The Time for Emotion and Meaning Is Now
Battling the arduous winds of COVID-19 will take more than a shift in your communications. It will require a real change in behavior. Right now, people are experiencing a whole slew of complex and contradictory emotions. Some of these feelings are ephemeral and are changing every day; others like uncertainty are staying around for the time being. So to truly connect with people where they are, you have to speak their emotional language. That’s why having your brand behave in a more emotionally charged way and putting the focus on building truly meaningful experiences is what really matters right now.
At Emotive Brand, we’ve built our methodology on our belief in the power of emotion. Our methodology has never proved more important or relevant than now. Emotive brands forge emotional and meaningful brand connections by caring deeply about people and aligning their actions and communications to the deep-rooted human needs, desires, and aspirations of all those important to the brand.
We see the keystones of such connections as empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. In our seminal white paper, “Transforming your brand,” we introduce these key drivers of thinking in this way:
“Emotive brand strategies use empathy to better understand and address the needs, values, interests and aspirations of people, both within and outside of your business. As such, we take your brand’s positive attributes and match them against what we know about the ideas and ideals that people care about, connect to, and that can change their behavior. We also encourage our clients to adopt new behaviors that are more empathetic toward both their employees and customers, and to use the insights they gain to identify ways to make their workplace and offerings more personally relevant and emotionally important in the moment.”
Empathy is being able to vicariously experience how another experiences something. It’s not actually having the same experience, but rather allowing yourself to see the world from another’s perspective. For example, you don’t have to be blind to understand what life is like without the key sense of sight. Empathy is an innate trait (children are naturally empathetic), and simply needs to be sourced from within. We take an empathetic view of your audiences and then assess how your brand addresses their deepest needs. The results are sometimes unexpected, but always gratifying to our clients, and cultivating empathy is especially essential in navigating uncertain times like these.
Compassion is putting the insights you gain through empathy into practice in a helpful way. This is the essence of problem-solving. You come to understand another’s needs and then redesign products, experiences, and communications accordingly. This means greater creativity, innovation, and a continually broadening perspective. We turn to our compassionate nature to translate the unique intersection between your brand and basic human needs into actionable practices that bring the resulting meaning to life.
Mindfulness is the practice of being more aware of the surrounding world and more alive to its inherent possibilities. It is about having a broader perspective and a universal respect for others. It is recognizing that more unites us than separates us. It is about being humble, feeling connected, harnessing and using energy in new and more gratifying ways. When you employ a mindful attitude in everything you do, you enable a mutually-beneficial balance between your tangible business needs and the intangible meaning that will help your brand thrive in a COVID-19 world and beyond.
Every brand strategy we develop embraces the practices of empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. Through this we are better able to match your brand’s attributes with what truly matters to people today on deep and meaningful levels. At the same time, the brand behaviors we develop aim to promote these factors on both leadership and organizational levels.
Making Meaning A Way Of Doing Business
Organizations and leaders are often overwhelmed by circumstances and respond by turning inward both as individuals and on an organizational level. A state of mindfulness enables organizations and leaders to rise above the immediate situation and to turn outward to others on a deeper and more personal level.
Brand behavior that promotes an empathetic, compassionate, and mindful culture helps ensure that your brand will evolve into the most meaningful state possible. As a foundation for your brand culture, these vital traits also make sure that your brand’s meaningful way of being is sustainable and enduring.
As brands seek to confront the challenges of this new world, it’s only natural that they turn to meaning. But it is important to remember that it’s one thing to claim meaning, and quite another to continuously create meaning both within and outside your brand organization. When empathy, compassion, and mindfulness inform the organization, drive its decision-making, and shape its vision, meaning goes beyond being a buzzword and becomes a way of doing business.
Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design agency in Oakland, California.
Image by Alen Pavlovic