Creating Meaning by creating more meaningful brand connections
In our latest white paper, “Transforming your brand into an emotive brand“, we introduce a number of key drivers of our thinking, including the notion of “Meaning/meaningful brand connections”.
In our white paper we top-line this key driver in this way:
Emotive and meaningful brands strive to operate at a higher level than conventional brands. They act, interact, and react in ways that make every moment emotionally meaningful. Your customers and employees are left feeling more secure and connected. They feel your brand has helped them grow as humans. They feel your brand has touched them through love and beauty.
What do we mean by “meaning”?
Our pursuit of meaning goes beyond mere linguistics, as in “ABS means automatic braking system.” It also goes beyond the first level of outcomes, typically the “benefit” accrued, as in, “more stability in sudden maneuvers.” It often even extends beyond the second level of interpretation, as in, “so, your family travels more safely.”
And it always goes beyond the product level. Indeed, we search for meaning across a brand’s products, policies, processes, procedures, and practices. We interrogate the impact the brand has not only within the scope of the customer experience, but across a spectrum of meaningful outcomes that can appear on the individual, social, and environmental levels.
Our quest is to harvest the goodness that is now otherwise buried in the brand, and to bundle it into a set of high-order brand truths. These truths form the basis of the brand narrative we produce.
What are meaningful brand connections?
Meaningful connections come when a brand forges a link between what it does, and what people are seeking on a very deep, human level. We believe that deep down, we are all seeking the same three things:
- To feel safe and secure in our surroundings, our social situation, and in our hearts
- To feel connected to the people, ideas, and ideals that we care about, and which nurture us
- To feel we are growing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, through our thoughts, actions, and possessions
Seeing the world, and the brand within that world, through this lens helps us interrogate, dissect, and rethink the brand to find those traits and attributes that link directly to these deep drivers of people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
The value of bringing this meaning to the surface is often not clear, because it presents the brand in a new, and often unfamiliar light. It provokes anxiety by suggesting that what is truly meaningful about the brand is very different from the way the brand has been traditionally presented.
The resolution to this tension is the blending of the “commercial” and “human” meanings in future brand actions and communications. This gradual evolution can lead to true brand transformation, as the people of the brand embrace its truths and live out its promise.
Why be meaningful?
Meaningful connections that flow from deep within the organization, and that reach deep down inside the hearts and minds of people, lead to greater brand appeal, differentiation, and loyalty.
The internal dynamic changes when the heartbeat of meaning is present; there is greater collaboration, self-initiative, innovation, attentive customer service, as well as higher degrees of engagement, gratification, and loyalty. This meaning-driven difference internally resonates externally, attracting prospects, recruits, suppliers, and communities to the brand.
Given the current pressures on brands, and the continuing challenges that loom ahead, many smart brand owners are seeking their meaningful difference. They see it as a high-level strategic choice that brings with it serious commitments of time, energy, and money.
Those who eschew the meaning option do so at their own risk. As more and more people become aware of their need for meaningful connections, and see that our culture offers few options, they will increasingly be drawn to those people, ideas, ideals, and brands that satisfy their core human needs.
Don’t stand idly by as meaning comes of age. Look deep within your world and see it as a person seeking meaning would do. Grab onto the meaning you find. Work hard to integrate that meaning into everything you do, every product you make, and every moment you have with the people important to your brand.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.
More information fromHavas Media on the subject of meaningful brands, check out their latest global insights