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Brand Management

Every Great Brand Reveals A Human Side


Every Great Brand Reveals A Human Side

No brand provides a better example of stellar corporate responsibility than Patagonia. In a recent LinkedIn post titled The End of Consumerism, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario flatly lays out their brand’s vision for the future.

She doesn’t waste a whole lot of time setting the stage for the disturbing reality of what’s happening to the planet. Instead, the focus becomes what the brand is doing to make good on her opening statement, “at Patagonia, we give thanks for the planet, the only home we have, where the whole of human history has taken place and where all of life is organized into a remarkable and precarious balance.”

While there certainly is plenty to bemoan about social platforms, there continues to be tremendous potential. Patagonia and many other brands are working to realize that potential by leveraging platforms and networks to extend their story beyond the boundaries and limits traditionally observed. Ms. Marcario keeps the focus on vision, values and purpose and backs up these ideals and goals with real-world actions that demonstrate those at the brand not only ‘talk the talk’ but also ‘walk the walk’.

Brands (and everyone) should understand the risks and rewards that come with what Geoff Colon likes to call, the “read-write” society. In this time of across-the-board reckoning, those who talk before doing better beware. We’ve discussed the crisis of leadership and credibility facing much of the world, and no brand is immune. Why do brands like Patagonia continue to stand out as great examples? Because they act before they say. And because they say it in ways that are accessible and inclusive.

Here are two things your brand can do to tap into the power of real human connections.:

1. Your leadership team should have a point-of-view (or points) that’s worth sharing.

Fair enough, that not every member of an executive team is a great writer or presenter, but it’s guaranteed they have a point of view that should align to the values of the brand they direct. Of course, the brand needs to protect proprietary methods, technologies and processes that give it a competitive advantage. But there’s so much that can be gained when leaders take the time to share what (and why) news or events matters to them and the brand, and what they’ve learned that has the potential to lift us all up.

So many brands miss on out important thought-leadership opportunities because they don’t take advantage of the tools (either available or emerging) that many platforms can provide. Instead of sharing the years of knowledge accumulated by their collective leadership team, they limit executive exposure. As Derrick Rozdeba says, “the truth won’t get in the way of a good story.” Just remember your leadership need to practice what they preach.

2. Instead of saying, “that’s not a tactic that can help our brand,” ask, “why not?”

Granted, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn over a year ago, but their leadership team had been using the platform before the acquisition. As the professional network where members often come to learn, LinkedIn helps advance Microsoft’s initiatives by opening up stories to a much broader audience in which two-way dialogue and sharing is encouraged. Take a look at the posts created by their VP, Ron Markezich. Communications like this from senior leadership adds personal weight and context that goes above and beyond what a brand can do in a news release.

It’s time for brands to enable real dialogue by empowering and liberating their leaders to share the important points of view, perspectives and learnings that reveal why their leaders are passionate about what the brand does. Passion can be contagious.

The Blake Project Can Help: Accelerate Brand Growth Through Powerful Emotional Connections

Build A Human Centric Brand At Marketing’s Most Powerful Event: The Un-Conference: 360 Degrees of Brand Strategy for a Changing World, May 14-16, 2018 in San Diego, California. A fun, competitive-learning experience reserved for 50 marketing oriented leaders and professionals.

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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