In the world of this new resistance, where the consumers are highly empowered by connectivity and awareness, a brand is constantly expected to participate on broader issues and make statements to show solidarity for or against a cause
Anyone with near keen eyes for developments in the marketing universe, must have, in recent times, come across something called ‘Conscious Branding’, a new marketing buzzword, or rather a concept, creating waves among brands these days. If you are reading this, I am sure, you are also one of those curious souls, eager to know what this buzz is all about. So, let’s get to the point already.
What is Conscious Branding, and how does it work?
The term Conscious Branding is self-explanatory, and it is basically regarding a brand’s conscious effort to acknowledge the actions and reactions in its surroundings, taking strong stance for humane causes, and help their customers, and others with something they care about.
In the past, it was common for brands to prefer the most neutral way out of any situation besides their business imperatives, in order to preserve their apolitical image among the public. However, a brand in the current times cannot possibly afford to follow the same ideology, as an indifferent attitude towards public sentiment is the last thing the consumers want from a brand. In the world of this new resistance, where the consumers are highly empowered by connectivity and awareness, a brand is constantly expected to participate on broader issues, and make statements to show solidarity for or against a cause. A conscious brand is one that makes use of its scale to educate, or better, to advocate for change. Today, socially conscious brands and businesses respond to the need to be open about the causes that are important to them, and their internal and external audiences.
And, marketers around the globe agree that it is the brands who are the vehicle of consciosuness - of displaying the will and strength of larger wellbeing - are the ones that will succeed in the coming years.
What goes into the Making of a Conscious Brand?
Making of a Conscious Brand is a continuous process. However, at this point, there are at least 6 basic components to a Conscious Brand, and they are as follows:
· Conscious Brands have a Higher Goal
Conscious Brands ride high on transparency. They are the ones with a bigger goal to change the world for better, and they are vocal about it. Their passion and commitment towards holistic development is contagious in nature, and that is what attracts people towards these brands. They know, a real change can only be brought upon by harnessing a shared purpose, as it connects, unifies and mobilizes people around a common goal.
· Led by Purpose-driven Strategy
If it is not said enough already, a purpose is at the core of a Conscious Brand. The entire organization, and its strategy for operations, ideas and tactics are highly driven by the sole
purpose behind its existence. A purpose-driven strategy here basically refers to uncompromisingly living and fulfilling the core purpose and letting the financial metrics be a by product of this strategy.
· Conscious Communication
Half of a brand’s stance is gauged by its communication with the stakeholders, which means brand communication plays a big role in forming its public image. That’s where conscious communication comes into play, which ensures all company and brand communication are in line with the company’s core purpose, with special focus on its positive values. This approach has been proven effective in building brand trust, as well as, it makes promotions simpler, more focused and inexpensive. Through conscious communication, brands can touch hearts of their existing consumers, who in turn, can aid the brands’ reputation through free promotion.
· Intrinsically Engaged People
Unlike the former generations of workers who were driven by extrinsic motivators like money, bonuses, benefits and titles, young employees today are increasingly inclined towards intrinsic value and meaning in their work. Conscious leaderships are prompt at enabling these workers to seek their purpose. They believe that a brand with a solid foundation can only be built with its people. They further work for this strategy to percolate throughout the organization, thereby creating intrinsically engaged teams or an ecosystem for positive energy and innovation.
· Empathetic Bond with Customers
Brand loyalty and advocacy in a customer heightens immensely when they feel understood and appreciated. Companies that genuinely have their customers’ best interests at heart, and have a drive to positively influence them, as well as, encourage intrinsic values, are more likely to develop an emotional bond with the customers, where the latter can experience the positive impact on their life, and the society as a whole and further become brand evangelists.
· Agile and Responsive
With the modern world transforming faster than ever, Conscious Brands are adopting a framework for change and direction, based on their clear goal and defined purpose. This framework enables every team to respond and make decisions at their level, which work as huge motivation for the employees, leading to faster innovations in the company. Additionally, the embedded agility in a Conscious Brand allows it to stay true to their values and purpose throughout its process of adapting to the changing market demands and customer expectations.
The author is Akila Chandrasekar, Head Marketing, Organic India
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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