We've always believed that brands have the power to create change and, in fact, the power to change the world. Not only through CSR, but through their most potent power; their ability to reach out to consumers and change their perceptions.
Brands are interweaved into consumers' lives in an extremely intimate way. They live in their hands, homes, laptops, bedrooms and can often hold a place in their hearts. Brands have the potential to both create trust and command attention - which makes them a killer tool for communications.
Which is where changing the world comes in. For the most part brands communicate stories about their product or about their 'brand values' or 'point of view'. This tends to be a highly researched psuedo-opinion about the world, based on what they think will resonate with their consumers. So far so MBA....
But here's what Interbrand says about brand storytelling:
“Good brands make an impact when they speak. A really good story can change people’s lives, and if enough people hear it, that story can change the world. Meaning your brand can change the world, in part, by telling a great story.”
So our perspective is simple. If you're going to tell a story, tell one that changes the world. For the better.
Some brands have managed to do this brilliantly. It takes guts, creativity, and a brand manager with vision who's ready to make great things happen...
Levi's Water<Less jeans
A brilliant marriage of an innovative product, a pertinent cause, and a credible partnership. Levi's have gone the whole hog; they've shown a serious business commitment to an issue they believe in and are investing their dollars in advertising that cause too.
And, at the same time, shifting product and creating positive brand perceptions.
Not a brand initiative, but a brand sponsored project. RockCorps is a non-profit organization that refers to itself a “pro-social production company”. Thanks to some brave and innovative brand sponsorship primarily from Boost Mobile (US) and Orange (UK), RockCorps has managed to make the idea of volunteering cool to a new generation of socially aware youth.