I’ve written about how everyone, including you, your team, and your customers, are looking for meaningful connections with the brands they choose to buy from or buy into. We may not even realize it’s happening, but the science of how our brains make decisions based on those meaningful connections is well-documented.
Yet, if you’re like some business owners I share these concepts with, you may be skeptical of how all this “fluffy talk” can actually make an impact in your business. I thought we’d take a look at a couple of examples of companies who have experienced significant impact after changing the conversations they are having to be purpose-led.
What does it mean to ‘change the conversation’?
Most companies lead their marketing, sales and hiring conversations with WHAT your company does. Even though that seems like the logical thing to communicate, it actually creates relationships that are tactical and transactional, instead of loyal and meaningful. It misses the opportunity to talk about things that really mean something to your company – like WHY you show up everyday and HOW your company is making life better for your team and for your customers. When you start conversations with WHY you do what you do, and then explain how and what you do to accomplish that WHY, you begin to make meaningful connections to your brand.
Dove’s Purpose Conversation
Dove soap is a well-known example of this type of change in the conversation. In 2004, Dove realized that many of the women in their target audience struggle with appreciating their own natural beauty. Hollywood’s version of beautiful was unrealistic and that gap was causing many women to have self-image issues. Dove saw this growing problem as something that they could get involved in reversing, so they began having conversations about the issue. Their brand became an advocate for women and girls of all ages.
Here are a few examples of their ads and collateral:
This film was part of the initial 2004 rollout of Dove’s campaign around redefining real beauty. Note that soap is not mentioned one time. I would also suggest that the emotion that is created in us through watching the film gets connected to the Dove brand in our minds when the logo is displayed at the end of the film. The emotion takes us to the place in our brains where meaningful connections and buy-in decisions are processed. It’s inspiring and makes you want to align with their brand.
This is a more recent ad. You can see that after all these years, Dove has not changed their purpose conversation.
Amazingly, when Dove started talking about how they wanted to make life better for women, people who wouldn’t normally be talking about a soap, started talking about Dove. Influential people from across the globe enthusiastically joined in Dove’s purpose-conversation to help draw attention to this cultural tension affecting so many women. They have no problem telling Dove’s purpose-story to all the women they influence. It doesn’t even feel like advertising, because honestly, it’s not. It’s an authentic conversation about WHY dove exists. It’s not a campaign. It’s a powerful focus, and it’s meaningful to all involved.
Meaningful and Profitable
When Dove began this approach in 2004, their annual revenue was $2.5 billion. 10 years later, after changing the conversation, their sales increased to $4 billion annually. They have remained focused on this purpose story and it continues to make an impact in their revenue with over 117 million Americans using Dove in 2018 (twice as many as their closest competitor).
You can change your conversation too
You can update your existing brand assets and communication channels to reflect your purpose. You can create an online presence that aligns your messaging to your WHY so that prospective employees and customers can see what you care about. You can show how your WHY helps make life better for your customers. You’ll be amazed at how many employees and customers you will attract through this approach.
For example, we helped a 20-year-old concrete company change their conversation. Colt Concrete owner Dave Reeder knew he wanted to infuse purpose into his business. Through our OVRFLO process, we helped him create a brand story that revealed how Colt exists to restore and build up lives through paving and restoring parking lots. Their ‘paved for good’ strategy is now what they start the conversation with online, internally and with their prospective customers. This approach quickly attracted key leadership personnel needed to help Dave take their company to the next level. Now their customers are experiencing what ‘paved for good’ means, and Colt has gone all in on their commitment to fulfill that promise.
Learn more about the Colt Concrete story.
Making this type of change in the conversation takes clarity, authenticity, and consistency. It goes beyond your branding and marketing. It takes leading with your purpose conversation in every area because you truly believe it’s making the world a better place. When you’re WHY is clarified, it delivers the energy needed to fight through the challenges that your current culture may present to it.
At AM, We help you get back in touch with the reason you are doing what you do. Once we uncover and clarify your purpose, we then build your branding, marketing and website to clearly tell that story to the world. We help you change the conversation your brand is having to ensure that your PURPOSE is what you are focusing on, infusing meaning into your culture and profit to your bottom line.
Learn more about bringing your purpose to life through OVRFLO.
Learn more about Aaron’s purpose journey.
All copyrighted images and references to Dove® are used here for editorial purposes only.