The best branding: Identifying with 'People Like Us' (PLU)

by Yvonne Howie, Chief Executive - NSW | |   Growing Your Business
"The best branding: identifying with 'People Like Us' (US)

Recently an expert guest presenter at The CEO Institute in Sydney, Jaimes Leggett, Group CEO M&C Saatchi, spoke about 'The Value of Brand and how to Leverage it'. He explored how brands have shifted from describing what organisations do or how they do it, to why they do it; or their purpose.

Branding has become less about logos, colour palettes, and voluminous brand guidelines, and is now much more about consumer experiences. Branding communicates a business philosophy: a reason for being that's able to guide the organisation in all its decisions. Successful branding is all about an emotional connection with the consumer.

Embedding brand to purpose is a strategy employed by some of our greatest, most inspiring leaders. Strangely, the contemporary brands of Airbnb and Budweiser share some commonalities with the late, great Dr Martin Luther King.

To illustrate, Jaimes gave The CEO Institute Syndicate group some recommended viewing, a now famous TedX presentation, by Simon Sinek - How great leaders inspire action. 

 


In the presentation, Sinek marvels at how Dr King was able to bring together a quarter of a million people in Washington, in 1963 to hear him deliver one of the most famous speeches in history. The crowd size was phenomenal given no invitations were sent out, in an age before websites, mobiles and social media. How did he do that?

Instead of preaching 'I have a plan - or what needed to change' - Dr King spoke of his beliefs, his dream for America, why change was needed. Sinek asks how many of the hundreds of thousands that saw him speak, showed up for Dr King. None of those people showed up for themselves, for their own beliefs. For, as Jaimes proposed, we all look for and connect with PLU: People Like Us. And Dr King spoke to their beliefs, their dreams.

By speaking about his beliefs and why America needed to change, Dr King appealed to the instincts of his audience, their hearts, and their souls even. In scientific terms, in talking about the why and appealing to values and beliefs - we're engaging with the limbic brains of our audience, that's the part of our brain associated with decision making. While we like to think we're rational beings, more often than not we use the rational, calculating part of our brains (the neocortex) to justify our emotion-led decisions, and that's where excellent, memorable branding comes in.

Sinek argues people don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Advertising used to focus on what companies did or made; then progressed to how they did things; and has now evolved to why companies do things.

Jaimes referenced the biggest day in advertising on the planet, well in the USA at least, the Super Bowl. In 2017, an increasing number of ads were directly communicating why they're in business during the premium Super Bowl timeslot.

Rather than talking about holiday experiences like locals, Airbnb’s ad that day speaks to its  acceptance of diversity, with a creative montage of people’s faces from diverse backgrounds.

 

 

Budweiser communicated its values and its historic roots, drawing subtle parallels between the immigration of Budweiser founder Adolphus Busch, from Germany to St Louis in the 1800s, and the journeys of modern immigrants to the States.

 

 

Amid the uncertainty of President Trump's recent election, both these ads were bold statements in an increasingly divided America, and took a  gamble these values would resonate with their consumers, that they are their 'sort of people'. (PLU- People Like Us)

Jaimes explored the advantages of branding to purpose. The benefits are compelling:

  • Done well - like the Apples of this world - you can secure phenomenal success, by appealing to your consumers on an emotional level and creating a loyal tribe of followers, of passionate brand advocates.

  • Flexibility - if the market changes and necessitates that you alter 'what' or 'how' you do things. The 'why' (you do things) ought to be constant.

  • If done well, purpose-driven branding can help guide decision-making, which is particularly important in an increasingly complex world. Derived from purpose, a brand can help inform decisions around every touch-point with your customers, from hiring staff, to office / store fit outs, to the look and user experience of your website; each needs to reflect a central purpose.

  • It's helping companies step in where governments are failing. By focusing on purpose, companies are increasingly seeking to tackle the big problems government is failing to fix.

A fascinating discussion ensued from Jaimes' talk. The CEO Institute members grappled with the need for authenticity in branding, since consumer impressions are more dependent on a company’s actions, rather than what it says. Jaimes assured us purpose-driven branding can be authentic and compelling.

Increasingly, it’s consumer experiences that define a company's brand. Deeper than just the mere appearance of logos, branding is becoming a way to define a company's relationship with its consumers. And - as many CEO Institute members are B2B enterprises - it's just as important for organisations which aren’t facing the public to deeply develop their brands.


 

The CEO Institute, established over 25 years ago, helps business leaders like you connect with your peers to share skills, insight, and experience. The CEO Institute's leadership programs are available globally. To register your interest in any of our programs, click enquire.


Write new comment

47414389439043914456 4457 4284
preload 0preload 1preload 2preload 3preload 4preload 5preload 6preload 7preload 8preload 9preload 10preload 11preload 12preload 13preload 14preload 15preload 16preload 17preload 18preload 19preload image 1preload image 2preload image 3preload image 4preload image 5preload image 6preload image 7preload image 8preload image 9preload image 10preload image 11preload image 12preload image 13preload image 14preload image 15preload image 16preload image 17preload image 18preload image 19preload image 20preload image 21preload image 22preload image 23preload image 24preload image 25preload image 26preload image 27preload image 28preload image 29preload image 30preload image 31preload image 32preload image 33preload image 34preload image 35preload image 36preload image 37preload image 38preload image 39preload image 40preload image 41preload image 42preload image 43preload image 44preload image 45preload image 46preload image 47preload image 48preload image 49preload image 50preload image 51preload image 52preload image 53preload image 54preload image 55preload image 56preload image 57preload image 58preload image 59preload image 60preload image 61preload image 62preload Themeimage 0preload Themeimage 1preload Themeimage 2preload Themeimage 3preload Themeimage 4preload Themeimage 5preload Themeimage 6preload Themeimage 7preload Themeimage 8preload Themeimage 9preload Themeimage 10preload Themeimage 11preload Themeimage 12preload Themeimage 13preload Themeimage 14preload Themeimage 15preload Themeimage 16preload Themeimage 17preload Themeimage 18preload Themeimage 19preload Themeimage 20preload Themeimage 21preload Themeimage 22preload Themeimage 23preload Themeimage 24preload Themeimage 25preload Themeimage 26preload Themeimage 27preload Themeimage 28preload Themeimage 29preload Themeimage 30
Like
Love
Haha
Wow
Sad
Angry
Dislike
Not rated yet.
Please confirm
No
Yes
Information
Ok
Previous Next Hide preview images
Close webpage preview
Loading preview ...
Upload photo Upload pdf
Loading preview ...
Preview of your uploaded image Cancel image upload
*: required field
Preview Comment
Close comment preview
Cancel reply
Your comment will be a reply on the following comment:
Data protection and disclaimer
Data protection report - 24.4.2017, 18:58:39
Https is not enabled
Database is on the same server
Cookies can be refused or accepted AcceptRefuseCookies are accepted Cookies are not accepted
Search engines are allowed to index comments
Data protection is low (25%)
1
Software declaration
This software has no known backdoors or vulnerabilities that allows third parties access to your data. More about data protection with this commenting- and rating-system: www.toctoc.ch

No comments

Close

Let us know your enquiry