Conscious Branding supports the positive growth and transformation of an organisation that has embarked on or sees the need to embark on the new way for business. As a society, our value system is changing. Education levels have risen, and global awareness of life options and possibilities has soared. We are becoming a much more conscious society, we are shifting from materialistic influences to others-centred influences, and our expectations of business have changed. This shift in business values is described by Raj Sisodia and Jag Sheth in the 2014 book, Firms of Endearment:
‘The remaking of capitalism into an instrument of broader purpose appears unstoppable. Companies that fail to recognise this court disaster. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding more socially aware management from companies. Customers will vote for this by closing their wallets to companies that don’t comply. The best employees will hire on elsewhere. Suppliers will favour companies that treat them with respect. Communities will make it tougher for companies that place shareholders high above all. And financial markets will restrict the flow of capital and raise its cost.’
A Conscious Brand is one that actively and intentionally nurtures positive values, relationships and experiences with all stakeholders. It values people and purpose over profit. And the outcomes of companies beginning to measure their success beyond size and profit is an exciting time for us all to be living in. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2015, executives from the world’s largest companies were affirming the power of having a purpose over profit in driving innovation, customer loyalty, differentiation, employee morale, recruitment, productivity and organisational agility. A Conscious Brand does this by actively endeavouring to become more aware, awake and intentional in its leadership, culture, strategies, communications and marketing.
Conscious Brands bare their soul. They dare to dream how the world could be. There is an element of modern life that matters to them and that they want to change. They make people feel something, and people want to be a part of that change. Harnessing a shared purpose connects, unifies and mobilises others around a common goal, which is the foundation for creating real change.
A Conscious Brand is driven and guided by its purpose. All strategies, ideas, and tactics stem from the purpose of the organisation, its ‘seed’. A purpose-driven strategy can be described as ‘one that refers to its purpose to drive, integrate and evaluate everything the organisation does in order to ensure it creates its desired future.’
The old model for employee engagement rested mostly on extrinsic motivators – like money, bonuses, benefits and titles. Today, it has been proven that people are more motivated by intrinsic value and meaning in their work. Conscious Leaders see themselves as the critical bridge between employees and the purpose they seek. These leaders are thoughtful in their approach, driving the strategy from a place of purpose, and bringing it to life throughout the organisation, creating intrinsically engaged teams who bring belief, energy, positivity and innovation. A brand that has been built from the inside out must start with its people.
Conscious Communication is about ensuring that all company and brand communications are aligned with the company’s purpose and focus on positive and intrinsic values. This approach creates highly effective communications and builds brand trust. Promotion becomes simpler, more focused, less time-consuming and less costly. Rather than being a squeaky wheel, a Conscious Brand earns attention. Through this, existing customers become long term and likely to also become your advocates and new business is more likely to come through word of mouth and reputation. With this approach, the communications are also working to reinforce positive values in society as a whole.
When customers genuinely feel understood and appreciated, their loyalty and advocacy will be strong. At a company level, this requires a culture of understanding customers at their core and genuinely wanting the best for them, and a drive to deliver value how and when customers really want it.
Often this is taken to a deeper level, with companies looking to have a positive influence on customers and actively encouraging intrinsic values within them. As a result, an intense emotional bond develops, where the customer can see the direct improvement in their life and the progress of people and society as a whole.
The modern world is ‘always-on’ with change being more dynamic each day. Conscious Brands are able to use their vivid goal and their defined purpose as a framework for change and direction. This framework empowers entire teams at every level to make the right decisions as everyone now has a benchmark to compare against. Innovation becomes faster because teams are more motivated and are only restrained by a clear purpose. Being agile, Conscious Brands are able to stay true to their purpose and values while transforming to adapt to changing market demands and customer expectations.