As our minds become evermore overloaded with different companies, brands must find ways not only to set themselves apart, but also to remain honest and truthful to their values. With this in mind, it is safe to assume that people only want to do business with brands they know, like and trust.
In order to identify why Cultural Branding is of utmost importance, we have broken it down for you. Take a seat and enjoy
Cultural Branding consists of building a more human and lasting connection between a brand and its customers. The truth is that when choosing a brand, customers no longer focus on the product itself. They are more concerned about knowing what type of behaviour and ideology they are buying into when they purchase a product. In fact, the culture that surrounds a brand shows the world its beliefs, attitudes and actions regarding certain issues. These issues do not have to be related exclusively to the brand’s economic activity. Actually, they can be related to the brand’s commitment to society, the well-being of their employees or even their efforts to protect the environment.
Brands must recognize that if they want to remain credible to their audience, they cannot lose touch with the reality that most people experience, nor the issues by which most of society is affected. It’s all about humanizing the brand and putting it in context. Nevertheless, as soon as a brand takes a position, it is very likely that it will start to lose support, as it is impossible to please everyone. However, we want to make it clear that no brand is obliged to take risks and show their true colors publicly. Nonetheless, this neutrality can also look like a lack of transparency, and this ambiguity can cause you to lose opportunities to connect with your audience.
That is why it is so very important to know your target, and make sure that your opinions are aligned with their beliefs and values. For instance, in the Trump era, many brands were blacklisted by some of their consumers for supporting the president. At the same time, those same brands also managed to strengthen their relationship with people who agreed with them for doing so.
In addition, contrary to popular belief, jumping into trends, movements or values that are not integrated in your brand essence is risky, and may lead to backlash. In fact, some brands have associated themselves with social trends so as to stay relevant, only to find that the result came off as dishonest or opportunistic.
For instance, regarding the LGTBQ+ movement, lots of brands show their support for the community during pride month. The truth is that June brings a slew of pride-themed ad campaigns, clothing and food, but experts say that brands need to go deeper than just rainbow packaging. Also, though brands might feature the community during pride month, many still have a long way to go in representing LGTBQ+ individuals in advertising year-round. A study from Unilever released in 2021 found that 66% of LGBTQ+ individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 believe that people from diverse backgrounds are featured in ads “just to make up the numbers.”
All in all, we strongly recommend aligning with your brand’s activities to ethical and reasonable values. Don’t be afraid to speak up against what is not fair. And please, remain true to yourself. That being said, we encourage you to think about what you want your brand to represent in the future.
And you, are you willing to have your brand publicly take a position on certain issues, even if it means losing some of your consumers?
At Pointbleu Design, we look forward to hearing from you.