In today’s increasingly chaotic market, it may be hard to believe that there still exist some brands that let their hearts rule their heads. They possess the remarkable ability to think beyond narrow technical terms like market gains and social media celebrity and allow their Positive Valence and their Values to guide their actions. At the end of the day, they earn precious credibility for following their conscience, and as it happens, they also seem to succeed in the eyes of their consumers. Here we share with you five such inspirational stories of brands that went beyond just selling products:
- Netflix – Committed to providing great content to its viewers, Netflix, in 2014, decided to invest heavily in creating original content. This translated into supporting several thought-provoking, landmark documentaries, which made the common man sit up and take notice of the environmental and social issues bothering the planet. One of the most notable documentaries is titled Chasing Coral that includes over 650 hours of underwater footage from 30 countries! In spite of being in the “entertainment” industry, Netflix continues to make a real difference by providing something with long-lasting, deep impact on its viewers.
- Canon – As a brand, Canon has always followed a philosophy called Kyosei meaning ‘living and working together for the common good’. A true reflection of this is be their #selfieless campaign. This campaign is positive and heartfelt, but nowhere does it talk the language expected from a leading camera company. Rather than encourage shallow, narcissistic posing, it encourages people to turn away from the camera and focus on the good things around us, to do good for everyone else. In fact, it is a beautiful manner to gently guide people towards believing in their Positive Valence.
- Puma – Puma has for long strived to be responsible and one of the ways they have been doing so is by reducing their carbon footprint. So much so that the company invested in a 21-month long project to come up with a completely environmentally sustainable shoe bag instead of opting for the regular shoebox. While for the company this ‘Clever Little Bag’ has brought its cardboard usage down by 65%, for the consumers, they now have a reusable/ recyclable bag at their disposal. It is super-cool for a brand to spend money and time in exploring various possible measures for the benefit of simply everyone.
- Etihad – As a national carrier, Etihad has long cared about bringing the passenger’s attention on to its cultural roots. This airline giant partnered with Sougha, a social enterprise that works to preserve Emirati culture. They made in-flight amenity bags and other artisanal produce available for its travellers. Etihad, being a culturally sensitive brand, not only succeeded in highlighting the beauty and need of preserving local crafts, but also helped generate income for Emirati artisans.
- Budweiser – Budweiser seeks to make a difference to society at large and this shows in more ways than one. The company drives several commendable initiatives to promote safe and responsible drinking habits. For instance, their ‘Friends are Waiting’ campaign appealed to its consumers to not drink and drive. Just as notable are some of their other initiatives such like the ‘Get Home Safe’ water bottles equipped with the numbers of local taxi companies. These bottles are distributed at universities and music events where a large number of youngsters congregate. The aim is to explain the importance of safe alcohol consumption. To us, this shows how the brand is not just worried about sales but is concerned about the quality of the lives of its many consumers.
Brands like these connect with their consumers because they make a genuine, positive impact on our everyday lives. They focus on what really matters to people, rather than on temporary marketing gimmicks. Perhaps almost inevitably, they also have been successful in engaging their audience with that proactive thought.