I am selling widgets, I hear you cry. How on earth can I ever make my brand even vaguely sexy, leave alone turn it into an inspirational brand?
Well yes, I find it hard to argue that a widget is a truly sexy beast. But never the less, if you think creating an inspirational brand is impossible if you have a non-sexy product, think again.
Inspirational brands are not about the product. They are all about the vision of the difference that them existing is going to make to the world and the mission they are on to achieve that.
This really came home to me working on Start for Success when I came across an Australian startup called Thankyou. Thankyou is all about the mission, which for them is “Amplifying impactful change-makers to better serve people living in extreme poverty by redistributing wealth from consumer spending.” They really are aiming to change lives, and change the way the world operates.
They started off trading bottled water but spread into other products. But while they aim to supply consumer products that people love to use people so as many people as possible support them, what makes Thankyou and inspirational brand is their passion and the scale of their vision and planned impact and it is that which has propelled Thankyou into one of Australia’s most prominent social enterprises.
More familiar inspirational brands
While Thankyou’s billboards stand out with their clever minimal design, and you may be tempted to throw your savings at a designer for clever logos, they are back up to the vision when creating your inspirational brand that is going to never forget you.
So back to the widget problem. If widgets defeat you, how about a search engine, a cup of coffee, a car, or a mobile phone being inspiration brands? Depending on the person, some of those will inspire you nearly as much as our friend the widget.
Nor do you don’t initially think of them as improving the world, but the companies behind them do aim to improve the quality of people’s lives in remarkable ways that go above and beyond, and that is the magic dust that inspires.
Apple have evolved over the years but they still talk of being on the earth to make great products. Which mean a lot of people get pleasure using them. Love or hate Elon Musk as you will but Tesla’s vision of creating “the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles”, is enough to make most people sit up and take notice.
While we take the internet for granted now, it is still thought provoking that Google wants to “provide access to the world’s information in one click.” And the coffee? Starbucks of course, who sky rocketed to success with their aim to establish themselves as the “premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”
Not only the Vision
It isn’t only the vision Visions in most companies remain the same in perpetuity. But the mission, the way they are currently aiming to achieve that, can and probably will change over the years. And that gives companies the opportunity to adapt to changing times in how they operate and also how their brand will resonate to a changing audience
And while I was dismissive of the logos and designs, they do play an essential part too. They have to portray the character of that vision and mission in an ultra memorable way, attracting new fans, and retaining old ones. Making everyone instantly recognize that sexy, inspirational branded widget company that aims to change the world..
You may be noticing something here. What is being sold is stand out good. Those widgets have to sparkle and stand out from the rest of the widgets.
But it is when good products or services are combined with that aim to make the world a better place that you get a truly inspirational brand.