How Brands Can Meet Demands of a Higher Purpose

Many consumers today are expecting more out of companies than just providing good value in products and services. A study shows that a business’ “brand” – how it is identified and perceived by the public – is defined significantly by showing social responsibility and having a higher sense of purpose than making a profit.

Building a company that connects with people on a personal and emotional level requires “conscious branding,” which begins with a business being aware of its identity (who we are, what we stand for, and what future we would like to co-design), the ecosystem it lives in and how it can add value to the world and its people, says Julius Geis (www.juliusgeis.com), a branding expert who has created strategies for over 40 companies and is the creator of Identity Built Branding™ (IBB).

“The way we relate to brands is radically different now, and the upheaval of 2020 magnified this,” Geis says. “People want brands to be a navigator for change. They expect responsible branding and for companies to be proactive and transparent.

“Brands that only see dollar signs need to shed their rigid conceptions of business. The brands of today must be living organisms that are relationship-centric inside and outside the company. When a brand is anchored in an organic identity and moving from a place of purpose, consumers are drawn to its authenticity. It’s time to move away from brand-fakes that manipulate people. Let’s embrace branding designed to strengthen our collective connections.”

Geis offers three tips for businesses to build their brand inside and outside the company in ways that connect people and a higher purpose:

  • Engage in organizational self-searching. Geis says companies can determine their purpose by asking questions such as: What is the core reason we are in business? What are our non-negotiable, guiding beliefs? Where do we come from, and what are our backgrounds of experience? What do we wish for the world to become? “The understanding of a company’s collective self,” Geis says, “or its founding spirit, is the focal point for strategic development and decision-making.”
  • Investigate disruptive relationships. A deep analysis of relationships within the company and with the outside world, Geis says, is a fundamental part of removing the obstacles on the road to company self-identity, unity, and greater purpose. “It starts with your culture and extends to everyone your company has contact with,” Geis says. “Probe relationships, from internal employee-manager connections to the relationships between the brand and its suppliers, consumers, and communities. The problems lie where these relationships are disrupted. That points to the underlying cause and leads to ways to strengthen these relationships in a sustainable manner. But without solidifying the work culture first, connecting in a stronger, sustainable fashion with consumers can’t happen.”
  • Embrace truth and change. “Change happens when a company finds its true sense of self and strengthens its culture accordingly, rather than continuing randomly or aimlessly and manufacturing a false identity that will inevitably crumble under the pressure of reality,” Geis says. “When you’re operating from a place of truth, your relationships are grounded in trust and a like-mindedness that allows them to move and react to the flow of business and culture. Rigid relationships built on false premises or forced connections will always struggle to evolve.”

“Many brands have lost public trust,” Geis says. “They’ve lost their power and their way. But finding or rediscovering their purpose can connect them inside the business, which must happen in order to connect with today’s consumers that demand a world awareness. As we move towards a better understanding of our interconnected culture and economy, branding in its traditional structure and motives will disappear.”

By

Source: More Than a Business: How Brands Can Meet Demands of a Higher Purpose – The Good Men Project

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Why Conscious Branding Is the Secret to Your Success

Today, more consumers than ever are demanding that companies become transparent and take  hands-on approach to making the world a better place. They’re looking for what experts call “,” companies that embody a higher purpose by having an intentional purpose or embracing . Think: Tom’s Shoes or ’s Honest Company.

According to a report by MWWPR, not only do 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to patronize companies that take a stand on social and public policy matters, 80% say they’ll even pay more for products from such brands.

But you don’t have to be a big name in order to transform your into a conscious brand. Follow these three steps to make sure that your actions resonate with your ideal customers, helping you multiply your revenue and make a lasting impact.

1. Be clear about what you stand for

Ben & Jerry’s is an iconic conscious brand. Climate justice, LGBTQ quality and Black Lives Matter are only a few of the socially responsible causes the company has advocated for over the years. And it only makes people love their brand even more.

As people become savvier, trust in is growing more vital each day. It’s not enough to just offer a great product or excellent customer service. Customers want to do business with companies they like, trust and align with.  Those brands that sit on the sidelines regarding important issues are coming under greater scrutiny. Meanwhile, those with the guts to take bold but strategically sound stands are being rewarded.

Follow B&J’s lead and include your views and values in your marketing. Share your beliefs, and ask your audience to take part alongside you in supporting the causes you believe in. By intentionally integrating social responsibility as part of your daily business routine, you can ensure you are doing your part in practicing social and environmental responsibility and be seen as a thought leader in your niche.

Related: In 2021, Consumers Are Looking for Something Extra From Luxury Brands

2. Take action

It’s one thing to talk about the causes you support, but it’s another thing entirely to actually do something about them. People are jaded by outdated marketing techniques,  and businesses and influencers who don’t walk the walk. While building and running a conscious business requires more intentional and an uncompromising commitment to the mission for good, the reward is the creation of a movement that leads to unparalleled success and impact.

is a noted leader in environmental and social responsibility. Their mission statement reflects this well: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” From supporting grassroots activists working to find solutions to the environmental crisis to suing the former president of the United States, Patagonia has taken action on the most pressing environmental issues facing our world.

There are countless ways you can become part of the change for good: collect donations, offer scholarships, take part in . Use the resources you have — your voice, your business and your community — to take action. When you weave these actions into your company culture, and it’s embodied by employees and customers alike, you create a movement. By embracing ethical business practices while creating transparency and accountability, and providing immense value, your brand will rise up over the competition.

3. Cultivate partnerships based on values

Co-branding with another company is an effective way to double the awareness around an issue, increase the impact of an effort and, ultimately, expand the visibility of both organizations. Who you partner with has a direct impact on your reputation, your bran and your potential customer’s perception of your business.

As reported in a recent Hubspot post by Sophia Bernazzani, “In 2015, Target partnered with on a campaign called Kid Power, which committed Target to one of UNICEF’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The retailer sold kid-friendly fitness trackers encouraging them to complete various fitness activities, which ultimately helped deliver food packets to underprivileged children around the world.”

To ensure that you’re making smart partnering decisions, choose partnerships that align with your values. If you have not yet determined your brand values, make it a top priority. The best way to do this is to follow my 3S Method. First: Source. Do a Google search of “brand value words.” Choose as many words as possible that you resonate with and feel are important.

I like to put them on index cards (or you could use digital Kanban boards) to make step two easier.  Second: Sort. Group the index cards with similar words. For instance, honesty, integrity and truth would go in the same pile. Finally: Select. Choose your final words from the groups by what you feel best represents your deepest values.

Related: Only Conscious Brands Will Survive The 2020s

Now, use these brand values as your North Star. Refer to them any time you are making decisions, such as who to partner with, who to hire, which clients to work with and more. Doing so is sure to help you stand out amongst the noise online and attract raving fans with similar values.

Tiffany Neuman

 

By: Tiffany Neuman / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Source: Why Conscious Branding Is the Secret to Your Success

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How Brand Management Impacts Your Negotiations

How The New Domain Extensions Can Help Your Business Look More Relevant

Are you looking to add legitimacy and relevance to your business? The first step is to get a website, as most people now go online first when looking for products and services. Before you can launch a website, you must register a domain name, selecting a domain extension that suits your business.

To those who have no idea about what domain extensions are, these happen to be that part of the website domain name that appears on the other side of the dot — like .com, .in, .net, and so on.

There are now hundreds of these to choose from.

Domain extensions are also referred to as TLDs or Top-Level Domains. Let’s take a closer look at how domain extensions can help your business thrive.

The importance of domain extensions

Google search results showing cotton manufacturers in Gujarat

Your web address is very important because it acts as a digital calling card. It is usually the very first thing that people see on Google when they search for a service or product.

How your web name ends makes people take instant calls about what type of website you have.

For instance, a technology firm could use .net as a domain extension, as it is associated with ISPs and other tech providers.

A business located in India might choose the .in domain extension for its web address, as this is known as India’s TLD.

The most well-known of domain extensions — .com — has become the go-to choice for any internet-based business. But as ecommerce grew tremendously over the years, many of the shortest and most valuable .com domain names have already been registered. Hence, it became necessary to have many more domain extensions made available (see complete list).

Why opt for new TLDs rather than .com

There has been a veritable explosion in the number of new domain extensions. For example:

Opting for a new domain extension can change the way your business or organization is perceived by its target audience. There are several other advantages to using one of the new domain extensions for your web address. Let’s take a look at what these may be in some greater detail.

1. A more memorable website domain name

A name that is easy to remember is half the battle won when it comes to getting found on the internet.

It’s time to look beyond .com.

A domain extension name that resonates with your target audience and makes them come to you is something one should be looking at. It will have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of your digital efforts.

2. Improved branding

Not only is the right kind of domain extension easy to remember and relate to, but it also helps enhance branding across the services one offers. Besides, easy to use names are less likely to be misspelled during the search process.

3. Better defined organization

A suitably chosen domain extension will instantly identify the line of work carried out by a business or an organization. An Indian non-profit would, for instance, be well advised to use a .org.in domain extension to identify its area of expertise and its location. It would help the organization make its presence felt in its specific niche, which can only augur well for its outreach efforts.

4. Establish a business identity

A domain extension should be able to establish a business’s identity like nothing else. An architect’s firm, for example, would do well to use the .archi domain name that would have synergy with its business.

5. Help diversify

If your line of work has expanded and your current domain extension does not seem to adequately represent the changed status of your business, a change in domain extension could help correct that impression. If you are a

n exercise instructor who has also started giving yoga lessons, you might want to adopt the .guru extension to reflect the change.

6. Create a strong solo brand

A lot of people who are strong solopreneur brands by themselves can further accentuate their brands by choosing an appropriate domain extension. This will help one obtain much better results in organic searches of one’s personal brand name. Changing your existing brand name to your legal name lets you leverage your personal clout to help enhance your brand image.

Give the new domain extensions a look

The importance of a domain extension cannot be underestimated, in that it defines the very identity of a business, organization or individual in the online space. These days one can choose from a very large number of domain extensions, whose names are far more reflective of what they represent than plain old .com.

Truly, a domain extension is much more than a mere web address of a business or organization. It is no less than a powerful marketing and branding tool that can help improve a business or organization’s prospects.

With hundreds of domain extensions to choose from, one can quite easily choose something that will represent the best face of a business or organization to its core target audience.

Indeed, those from large corporations and trading organizations to businesses, professionals and nonprofits would benefit immensely from a change of their domain extension.

Vipin Labroo

By: Vipin Labroo

Vipin Labroo is a content creator, author and PR consultant (not in any particular order). A member of the Nonfiction Authors Association, he has years of corporate experience working with an eclectic range of clients. In his line of work he writes press releases, articles, blogs, white papers, research reports, website content, eBooks and so on across segments like technology, business & marketing, internet marketing, healthcare, fashion, real estate, travel and so on. Vipin has earned a solid reputation for the sterling quality of his work across the English-speaking world. Connect with him on Twitter.

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Defining And Building Intangible Assets

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you define and grow brand value. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketing oriented leaders and professionals everywhere. Today we hear from Ron, a VP of Marketing in Indianapolis, Indiana who asks these questions about intangible assets.

“I’m trying to get a better understanding of intangible assets and have several questions. The first question being, how are they defined?”

Thanks for your questions Ron. Intangible assets are assets that are used in the operation of a business but that have no physical substance. They include such things as brands, customer lists, customer loyalty, patents, copyrights, business processes, specialized knowledge, customer contracts, franchises, and licenses, among others. Such assets stand in contrast to tangible assets, such as land, buildings, vehicles, equipment, and inventory.

“Why are intangible assets receiving so much attention today?”

In contrast to forty or fifty years ago, when tangible assets constituted the vast majority of the assets of a firm, today intangible assets are likely to constitute much of the value of firms. Work by the consulting firms, such as Ocean Tomo and Brand Finance, and accounting firms, such as PwC suggests that more than 80% of the value of many major corporations consists of intangible assets.

“What is the significance of intangible assets being such a large percentage of the value of corporations for managers and investors?”

First, it is important to know that most intangible assets do not appear on the balance sheets of companies. This means that for most companies, much of their value is unreported. Current accounting practices simply fail to capture the value of most intangible assets. Such assets are most likely to appear on the balance sheet as a result of either an acquisition, when there is a need to justify the price paid for the acquisition, which usually does reflect the value of intangible assets, or in the case of an impairment, where the value of an intangible asset, such as a brand, is reduced in value for some reason.

A particularly troubling consequence of such accounting practices is that even when the value of an intangible asset appears on the balance sheet, the value can only decrease; it cannot increase. This makes it very difficult for an investor to evaluate how well management is stewarding the intangible assets it controls. It also creates opportunities for managers to have a free ride because there is no transparency related to how well they are managing most of the assets of the firm. On the other hand, it creates problems for conscientious and responsible managers who wish to demonstrate how they are adding value to a firm through the effective deployment of intangible assets such as brands, copyrighted works, and the like.

“Are there best practices related to managing intangible assets?”

It is useful to recognize that intangible assets have always played a larger role in the value of businesses than was fully appreciated until recently. There is a substantial body of knowledge and practice experience related to the good management of brands, people, and relationships this is very much applicable.

It is just easy to ignore such knowledge and practice when its outcomes do not find their way into financial metrics. This is beginning to change with new ISO standards, such as those for brand valuation and brand evaluation. The critical starting point is recognizing that such assets require identification, management, and reporting over time.

“What concrete suggestions do you have for managers who wish to do a better job of managing the intangible assets in their business?”

Begin by recognizing that intangible assets are owned by the firm and must be managed by a team with the encouragement and active participation of the firm’s most senior management and board. It is not possible to manage something that is invisible. Just as it is difficult to manage physical inventory when it is out of mind and out of sight, so too is this the case for intangible assets.

There needs to be an annual inventory of the firm’s intangible assets that includes a description of who is responsible for their management, how their value, and changes in that value over time are measured and reported, and active strategies for leveraging these assets. There must be a process for making intangible assets visible when making management decisions.

“Would such visibility change decision making?”

In some cases yes; in some cases no; but it would change the questions that are asked. For example, before using a price promotion to move sales of a strong brand, the question to ask is what the focus on price discounting will do to the value of the brand over the long term? For a brand in decline or headed for obsolescence, discounting may make sense, but for a strong brand that commands a premium price, a short-term bump in sales may not be worth the long–term loss of premium pricing power.

Similarly, before laying off 10% of a workforce, managers might ask what knowledge, what relationships with customers and suppliers, and what efficiencies associated with learning from experience will be lost. One reason so many mergers and acquisitions fail to live up to their expectations is failure to consider losses of intangible assets associated with seemingly redundant people and operations.

“Are intangible assets likely to become more important or have we seen their peak?”

The answers to that question depend on the business. There will always need to be some tangible assets in most businesses, if only to help activate the value of intangible assets. The COVID pandemic has taught us that many tangible assets, like office space, may be less important than we thought, but there are still physical assets that play a mission critical role in most businesses.

On the other hand, more and more of what customers buy and consume revolves around experiential attributes, relationships, social interactions, and creative content. I still go to a restaurant for the food, a tangible asset, but much of the value that I am willing to pay for resides in the creativity of the chef and the wait staff members who know me and greet me by name when I arrive.

Do you have questions related to brand and growth strategy? Just Ask The Blake Project

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: David Stewart, President’s Professor of Marketing and Business Law, Loyola Marymount University, Author, Financial Dimensions Of Marketing Decisions.

The Blake Project Can Help You Define Your Brand’s Unique Value In The Brand Positioning Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education.

By: David Stewart

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ProfAlldredge

This video is an overview of intangible assets and included the accounting for Goodwill. @ProfAlldredge For best viewing, switch to 1080p

License

Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

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