Today’s guest post comes from Alan Twelkemeier – Enjoy!
If you watched SuperBowl 2015 you might have noticed a shift. Not in the momentum of the game, or in one of Katy Perry’s wardrobe changes. The shift was in the marketing. There were more brands talking less about product and more about family, people and social impact than ever.
The starkest example came before the big game when GoDaddy pulled their controversial puppy sale ad and replaced it with an ad supporting a business owner who was missing the game because he was hard at work. In fact, according to USA Today’s Admeter, 8 out of 10 of the SuperBowl’s top ads (including the no. 1 and no. 2 spot) had inspirational or awareness-related themes. This inspired some cynical ad critics to call Superbowl XLIX the “Touchy Feely Bowl”.
This shift in advertising isn’t just about sugar and spice and Daddy’s that are nice (see Dove’s Real Strength). It’s about an attempt to connect with people where brands have always sought to live – in their hearts. Because when you have someone’s heart, you have their mind and when you have both, you have their money. If this sounds like a diabolical plan to take advantage of the consumers emotions for the sake of profit, you might be right.
However, for some brands this shift isn’t occurring because they are only driven by the almighty dollar. They’ve also recognized that communicating why they do what they do can power great profit and great profit can power a greater purpose.
This isn’t the kind of growth that is built around a purpose and measured with YouTube views and social shares. You can get that kind of short-term brand equity with string bikinis, dancing babies and screaming goats.
The connection between a company’s profit, its maturity and its brand perception is irrefutable. More and more organizations are following in the footsteps of industry leaders like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Apple because they recognize that the power of their profits lies in the translation of their purpose.
This kind of brand equity is built on top of an organization’s purpose. It’s constructed slowly through awareness, emotion, and ultimately the loyalty of both the employees who produce the goods and services and the consumers who choose ‘their brand’ every single time because they understand the why behind the product.
Most brands still find it difficult to turn “touch feely” into brand equity because they are missing a key ingredient. Creating an ad that makes a potential customer feel good in that moment doesn’t work if they can’t relate the message back to the brand that made them feel that way.
However, organizations that have the vision to align their products and services with a purpose will experience extraordinary growth in Profit, in Culture, and in Impact. These companies are more than profit driven organization or purpose-driven organizations, they are Growth Driven Organizations.
Alan Twelkemeier is a co-founder at UnityMark, a marketing consultancy and ad agency that helps develop Growth Marketing Strategies for companies and non-profits that want to make an impact.