A memorable logo is important; it paves the way for effective branding. However, a brand is so much more than a logo and a color palette.
That’s why, when I founded The Brand Obsessed, I decided to only work with business owners who want to make an impact on the world and its people for the better. I believe in building bold, stand-out brands that my clients and their customers can be obsessed with, backed up by a mission they can be proud to support.
Let’s play a game
Imagine you’re online shopping for new skincare products and makeup. You see ads for two different businesses:
- Has a gorgeous and trendy logo
- Ships quickly and uses cheap packaging to keep their prices affordable
- Posts on social media only about their products
- Only offers palettes that fit a few different skin types and tones
- Website has information about their products, but you cannot find any information about their values
- Also has a gorgeous logo, but it makes you feel something
- Prices are slightly higher to offset their waste-free shipping process and materials
- Has an engaged social community, regularly shares about social issues that impact their customers, and posts real images of customers that are obsessed with their products
- Offers and tests products on a wide range of skin types and tones, and does not test on animals
- There is no doubt what their values are, what they believe in, the story behind their business, and the vision they have for the future
Which business are you more likely to buy from?
It’s a no brainer for me.
In 2021, a pretty logo, color palette, and graphics no longer suffice.
Whether you are a coach, service/product-based business, influencer, or blogger, it is no longer enough to just have a great product or service.
In recent years, consumers are much more likely to dive deep into a company’s values, impact on the environment, and political connections before making a purchase.
They care about your words, your actions, and even what you’re not saying. They notice. This is especially true of millennial and GenZ buyers.
So, what does this mean for your business?
It means you must go deeper than your businesses’ visual identity.
You must take responsibility for your impact as a business owner or influencer. Every decision we make as people of this world in general makes an impact on others and our planet.
It’s even more important as business owners and influencers who have a larger audience. Our decisions about how we use our platforms cannot be taken lightly.
Let’s talk Ben & Jerrys
Ben & Jerrys (yes, the ice cream manufacture) have been an industry leader when it comes to transparency and corporate activism.
In 2020 especially, the beloved ice cream brand, gained a lot of attention for speaking out about racial justice issues, refugee rights, and environmental impact. I mean, their ice cream is delish, but what really draws their customers to purchase is that they fight for the issues they believe in and aren’t afraid to speak up.
If you pop over to their Instagram, you’ll see delicious mouth-watering worthy images of ice cream mixed in with educational posts about issues related to: United States politics, fair trade, GMO labeling, LGBT equality, etc. They not only actively speak out about these issues, encouraging their customers to engage in activism, but they literally put their money (and ice cream) where their mouth is by financially backing related organizations.
Now, I know Ben & Jerrys is a huge company and you might be saying, “Okay, but how am I supposed to be able to have the same impact they do? I don’t have those resources.”
No matter how big or small, new or established your brand is, there are things you can do today to go beyond the logo.
Get clear on your why
Consider what your personal values are. How do they translate in your business model? This is especially important if you have a team.
Jot down a list of core issues you are passionate about
Journal about the impact your words (or lack thereof), actions and business decisions you make.
Decide ways in which you will speak out, start important conversations, and commit to making these changes in your business. Some examples you might consider depending on the issues that you care about most:
- Invite guest speakers for live conversations
- Donate a portion of service/product proceeds to organizations related to issues your business supports
- Make direct in-person activism a priority for your business (volunteer, protests, phone or door-to-door advocacy, write to lawmakers, etc.)
- Educate your customers about the issues and what they can do about it
- Assess your impact on the local community of places you travel as an influencer
- Collaborate with sustainable brands only as a beauty/fashion/lifestyle influencer and speak out about fast fashion
- Use sustainable or plant-based materials for your products
Lastly, determine how you will communicate your values to your people.
How will you share about these topics through your brand imagery and messaging on your website, social media, and advertisements?
If you want to take it one step further, snag my Free Brand Discovery Workbook that helps you discover the heart of your business, who your people are, how to connect the dots between the two, and where exactly to go next.