It looks a little like this – the intersection of marketing, culture and leadership.
Does your brand have people at the heart of the reason it exists?
Do you make it possible for all people to understand and participate in your brand mission?
Because, at the core, really great brands are about people on a mission.
It’s more than a strategy or a campaign. It is a culture of people inspired to achieve something great.
Great Brands Democratize a Mission
There is a trend in many of the best brands. They have a noble mission beyond building a great brand. They are fighting on someone’s behalf and they are out to democratize something.
The people in these companies aren’t just growing a brand and doing a job. They come to work every day to make a difference.
Johnson & Johnson is democratizing the health of communities.
Zappos is democratizing the best customer service possible.
Google is democratizing access to the world’s best information.
Coke is democratizing refreshing moments of happiness.
Starbucks is democratizing nurtured human connection.
Facebook is democratizing how people share and connect.
HubSpot is democratizing lovable marketing.
Burberry is democratizing luxury content.
Southwest is democratizing freedom to travel.
Nike is democratizing athleticism.
Dove is democratizing real beauty.
Warby Parker is democratizing the right to see.
LinkedIn is democratizing economic opportunity.
What is your brand democratizing?
Why Brand Democratization Matters
It matters to employees. When you democratize your brand, you are inviting every person in your organization to make a difference. They aren’t just coming to work to collect a pay check and do a job. They’re there to do meaningful work. Inspired employees are more likely to contribute innovative ideas, embrace change and build a community of collaboration.
It matters to consumers. When you democratize your brand, you are inviting every person who shares your mission and values to do more than make a purchase. You’re inviting them participate in something important. You’re also inviting them to be advocates, amplify the mission and make an impact in their own spheres of influence.
It matters to be a more human brand. When you democratize your brand, it becomes alive, more human, more authentic because of the people representing it. Your brand becomes so much more than a logo and a few sound bites dreamed up by the marketing department. Your brand has heart. It has stories. It has enduring relationships. It has a commitment to something bigger.
It matters to the community. When you democratize your brand, you are confirming for employees and consumers, “You matter. Let’s achieve something great together.” And what you can be achieve together is much more powerful than any one person alone.
Democratizing Your Brand
Brand democratization requires:
- an epic mission
- defined cultural values
- transparency and vulnerability
- ongoing education
- growing many leaders
- a platform for promoting the best examples
- giving people a voice
- enduring belief
- investing in people
- an opportunity to make a difference
- servant leadership and a strong culture
You grow brand equity by empowering and entrusting it to many.
Are You Ready to Lead the Brand Revolution?
Write your brand philosophy. Share it with employees. All of them. Share it publicly. Post it on your website. Make decisions based on it. Hire based on it. Onboard and train with it. Ask others to teach it. Fire based on it. Promote people, ideas and initiatives based on it. Be a servant leader. Grow more leaders. Empower others to run with it. Make it easy to participate. Make it easy to promote. Keep it simple. Celebrate sharing. Keep growing. Make a difference.
What brands inspire you and why? Please weigh in and share your examples below.