CuriousAbout Creatinga Brand Movement?
Marketing has entered the Relationship Era, and with this change hascome a heightened interest in brands expressing their values and purposesas a way to attract and retain like-minded customers. This shift away fromattention-seeking and persuasion and to the development of deep relationshipsbased on values and beliefs has spawned interest in ways that brandscan make values and beliefs well-known. Two of these methods—the corporatebrand campaign and the brand-sponsored movement—may appearsimilar, but in fact these two approaches have some clear differences.The purpose of this paper is to highlight how brand-sponsored movements andcorporate brand campaigns differ, and to help brands interested in developingdeeper relationships with potential and current customers decide whethercreating a movement is right for them. The question each brand must answer is“DO WE (THE BRAND) WANT TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A TRUEMOVEMENT, OR SHOULD WE FOCUS ON A BRAND CAMPAIGN TO ATTRACTLIKE-MINDED CUSTOMERS?”MOVEMENTvs CAMPAIGNTo answer the question “Movement or Brand Campaign?” it is necessary tolook at the differences in these. To exemplify a brand campaign, we will referto the recent Johnson & Johnson (J&J) work. To exemplify a movement, let’sreference the most recent Chipotle work.
A CAMPAIGNStarts With Attributes_____To create a campaign, brands look at their unique attributes to build a foundationalplatform. Typically, the brand examines its attributes (e.g., stronger, longer-lasting,cheaper, made from nature, more sustainable) and looks for ways to talk about theseattributes in an emotional manner that inspires and motivates. The most recent J&Jbrand campaign, For All You Love, emphasizes at tributes such as safety, reliability,heritage and efficacy. These attributes are then laddered up through an emotionalmessage that asserts that using J&J products is an expression of the love consumersfeel for their family members. An example of this can be seen by visiting this link:http://bit.ly/18NClEDt.This theme is carried through the J&J website where people can engage with the brandand show support through activities such as tweeting/retweeting #forallyoulove andparticipating in the “Donate a Photo” feature.The key to a good brand campaign is that the attributes assigned to thebrand must be believable, inspirational and informative. People mustbelieve that J&J products are safe for their families (and researchsuggests this is indeed a belief many people hold), they must beinspired by the idea that caring for the family is a higher calling,and they must be receptive to the information about J&Jproducts and the engagement avenues that J&J offers.The foundation for a strong brand campaign isbelievable and inspirational attributes. Thebrand says “I am...” and therefore thecustomer should support it becausethe customer is either like thebrand or wants to be likethe brand.
The foundation for a movement is different: it is a set of beliefs the brand holdsabout the world. Beliefs are different than attributes; think about how these differ ina person. A person may have the belief that “honesty is the best policy” and may alsohave the attribute of being direct and honest. But the belief and the attribute, whileappearing very similar, are actually different, and that becomes apparent when thebelief is not quite so universal.A MOVEMENTStarts With Beliefs___For instance, Martin Luther King in the 1960’s said he be lieved that only when thelaws of God and the laws of Man aligned would there be justice in the world. But noteveryone agreed with his belief about the definition of justice. And many pointed outthat he violated the laws of God himself on many occasions. However that did notshake his belief in his definition of justice. That is a key point about beliefs: they aretypically unprovable, but most people cannot be argued away from their beliefs. Theysimply know what is right, even if they can’t “prove” it.To create a movement, often a brand or a person has a belief about what is not rightor just in the world. This is a point of differentiation from a campaign. Usually a beliefis formed about the external world; an attribute is, by definition, part ofthe brand’s internal world. As an example, take Chipotle and its effortto create a movement around only purchasing food with integrity. Themost recent educational piece (notice it is not a commercial) can beseen by visiting this link: http://bit.ly/18XheiU.Chipotle wants people to believe as it does; consumers should only consume foodthat is raised with respect for animals, the environment and farmers. The branddoes not believe that food should be enhanced with hormones, that animals shouldbe raised in restricted environments, or that big agribusiness should be squeezingout family farms. Notice that Chipotle does not claim any individual benefits frombuying this kind of food. It doesn’t say it is healthier or tastes better (In fact, the
former president of Chipotle once stated it did taste tests between organic and nonorganicbeans and people could not tell the difference, but the brand still uses themore expensive organic beans when it can because they are grown with respectfor the environment).A MOVEMENTStarts With Beliefs___Chipotle’s commitment to food with integrityis the crux of the movement: the brand lookedaround and saw what it believed to be an injustice,and has taken a stand to try and right thewrong. Chipotle doesn’t argue or try to provefood with integrity is better through logicalanalysis of attributes; the movement is a heartfeltbelief that the company decided to act upon.The brand doesn’t claim to be pure: it knows it has a ways to go also, but that doesn’tstop Chipotle from spreading the word and asking for help.Chipotle still has GMOs inits food chain, and hereis how it is addressed:The key to a good movement is that the beliefs are well-held,fully announced, and owned by the brand in an unapologeticmanner, and that the brand is just an instigator, not the ultimateauthority. People must believe that the brand will standfast around its beliefs, that it will try to act in accordancewith those beliefs even when it is difficult or costly, and thatthe brand truly wants people to join the movement and contributeto the greater good, not just do what the brand says.The foundation for a strong movement is a core belief thatthe world needs to change. The brand says, “This is wrong . . .”and therefore the consumer should join it in correcting thisinjustice or ignorance.
Typical ACTIONSBRAND CAMPAIGNS:MOVEMENTS:u Awareness strategies are developedto tout the brand’s attributes (typicallybrand-controlled messaging).u Engagement activities are providedthat allow people to express thebrand attributes (i.e., J&J’s “DonateA Photo” campaign lets people showoff those they love and also give tocharity, a loving act) in their ownways. They are a member of the club.u Brand equity (often defined as brandsentiment or admiration) and saleslift are KPIs: if people believe thecampaign, they are moved to participateand buy, and feel positivelytowards the brand.u Educational materials are developedto highlight the injustice or ignorance(continuous flow, not episodic,sourced from multiple places—notjust the brand).u Gathering places are provided toallow people to meet and planstrategies; the primary role of thebrand is instigator and facilitator.u Changes in people’s attitudes aboutthe issue and the number of peoplewho expressly take action to supportthe movement are KPIs; sales liftsare a bonus but not the goal. Movementsheal the world, not the brand.
Why DO A MOVEMENT?u IT’S RIGHT. Remember the story about organic beans at Chipotle? Customerscannot tell the difference, but employees know that Chipotle sources as manyorganic beans as it can. This lowers employee churn and improves “on the line”customer service because employees believe in the company. Why doesn’t thecompany use all organic beans? It cannot source enough from small farmers (yet).Chipotle hopes the demand will eventually lead to greater supply, and it will beready to purchase them.u IT IS AN AUTHENTIC WAY TO BUILD THE BRAND. No convincing is needed:either people join or they don’t, but the brand sticks to its purpose and works toadvance the movement. It may go fast, it may go slow, but the people in it arerewarded by progress, not quarterly results.u IT CAN BE GOOD BUSINESS:o Chipotle saw sales lifts when it shared educational materials (5.5% lift insame store sales, more than double the industry average, in Q2 2013, whenScarecrow was released).o Brands such as Patagonia charge premium prices based on their recognizedleadership in creating a sustainable environment.o Secret deodorant, a low consideration CPG product, was able to effectdouble-digit sales increases across its portfolio by sponsoring the antibullyingmovement, Mean Stinks.
BRANDS FACE A ChoiceWhen the topic of building a movement comes up inside a brand’s wall, somepredictable issues arise:u CONFUSION BY SOME BETWEEN A MOVEMENT AND A BRAND CAMPAIGN—A sign of this is multiple conversations around whether the brand can defend aclaim. Such debate usually indicates that some are seeing the proposed effort asa brand-focused campaign, where claims about attributes are paramount, ratherthan a movement, where the focus is on an external issue, namely correcting aninjustice or informing the uninformed about an important topic.u WORRY ABOUT DIFFERENTIATION FROM COMPETITORS—Brand campaignsstrive to differentiate the brand from competitors, through brand attributes. Ina movement, the goal is to change the world. If several brands all have the samestated purpose and join the same movement, that simply means more powerbehind the movement. Again, the value of a moment is to effect change; the valueof a brand campaign is specific to one brand.u LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE DESIRED OUTCOMES—Movements measuresuccess by resolution of the injustice or educational gains. Brand campaignsmeasure success by lift in brand equity. If the brand is not “jazzed” about theinjustice it has identified, then the movement will lack the passion necessary tostay the course through troubled times.With this in mind, the brand must ask itself:DO YOU WANT TO CREATE AMovement OR A Brand Campeign?
Final NOTEAlmost always, movements start because somebody—a person or at most a coupleof people—inside the brand burns with a passion to make a difference in theworld, and believe that the brand is the perfect vehicle to accomplish that impact.A corollary to the previous question is:“WHO INSIDE THE BRAND BURNS TOIMPROVE THE STATE OF THINGS?”If the answer is nobody, that may help in answering the first question.If your brand wants to make its values and beliefs better known and feels thatbeing part of a successful movement is the right thing to do, MEplusYOU wouldbe interested in helping you sponsor, facilitate, or join such a movement. We specializein helping purpose-inspired brands use interactive channels such as digital,social and mobile to activate movements that attract high-value supporters whobecome lifetime customers.Authored by:Mark McKinneyChief Strategy Officerwww.meplusyou.comMarketing@meplusyou.comCopyright © 2013. All ideas and concepts within are the sole property of MEplusYOU.