Business brands need the energy and image lift social programs provide. A creditable set of social programs that address problems facing society have an unique ability to enhance a business brand. To get such a lift, the social programs need to stand out from the sea of sameness and represent distinctive societal leadership with authentic programs that have a talked about impact on societal challenges. The value of this business brand lift is particularly high when the business is bland or mature with few other ways to create interest.
Real social program leadership means a commitment to create programs that inspire, are credible, and have a make a difference impact. It involves recognizing and analyzing society problems and issues with depth and insight, creating or finding programs that work, and then executing them with competence and passion. Inspiration is an important target. There should be social programs that get beyond being impressive. It should merit a Wow! reaction that breaks out of the sameness. And it should be branded.
There is a big payout for those that get it right. In addition to feeling good about the social good that is being done, those that claim a social program leadership position will enjoy a competitive advantage. Those that miss or stumble with their social effort will lose in the branding space and in the marketplace as well.
What is the future of purpose-driven branding? We can see three strategic thrusts or action plans, shown in Figure 1-1, that will represent the future for firms that strive to move beyond being relevant to being in a leadership position in the purpose-driven age.
Real leadership means a commitment to create social programs that are respected, admired, credible, and have a make a difference impact that inspire and even stimulate a Wow! reaction. And they are branded. We call these programs signature social programs. 2b1af7f3a8