Evolved Brands Do These Things

How to know when it’s a right agency fit.

When we’re out in the world talking to new client prospects (aka partners) we’re often delighted by the level of similarities that these brands have with the operating system (aka belief system) of our team at Mth Degree. As well, we’ve noticed that there tends to be a string of similarities with partners or potential partners who are purpose-driven brands.

business-alignment
To paraphrase the observations of a CEO from one of our partners this week: “Many people and companies don’t realize how unique a purpose-driven brand is from other brands. The approach you take is distinctly different than ordinary brands—both in approach and impact. And the outcomes are clear in the uniqueness of customer relationships we have. They’re simply deeper, closer and more loyal. Why every brand doesn’t operate this way, is beyond me.”

Anytime businesses are looking to work together, they’re ultimately looking to have alignment in their values systems so they can productively solve the business challenges.

Here are some characteristics of the brand stance of our partners and the type of relationships they want to have with their customers:

Loyalty Trumps Conversion.
Only brands that lack integrity, differentiation and customer value are focused on sales conversion at all costs. A tell tale sign is a brand that lives primarily on discounts. Attracting and retaining the right customers has never been more important. Brands that are focused in building relationships with lasting effect are brands that are winning in the marketplace.

One example is the way Southwest Airlines rolled out their new brand last year with a deeper ownership of “love.” The site and brand for Southwest clear states what it stands for and what it means for their customers.

More Honesty.
Consumers are smarter and more informed today. They can see through gimmicks and facades, and most are over it. They also have little tolerance for lack of integrity. The recent United Airlines PR crisis is a good example. Companies that are honest and welcome imperfection will gain the trust of this generation. Branding and marketing is now less about being flawless and much more about being real. 

Human Connections.
Something brands can do to draw the attention of consumers is to make more connections with people who believe in or share the same values as the brand and what the brand stands for. Collaborating with customer influencers will make you stand out and organically grow your fan base. Deploying and leveraging content marketing with the design for human-to-human connection is a powerful approach. People want connections, even with their brands. And that starts with aligned beliefs.

Blurring Boundaries.
Strict and traditional demographic roles are going out the window these days. Stereotypes are being challenged, hard lines of demographics, psychographics and ethnographics are being blurred, giving more freedom to both brands and consumers alike. For example, Target stated they would take down their gender naming conventions in their toy department. Evolved brands see and communicate with their customers as individuals and not strictly as customer segments.

Companies and brands that work with us are experiencing these types of outcomes:

  1. Working with a set of beliefs common to the heart of the organization that drives an exceptional culture.
  2. Gaining and keeping more of the right customers (not just closing a sale)—brand loyalists who sing the brand’s praises, refer their colleagues and come back for more.
  3. The value of their brand is heightened by the impact they are having on their customer’s lives.
  4. Increases in sales due to their alignment with the right customers who amplify their brand story and products to the world.
  5. They experience the “Win 7x”: The owners, the investors/shareholders, the team/culture, the customers, the partners, the community and the world all win.
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