Return on Meaning: Five Evaluation Criteria for Your Business

return on meaning

Brands Rooted in Meaning Win Big

Return on meaning for businesses and brands is a compelling notion. In today’s world, it’s important to reconsider the ways you matter to people that are authentic to your brand’s purpose in the larger world. Now is the time to return to core human needs and evaluate where your brand fits in. This is why savvy leaders are taking a different approach to brand strategy. They are embracing the ideals of purpose, empathy, and meaning. They are creating newer, deeper, and more enduring connections with the people vital to their brand’s success, both within and outside their organizations.

In this approach, the keys to success are honesty and authenticity. In other words, the meaningful claims your business makes needs to be absolutely true. They also need to be seen as empathetic in order to resonate with the people involved.

How Do You Identify the Roots of Your Brand’s Meaning?

Consider how your product, policies, and procedures add to individual and collective well-being, both for your customers, your employees, and the communities and world around you. We suggest you explore these five areas as you pursue what matters most about your brand.

1. Human Safety/Security

In what ways does your brand help people feel more comfortable in the world, improve their sense of protection, or otherwise reduce feelings of insecurity?

2. Human Connectedness

In what ways does your brand give people a stronger sense of community, provide better ways to connect and communicate, or otherwise reduce feelings of disconnectedness?

3. Human Personal Growth

In what ways does your brand help people grow in body, mind, and spirit, or otherwise reduce feelings of meaninglessness? And inspire action and growth?

4. Positive Social Contribution

In what ways does your brand improve collective well-being across society or otherwise reduce social decline?

5. Positive Environmental Impact

In what ways does your brand work to ensure better lives for future generations or otherwise reduce negative environmental impacts?

Your brand may not be able to draw upon all five of these roots of meaning. At the same time, it may have multiple ways of creating meaning based on a single root. Regardless, the test is always how true the supporting evidence is and how well you see it through the eyes of others.

A Refreshing and Gratifying Audit

You should feel proud and gratified after such an audit. At its best, an exercise like this will reveal how your brand generates meaning in ways you never before considered. When you use these meaningful attributes to shape your brand strategy, amazing things happen. Suddenly, you’re able to elevate your story, connect on deeper levels, and fundamentally change the way people think, feel, and act with respect to your brand.

As such, more positive energy is created within and around your brand. This energy attracts the prospects you need to grow and move closer to your vision for the world you do business in. It gives your current customers good reasons to become long-term loyalists and advocates of your brand. It draws in the recruits you need to grow and innovate. It aligns, engages, and motivates your employees. It gives your leadership new depth and purpose.

Return on Meaning: A New Path Forward

By identifying your brand’s deep-rooted meaning, you set the stage for a more competitive presence, a stronger organization, and a better future. This is because meaning naturally generates more meaning. As you embrace the meaningful goodness of your brand, you and your team are inspired to build upon it and to develop new roots of meaning.

Step back from your daily pressures. Walk in the shoes of others. Go back to the basics of core human needs. Gaze deeply into your brand and let it reveal the roots of meaning that will help your brand thrive now and over time.

Download our Purpose Beyond Profit white paper.

Are you interested in learning more about how your brand can have a stronger return on meaning? If so, contact us at Emotive Brand.

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