As more and more businesses, processes, products and services fall foul of sameness and commoditisation, creating brands that inspire belief which transcends the rational is deeply attractive. ‘Dirt is Good’ achieved this in the world of laundry. Apple achieves this, as does Nike. But how can you do this? David Arkwright, former global VP Persil and Omo for Unilever, author of ‘The making of Dirt is Good’ and co-founder of MEAT Global Brand Consultancy tells us how.
By thinking creatively and managing the execution of your brand effectively you have a real opportunity to improve business.
Here are seven golden rules that underpin the brands we believe in:
Articulate a purpose which goes beyond the rational or merely commercial objectives. This is the defining ideology which gives reason to their everyday existence.
For example, Nike believes in everyone’s right to be an athlete, whatever their physical prowess. Apple believes in the inalienable right of everyone to be liberated by information technology. ‘Dirt is Good’ believes in the power of the ‘freedom to get dirty’.
2. Resolve a problem, or fulfill a deep desire
Problems or desires connect to a yearning within which creates deep aspiration in the target audience. Apple speaks about the deep desire to be free, and to be liberated by technology. ‘Dirt is Good’ speaks to the parent’s and taps in to their desire to marry progressive with disciplined parenting – and to be an accomplished parent.
3. Create a deep connection
Connect to deeper human values which matter. Brands we believe in touch us in our values space. They connect with the deeper motivations such as freedom, pleasure, self respect. It is not necessarily who we are, but how we see our motivations and drivers. It is by connecting with our aspirational self that these brands create attraction and a ‘towards’ momentum.
4. Offer insight
Speak beyond, yet fundamentally touch the category in question, linked via meaningful insight. Though ‘Dirt is Good’ speaks to aspirations to be an accomplished parent, it still connects via insight to what getting dirty really means. And getting dirty is at the heart of the functional competence of laundry detergents.
5. Create brand advocates
Creating brand advocates, as opposed to mere consumers will accelerate your growth. The brands we truly believe in create deep believers and therefore evangelisers. They have a different, deeper relationship with the brand. And as such they spread their affection for the brand passionately and freely.
6. Create a ritual
Meaningful believable brands are experienced via ritual and this ritual is the experience of the idea itself. Think Nike’s ‘Run London’. It is this ritual which allows thousands of Nike enthusiasts across the world to ritually engage in the idea of ‘Just Do It’. By running in these events they are experiencing a slice of accomplishment, as opposed to merely wearing Nike apparel.
7. Create brand activists
Focus on creating brand activists as opposed to brand managers. They will connect the team and employees across the business with a sense of mission and commitment. It is this which will create incredible internal motivation and momentum.
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