An increasingly content-polluted marketing environment paired with a murky distinction between authenticity and puffery can make it hard for brands to really resonate with their audience. This is where developing a brand point of view brings something to the table.
What is a brand point of view?
A brand is created with itself in mind; this means ideas, conversations and activities are centred on the product.
But what about everything else?
Having a brand point of view simply means having opinions on things that are outside of what concerns your product. Your view could be on anything from social, moral, environmental to political issues. Leveraging on beliefs that you hold to certain issues will align your brand with the audience that you want. This also sets a foundation for the kind of messaging you want to put out there. Basically, it sends a compelling reason for the world to look at you.
Whether you opt to be more soft-spoken about your brand point of view or decide to be more vocal, here’s why you will need one.
People desire brands that care
More often than not, we are driven to certain products because of how they make us feel or how we think others would perceive us. In some way or another, these brands soon become ways in which consumers tie their self identity. In the past, it seemed that brands would not intervene for fear of snowballing into a straight up PR scandal.
All that has changed.
Consumer culture in the 21st century is hugely value-oriented. 64% of buyers said that they would boycott, avoid or switch a brands based on its stand on societal issues.
Having a stance on the issues that people are fighting for can help brands can bond with their audience. You have to match their passion.
Known for its involvement in a number of societal protests, Ben & Jerry’s has always taken their stands with conviction. The ice-cream makers started a movement on climate change through their release of a delectable new flavour: Save Our Swirled. The campaign raised awareness about the growing scourge of climate change – showcasing what happens to ice-cream (and the planet) when there’s a two degree change in temperature. The brand then encouraged consumers to sign a petition calling for world leaders to make serious change.
You get the ball rolling for conversation, and set your own boundaries
A brand point of view can spark chatter among consumers, bringing valuable publicity to companies. When organizations start to voice their opinions on issues that matter to the public, it sets the basis for topics of conversation, be it among media outlets or the general market.
Ever think about what makes a good news story?
A good story, or newsworthy topic, is one that the audience decides on. When brands start to do things for a cause, it gets the attention of audiences with the same concerns. When brands provide a solution to these concerns, they start to associate these emotions with the brand. Taking on executive roles in your company could also potentially put you in the limelight for being a brand spokesperson.
Take a look at SMOL for instance, a local eatery in Singapore, which recently blew up on social media and major news outlets. In a viral CCTV footage, a man ripped off the Pride flag displayed outside the health food kiosk and hurled it at the staff. In a Facebook post by owner Charmaine Low, she stated that despite her being “concerned about the safety of her(sic) team” she was not intending to remove that flag, in a strong display of allyship. Within a day, support had poured in not just from members of the LGBTQ+ community, but from allies of these groups.
By setting clear boundaries, you create a market territory that invites an audience that resonates with you, and deters others. These beliefs can also shape the way brands respond, handle and face challenges.
Modern marketing is all about authenticity
When you have a similar product and content marketing tactics as your competitors, it all boils down to your personal voice to help your brand differentiate from the herd. A strong POV humanizes your brand in a way that gives you a personality. When done right, it works as a driver for your organization’s execution strategies to be relatable, authentic and exceptional. If anything the era of “cancel culture” has proven, it is that disingenuous brands usually get called out in a matter of time.
Brand voices do not just align with consumers, they begin with the organization. When key players push for company practices to be based on certain perspectives, it becomes a visible and sustainable movement to build your customer base. It is also easier to push out empathetic content that resonates with the audience.
Let’s talk about the girl effect, a global movement founded by Nike Foundation in 2008. The girl effect focuses on the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world. Launched over a decade ago, Girl Effect is now a fully-fledged independent non-profit organization, and still receives support from the Nike Foundation. The movement seeks to empower women to stand for their rights, to believe in their dreams, to create equal opportunities and to value their well-being. When large corporations such as Nike seek to be the voice of change, it causes people to listen. Today, Nike is one of the biggest brands that we know.
The correlation between your point of view and brand voice is closer than you think. In a generation driven by high moral standards, taking a stance might just be what it takes for you to click with the right audience and form lasting relationships. Today, holding firm ground is what sets successful brands apart from their counterparts, through inspiring, motivating and standing with the people.
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