, the brand will be able to develop a more intimate relationship with their consumers, leading to the brand's longevity and consumer advocacy.
Covid-19 seems to have extended higher-purpose brand sentiments beyond Generation Y and Z, as more people are exploring the concept of paradigm and asking themselves what the future holds. As shown in this 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli survey, millennials and Generation Z have grown up with information at their fingertips and are overwhelmingly in favour of supporting a product or brand from a purpose-led company (66% overall, 91% among millennials).
In the context of their uncompromising values, strong brands engage and listen to all stakeholders with an understanding to always being purpose-let in their initiatives.
Consider how your customer relationship impacts the voice and meaning of your brand. If a brand's values and beliefs fully align with what its consumers care about and desire, what will happen? It creates an entirely new level of engagement, enabling brands to serve as a partner, coach, guide, and companion on a person's life journey. To achieve this, ensure you always think of the following:
Ensure that the values you hold dear and how they are driven by your vision are clear to you.
There is no question that the wealth of practical experience offered evokes an emotional response, thus your focus is on finding opportunities in products, not on adjusting values.
Although you're willing to defend your choices, it's unlikely you'll need to primarily because you are always aligned.
The desire to deepen your experience drives your evolution.
If you want to change the traditional, you must ignore the naysayers who refuse to change.
Therefore, ensure that the brand stands in its conviction. The power of higher purpose-led marketing not only extends to possible longevity but also creates a stronger sustainable brand that is driven through unyielding values from within which are also aligned with your customers’ needs and lifestyle.
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