Today was like that. And I concluded maybe the time for making everyone love your brand is over. Work through this with me. It’s important.
Be Who You Are and Who You Want to Attract
There’s a weird fast-food war going among sellers of chicken sandwiches.
One company is thriving because their food is high quality and because they are very open about their religious values. While another has had much success introducing a tasty alternative for those who don’t want to support the other company.
In the sneaker business, one shoemaker supports a man who has made headlines standing against police violence. It’s a strong stance and revenue has gone up a lot because of it. Yet a different global firm sold sneakers made from ocean clean-up materials and easily sold 2 million pairs.
You don’t have to pick the same fights. You can support what makes sense for your brand.
Yet one detail is true: You must support something these days.
Reflect Your Buyer
This isn’t a piece about what’s right and wrong. Your business is yours to run.
Some companies thrive because of their commitment to inclusion. My schoolmate Doug Quint successfully launched a food empire with his Big Gay Ice Cream company, which started as an ice cream truck in New York and is now a regional staple in restaurants and grocery store freezers.
Maybe your buyer comes from a different upbringing than the whole Brady Bunch life that was reflected so often in advertising. Maybe they didn’t see people that reminded them of themselves in commercials or representing products they love.
Be Bold but Mean It
In 2019 and beyond, more buyers than ever say they prefer to buy from companies who share their values. But if your company doesn’t reflect any obvious values, how will someone know that they align?
The idea of this piece is to ask you to think about who you support and who might find strength in your alliance, and it’s to dare you.
You don’t have to be controversial, but please find ways to connect with and support people who will benefit from the association. Microsoft, for example, supports many different groups, including women in the gaming industry and fostering gaming inclusively for people with physical disabilities, and more. Where’s your group?
Put the Eggshells Away
Put the eggshells away and support a group that you feel aligns with your company’s beliefs and values. Purpose and beliefs and just plain support are the way forward.
Be more than just another place we can buy from. Be the place we want to support any day of the week. Your customers want to believe.
About Chris Brogan
Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advises leadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. The third parties within articles are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.
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