What would it look like?
Here are some characteristics that make sense to me.
- Environmental – not a ‘green’ brand but sustainable by design.
- Opinionated – not the kind of brand that sits on the fence but a brand with an opinion and point of view. Think Oreo on marriage equality in the US.
- Personality – related to the above points. A clear and real brand personality. Not the grey, we want to please everyone brand that is commonplace today. A brand that could speak its mind and even be a bit aggressive or grumpy at times.
- Equitable Business Model – lots of opportunity here:
- Not a CSR program but contributing to causes by design. Philanthropy or charity baked into the business plan.
- Transparent pricing and profit margins. A business that works to achieve a specific profit margin and no more. The budget would be publicly available. Additional profit would be channelled into philanthropy or causes when the profit threshold was achieved.
- Pricing – price goes down as economies of scale go up. No gouging customers.
- Contributory – product is manufactured in markets where it is sold. Rejection of global levers on the basis that its not best for customers.
- Transparency – relating to the above points. Financials published on the open web in real-time all the time.
- Community – a clear customer profile. The brand would facilitate a community within its customer base.
- Service – no expense spared in providing customer service based on the insight the best business strategy is the one that looks after customers the best.
- Content – brand as media company. Building on the Red Bull model – a value exchange that is related but separate to the product.
- Values – clear values that drive all business decision making, not opportunistic values based operations i.e. we believe this until it no longer suits us.
So there you go. Something to think about. What characteristics of a brand would you add to this list if you were starting from a blank sheet of paper?