Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Ideal = Brand Purpose


A few months ago, I came across The Big Ideal presentation by Ogilvy Group UK. I thoroughly liked the presentation as it talks about brands finding and maximizing their Big Ideal!

The Big Ideal is an overarching aspirational thought that guides the decisions of an organization. In my case, I often refer to the Big Ideal as Brand Purpose!

Here are a few examples of brands and their Brand Purpose/Big Ideal:

The presentation talks about how great brands have big ideals! And it states that when big ideals are present ideas flow more easily. I completely agree with this statement! When there is purpose, their is motivation and focus - the organization knows what its mission is, making it easier to make decisions.

Also, Ogilvy's presentation talks about how the most successful companies tend to be the least profit-oriented, as they have big ideals to focus on instead:
This makes sense because when you have a higher purpose, you become more motivated to make the world a better place, rather than, only, focusing on the bottom line. This allows the organization to focus on its users. And by doing so, you are consistently meeting their needs which creates satisfaction, trust and loyalty; therefore, stimulating higher profits because people are willing to spend more on your products and remain repeat purchases!

Like the presentation says: "Big Ideals Make Business Sense"!

Thank you Ogilvy for a great presentation and for helping your clients find and/or maximize their brand purpose!

If you would like to check out The Big Ideal presentation you can find it here.

5 comments:

  1. It's been a while since I've commented here... but here it goes...

    With this last post I am further convinced of the idea that having a much greater purpose than just making a profit is bound to please the clients and in turn generate growth and financial success. However, I would like to challenge the discussion around brand representation and in particular turn the focus on the influence the brand may have on its own employees. The brand ideal must be understood by all agents of that brand in order for the organization to find success in the brand.

    I suppose established brands like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola would find it easier to promote their own brand to their employees due to the established success those brands project, where working for them is rewarding just for the bragging rights :) Their employees are then naturally enthusiastic about the brand. (Think of what happens when you walk into the Apple store and chat with the sales staff... Those guys and gals are so dedicated to their brand... You would think that if you were to argue any aspect of their technology or brand success with them that you would either be kicked out of the store... well maybe not kicked out but you get my point...)

    The examples you've posted on so far involve very large, established and globally famous corporations. In contrast with a small business operation, where branding to clients is equally important and branding to your few employees would be easier since they are within arms reach, larger organizations ought to have a much harder time convincing all of its employees about that critical brand ideal. Sure the sales staff would have been brainwashed if not sold on the brand, but what about that guy in the back of the assembly line or that team of designers who were just challenged to come up with the next super-duper product line? How are these folks convinced of the brand ideal? After all the work they put in today, its quality and efficiency will greatly impact the brand's success in reaching its customers and establishing or preserving itself within a market.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw this out there and see what you and others think... I think that the answers to these questions are critical for any brand that plans to grow itself. Perhaps you can find examples of organizations experiencing these challenges today?

    GK

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  2. Hi GK,

    Thanks so much for your comment! I believe it to be an extremely valid one as well. The people who work for the brand make the brand a reality! As organizations (long-term focused ones at least) often out live their creators and other leaders, it is very important to hire & develop people who believe in your purpose! In fact, I think the brand must be strongly tied to the HR department to ensure the organization hires those who believe in the brand and want to continue making it a reality.

    As for examples of companies doing this well - I would look to Nordstrom - a brand dedicated to providing outstanding customer service. Every employee has had to work on the floors of their stores before working in any other position. This ensures they understand that everything is done to better serve their customers! The people who love to work at Nordstrom believe and relish in this purpose to serve customers. They have reward programs for those who provide the best service to their customers. They share stories about the most outstanding customer service that has been provided.

    Now working at Nordstrom isn't for everyone - if you truly don't believe in the purpose you will most likely quit as you won't feel like you belong! But to those who do succeed will be motivated everyday, because they feel like they are doing something with meaning - something they can believe in!

    So, I would recommend the brand purpose being communicated and emphasized through performance measures - this ensures that people are rewarded on how well they are accomplishing the purpose - as well as, through brand hero stories - talking about how amazing employees went above and beyond to help satisfy the brand purpose!

    Thank you again for your comment. I hope this is what you were looking for. In the mean time I will see what I can dig up for additional examples.

    Nik

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  3. This is great feedback to my question. One item I especially agree with from your comment is that having a brand hero story to share can really go a long way with folks who are too new or two distant in their job from the front lines, where the product is sold. thanks again!

    GK

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