Thursday, 3 July 2014

Goodness that comes from the heart

I'm all for brands being a force for good in the world, not just fulfilling individual needs and dreams, but making a difference in the community and the world at large. But I find that this kind of goodness works better for everyone when it involves action and when it comes from the heart.

What do I mean by heart? Well, to me, it's not usually enough to say that we're a product used by women so we'll have a big brand message that's all about empowering girls. No, the best ideas go back to the heart of the brand which I think is the product, not some vague philosophical "essence".

What is your product? What can it do? And what can it do to make the world a better place? A great example is the Let's Colour project from Dulux, which aims to colour 1 million people's lives by 2020 since its start in 2011. Communities have already been brightened up from London to Rio de Janeiro, from Paris to Jodhpur.

Also making a difference in the community, but in the opposite way, is Cif in Romania. The brand has launched an app which gives people an easy way to report racist or otherwise offensive graffiti. A cleaning team in a Cif-branded van turn up to remove the stupid scribbles.

Not only do such initiatives do communities good, they do the brand good. Because if you link to what's at the brand's heart, what the product can do, that's the best kind of branding of all.

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