Conscious branding: will brands change the world?
The company is constantly evolving, just like the brands which must adapt and create new trends. Today we are on the threshold of a major brand transformation – not the first and probably not the last. A good product or service is no longer enough for people – they want something more. They need a “conscious brand”. What is this concept and why is it the future of branding?
The evolution of branding – how brands have changed over the years
To better understand what conscious branding is, let’s take a look at how brands have worked so far. You will probably agree that the most important thing for brands has always been to grow and make more money. To achieve this, they had to constantly expand their target audience. This, in turn, they have ensured by competing with the quality of their products or services and with their prices. Of course, brands have also used branding, marketing and sales methods to attract customers. For example, they created a great idea around the brand and tried to build a company of customers. But at the end of the day, every big idea and brand goal was about attracting as many customers as possible.
Brand trends are changing now
Consumption habits have changed in developed countries. People have unlimited access to basic goods, and most of us have more than we need. So how are brands supposed to persist when they have already satisfied the demands of so many people? They have to change the reason they exist.
Conscious branding – the new chapter in the evolution of brands
Conscious branding is a new trend, assuming that the primary goal of a brand is no longer growth and more revenue, but above all a visible impact on the world around us (both globally and locally). What matters most to conscious brands are the values they stand for. The purpose of the brand, the product and the target audience (company) must be built around them. Conscious brands don’t care about building the biggest community possible, but who share the same values and want to change the world in the same way.
Why is it shiny? Because people have already met their basic needs and want to have a real impact on the environment and on society. This will now be possible by choosing brands with which they identify.
How to become a conscious brand?
A conscious brand is above all a transparent brand. He speaks clearly about what he believes in, even with the risk of turning some people away. Such a brand cares about a real community that shares the same values. It is not neutral in terms of world view. So, if you want to build a conscious brand, answer the following questions:
What is wrong with this world?
What do you care about?
What is the particularity of your brand?
What can you do with this specialty? What part of the world can you improve in?
However, the most important thing is to be genuine. Storytelling is not enough in this case. You also need “storydoing”. The community is watching to see if the brand is really following the values and taking action. There is no room for hypocrisy.
We know it can seem difficult to do in practice. This is why most businesses use the services of branding agencies responsible for their brand identity, governance, consistency and more.
Examples of conscious brands
Nowadays, we are seeing more and more companies taking action when it comes to conscious branding. Toms is a good example: “Our mission has always been to use business to improve lives, and that includes taking good care of the place we all call home. They really stick with it, because for every pair of shoes purchased from this company, another pair goes to those in need.
Another example could be Ben & Jerry’s. The company not only cares about the sustainability of its products, but has clearly defined political opinions and values.
Another good case is Patagonia, whose CEO has bluntly said the brand will slow its growth. The brand wants to focus on reducing the production of new clothes and the resale of older models. The clothes were bought back from customers, cleaned and repaired, then sold at reduced prices. The brand is also considering leasing the products. Patagonia is known for many other activist campaigns.
Is Conscious Branding a Future?
In our opinion, the new order will replace the old one, although it is difficult to predict how soon this will happen. But it will, because people want to have more and more of an impact on the world and they understand more and more the need for change. Of course, businesses will continue to grow and earn money, but that won’t be their only goal.
Piotr Wiśniewski, Creative Director at Admind.