What is a brand that makes sense?

 

Four and a half years ago I launched grasp, Brands that make sense,  and I believe I have never explained in a post the meaning of my mysterious tagline. Where does it arise from? What is hidden beneath those words?  What type of brands, from our point of view, “make sense”? Or looking at the question from another angle, what do we think does not make sense?

It does not make sense to believe in the infinite growth of companies in a finite world. Nor the rooted belief that the success of a company can only come from “maximizing profits” at any cost, including poisoning food, destroying the environment or exploiting without commiseration other human beings. Nor the predatory brands that in the collective imaginary are identified with a bunch of big global corporations, where the spreadsheet is in command and in which the ultimate interest is just growing for the sake of growing. According to the global study carried out by Havas Media, only 6% of the people believe that the only purpose of a company is to make money for its shareholders and just 20% of global brands seem to make a positive impact in people’s lifes.

Something that is even more worrying is that recent research suggests that just a radical and revolutionary change in the way we produce would be truly sustainable. 

But there are plenty of reasons for hope. According to the prestigious review Forbes, the trend is that the iconic brands of the future will be those that change the world in a positive way. And for that to occur, to articulate the central mission and values of the brand is critical.

Brands that make sense are those that row in the direction of the improvements that the world is yelling for, those that do not want to continue applying those old formulas that drive us directly to a cataclysm. Its point of departure is our best personal values, those identified by The School of Life as the values necessary to become a better person: resilience, empathy, patience, sacrifice, politeness, humour, self-awareness, forgiveness, hope and confidence.

It makes sense to create brands with a moving purpose, those that come to tell us something new and know how to give up meanings they no longer believe in, identify with or symbolise.

What makes sense are those brands that understand that our first mission as humans is to serve others, clients, employees and providers. Conscious capitalism is demonstrating how purpose and benefit can be combined. What makes sense are those brands that prefer to collaborate than to compete, and thus humanise business. Why waste our time and energy fighting against everything? Warlike language is so firmly ingrained in the business world that building a new narrative is one of the biggest challenges for change.

It makes sense to create brands that are genuine, sincere, that ask for forgiveness if they make a mistake. Because we are humans. Arrogance and pride drive us to dead end alleyways.

It makes sense to create authentic brands that talk in an unpretentious and transparent way, as pointed out by The Clue Train Manifesto, a way in which people actually speak, without all the jargon that needlessly complicates things.

It makes sense to create beautiful brands, adding not only what is pleasant to our senses but also, in a platonic sense everything that prompts approval, admiration or fascination, including moral and cognitive issues. It is beautiful because it is right, in the amplest sense of the word.

It makes sense to identify honest projects and to create brands that put ahead other interests than our own. Brands with a purpose, with heart, with empathy, with “soul”.

Brands assisting the honest, those walking the talk, those who prioritize their heart over their head, those acting in an ethical way, those suspicious of quick business or business requiring no effort, those that ask questions, those that make unexpected connections that solve apparently unsolvable problems, those with sparkling eyes who have not lost all hope in a better future.

Brands that will initiate a new world that, as mentioned in a previous post, will be more humane or won’t be at all.  

Is this the type of brand you want to create?  Would you like to chat and tell me what it is all about? Cup of coffee?

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