Brands should look to ideas for more support
The world’s top brands and businesses are built around more than just making profits. Companies need to consider brand ideals for strengthening consumer bonds. Millward Brown Ireland boss Richard Waring says an ideal goes beyond the product or service. It explains why the brand exists and the impact it can have in enhancing consumers’ lives.
P&G’s Pampers is not just a nappy. Its ideal is to create a happier, caring world for babies. It supports Unicef with vaccines to help families in developing countries wipe out material and newborn tetanus. Pampers’ online forums provide mums with infant health information. Google’s ideal is to organise and give people access to world information.
Discovery Channel’s ideal is to satisfy people’s curiosity. Waring says a brand ideal is not a mission statement. An ideal goes further than just saying ‘Be the leader in customer satisfaction’, or ‘Be the most innovative company’. Ideals stretch beyond the company’s financial interests. Red Bull aims to ‘uplift mind and body’, as seen in their quirky ads.
‘To be the number one energy drink’ might be its mission statement. But that’s an outcome rather than a purpose. Red Bull’s ideal extends to how it hires staff. They avoid taking on people with drinks industry experience. Instead, they focus on athletes, DJs and former Red Bull student ambassadors. Workplaces have skateboard ramps and slides.
Waring says a brand with an ideal is not a stuffy boast. Research by Millward Brown provides evidence that brands that embrace ideals enjoy stronger all-round results and are seen as better corporate citizens. It opens doors for marketers to challenge the status quo.