Building brands with purpose is the right thing to do, and the seismic outperformance of purpose-led brands is testament to this. Those top-performing purpose-led brands are now creating citizen brands.
Citizen brands are in touch with and respond to their consumers’ worlds in super-fast time. They enter into organically evolving relationships with consumers to do the things that matter.
How do Citizen Brands do this? They respond to the cultural zeitgeist, using their super-powers to have maximum impact.
Citizen brands are guided by their North Star, their purpose, AND they listen to what consumers want and need, and what trends are likely to drive change from a ‘doing good’ perspective. They also look ahead at trends and environmental and social agendas to forge new paths. They are gamechangers through their actions, and because of this they get noticed.
Here are some ways that Citizen Brands have manifested themselves …
When Covid hit, we saw COMMUNITIES FIRST
People wanted to support their communities and their key workers. Citizen Brands acted fast:
- LMVH made hand sanitisers for French health workers
- Burberry collaborated with Marcus Rashford’s child poverty campaigns to fund youth centres in the UK
- Vodafone UK runs the ‘Great British Tech’ appeal in partnership with Barnados, offering 6 months of free data for young people in need
- Brewdog famously offered its closed venues for COVID vaccines
Now we see brands DEMOCRATISING THEIR ASSETS to solve the world’s problems
Brands want to do better by sharing treating their knowledge and assets as open-source, believing that a better world can be created together:
- Tony Chocolonely has launched Open Chain to improve supply chain sustainability of the chocolate industry
- Toast Ale has made its recipe available to all, to reduce food waste
- Dove has democratised its advertising imagery through its Be Real Body Image Pledge to create a more realistic body image
And we see brands using their super-powers to HELP YOU DO BETTER yourself
- NatWest gamified the concept of money to educate kids
- Bobbi Brown brought their makeup tutorials and consultations online
- Nike worked to connect with customers digitally through free training videos on YouTube, made its Training Club app free, launched Nike Experience connecting members in some cities for weekly activities.
There are plenty more examples of where brands have tapped into core human needs, such as Xbox creating cross-generational connections. To be a Citizen Brand, be prepared to listen, act and participate. And most of all be a leader. People will respect you for thinking differently or moving first.
Citizen Good’s approach to building citizen brands takes account of Jungian archetypes and environmental, social and consumer trends, to identify evolving consumer needs.