Thursday, November 3, 2016
Brands & Meaning
As more and more people climb toward the apex of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs throughout the world, the search for meaning becomes an increasingly important and widespread pursuit. Historically, the majority of people were so busy surviving that they didn't have time to think about meaning. And, if they did, institutionalized religions were more than happy to provide them with pat doctrinal answers.
But today, more and more people are searching for meaning in their lives. In fact, for some, it becomes an existential crisis. "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "What is the meaning of my life?" "What should I live for?" "Can I really make a difference in the world?" "Does my life matter at all?"
I would contend that brands can help people discover meaning. Patagonia embraces the spiritual and rejuvenating qualities of nature and wilderness with the conviction that it must be protected and preserved. Newman's Own believes that business profits can be channeled to make the world a better place. Tesla believes that sustainable, clean energy must be developed and embraced to create a livable environment for future generations.
Can your brand give people a cause and a reason to live passionately? Can it stir something deep inside them that says, "Yes, I can make a difference. Yes, my life does matter."?
Brands that are focused on truly meaningful missions, ones that lead to the greater good, have the power to captivate and mobilize people.
For more information on brand management and marketing, read Brand Aid, available here.