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4 innovative ways to capture the hearts of your clients as a purpose-led brand

A few months ago, I attended an event at the UN in Geneva. I was surrounded by amazing people who had come together to celebrate women and peace. One of the speakers shared a video which showcased how committed her company was to sustainability.

I remember sitting there trying to convince myself that this was great! Yes, what they were doing was fantastic. But the truth was, the video simply left me feeling indifferent. No, it left me feeling uncomfortable. It was like listening to a long monologue of someone singing their own praises.

And in that moment, something clicked. This brand had completely missed the point: if you are looking to have a positive impact in the world, it is not about the brand being the hero of the story!

Having a positive impact is about finding those who believe what you believe (your tribe) and helping them to make a difference in the world.

Let’s not forget, it’s only when your clients connect with your brand, buy your brand, and love your brand, that you will make the impact that you are looking to make.

So, to help you make that shift, let’s take a look at four ways that you can make your client the hero of your brand story.

  1. Show them how they are making a difference by using and talking about your brand.

This is the simplest and easiest way to make your clients the hero of your story: show them how, by using your product or talking about your brand, they are making a difference in the world.

Hellmann’s mayonnaise is a great example! They have found a way to address one of the world’s biggest challenges, one that we all contribute to on a daily basis: food waste. By partnering with top chefs from around the world and creating new recipes with leftovers, they educate and empower all of us to be more conscious and waste less.

Another great example is Tony’s Chocolonley’s, a Dutch-based chocolate brand that is leading the way to eradicate child slavery in the cocoa industry. They actively ask their fans to share their story and raise awareness of the issue. As Tony’s says “alone, we make slave-free chocolate, but together we make all chocolate slave-free”.

  1. Get them involved by inviting them to act via a simple call-to-action.

Inviting your clients to act, by signing a petition for example, is another easy way to enable them to make a difference in the world.

Dove has done this across many of their campaigns. Their most recent campaign “The Cost of Beauty”, which denounces the dangers of social media on young girl’s mental health, invites us to sign the Kids Online Safety Act and make a difference in social media legislation.

Patagonia is another brand that frequently invites its community to sign petitions to pass legislation that will protect different natural landmarks. Their latest campaign invites us to “add our voice to the fight to protect our ocean” by signing a petition to end bottom trawling.

  1. Ask them to create your brand content for you!

This is truly a win-win strategy for your brand! Getting consumers involved by asking them to create content for your brand (otherwise known as UGC – User Generated Content) makes them the heroes of the story AND creates amazing content for free!

Some fantastic examples here are brands such as Lego and Apple that have used their purpose’s focus on creativity to run very successful UGC campaigns.

Lego launched the “Kronkiwongi” campaign, inviting children to create their own Kronkiwongi’s to stimulate free, creative play. The children were asked to create whatever they wanted, without any instructions or rules. They then explained what it was, what it could do and how it could help others. The stories were published across Facebook newsfeeds of Moms across the world. The campaign created millions of impressions as well as an uplift in sales and brand equity: inspiring the builders of tomorrow.

Apple launched the “shot on iPhone” campaign in 2015, aiming to highlight its impressive photography capabilities by encouraging users to share their photos taken with the device on social media platforms. Over 100’000 photos were submitted, generating over 70 million interactions on Instagram alone. Apple also published the photos on billboards and in major magazines around the world further building the brand’s creative positioning.

  1. Invite them to get involved in activities that pertain to your brand purpose.

To create an even bigger impact, give your clients a platform to get involved at a deeper level.

Patagonia actively promotes its Action Works activism which connects committed individuals to organizations working on environmental issues in the same community. By participating in events, volunteering your time, donating money, or signing petitions, anyone can discover and connect with environmental action groups and get involved with the work they do.

Hellmann’s has also taken its “Make Taste, Not Waste” campaign further by creating the “Fridge Night Challenge” free food waste app. This 4-week challenge helps you practise and master how to become more resourceful with the food you already have.

The Recap

Having a purpose that aims to “save the world” is a great start, but it’s not about the brand being the hero. The real impact comes from helping others make the difference that they want to make in the world. Connecting with a community that believes what you believe and making them the heroes of your brand’s story.

Whichever way works for your brand, and it can be more than just one of the above options, invite your clients to participate in something that is bigger than the brand and help them to make a positive difference in the world.

How are you making your clients the heroes?

The butterfly movements - illustrative picture

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