What makes a brand more resilient? Add more Give!
To give means either to transfer possession or to bend or alter shape under pressure. These two qualities in a brand are important to the brand’s intended audience and to the market overall. The give becomes a big deal.
As we travel deeper into the information age, into an age of increasing interconnectivity, there has never been this ripe of an opportunity for a brand to be relevant –to bend and alter shape under pressure. Similarly, with the ability to be aware of global problems and collaborate on a grand scale, this is a unique time when individuals and corporations can make a regional and global difference, by giving energy, experience and of course, donations of goods, materials or cash.
How does a corporation strengthen its brand by adding give? Today’s marketing organizations leverage a huge store of information that enables the augmentation and creation of brands that “amplify and enhance” the person or organization who will use the product. In the video attached to this link, Umair Haque discusses how Nike built a shoe – and the tools – to make a person a better runner. This pairing of a product with the mobile application has created a more resilient brand. There are many media platforms and tools to deliver messaging, and to gather information to wrap a brand around the needs of the end-user.
What about the brands that give time, energy and money? Stories of corporate greed permeate all areas of our lives. Finding stories of corporate good requires careful hunting, but the examples make an impression on the market.
· In pure cash donations, according to Forbes, Kroger has the highest rate of pre-tax profits giving – over 10%. Other corporations are listed as well.
· In giving products and giving of employee time, finding examples requires more digging. For the building products industry, a great example is Extreme Home Makeover and Habitat for Humanity. Each Habitat for Humanity organization publishes an annual report where the donor list includes a vast list of companies donating goods to be used in construction.
· Here is a great example of a corporation giving time, effort and scholarship dollars, collaborating with industry leaders and academic institutions, to solicit designs for a house that can be built for $300. See more information at www.300house.com.
When brands are connected to their audience, these stories of giving are told and retold – in social media, they are posted and reposted. What story does your brand have to tell? Is it “amplifying and enhancing” its target? Is it collaborating with others to solve community problems? If so, does your audience know?
–Katherine Carrier, Search Executive