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Chief
Challenges

Navigating the new
realities of leadership

01

Disruption
Fatigue

02

Going Beyond
Sustainability

Disruption
Fatigue

01

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In the era of digital disruption, we moved fast and broke things. But as consumers and workers seek a purpose beyond disruption, business leaders face difficult questions about the true value of purpose-led brands. We ask Jeremy Heimans, CEO of Purpose, and marketing expert Mark Ritson: Can brands ever serve a purpose beyond profit?

For years, brands across industries have adopted the mantras and mindsets of tech entrepreneurs, fighting to disrupt the market as fast as possible.

At best, this has caused a dizzying proliferation of digital products and services that address increasingly narrow consumer needs. At worst, it’s spawned a global information arms race with social and economic effects we are only beginning to comprehend. At the same time, issues such as climate change, social justice and mental health have become critically important to many workers and consumers, pressuring businesses to change their products and practices.

Would your customers and your employees describe your brand experience in the same way?

Yes

%

Voted Yes

No

%

Voted No

After a decade or more in which disruption seemed like an end in itself, both business leaders and consumers are feeling fatigued.

In the coming era of socially and environmentally conscious business, disruption alone won’t be a sufficient differentiator. Instead, organizations will compete on transparency and trust by identifying and communicating the fundamental promise and purpose of their brand, then seeking strategically disruptive innovations that embody and advance that purpose.

It's not possible to be everything to everyone, but it is imperative to be exactly what you say you are to the people who matter most: your employees and customers. Tomorrow’s leading brands will be those that meet the expectations of shareholders, stakeholders and consumers while serving a purpose beyond their bottom line—by leveraging the power of purposeful, human-centered strategy and innovation.

78%

of consumers

believe that private companies have a larger societal role than looking after their own self-interests

Source: Capgemini Research Institute, “Why purpose-led orgs are winning consumers’ hearts”

“Helping people make the most of their money so that they can make the most of their lives is absolutely core to everything we do.”

Leanne Fremar

Chief Brand Officer, JPMorgan Chase

Listen to the Design Mind frogcast with Leanne Fremar

Informed by her diverse background in everything from fashion to finance, we ask Leanne Fremar how purpose influences decision-making in her role as Chief Brand Officer at JPMorgan Chase.

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Ep. 16

What All Good Brands Must Have

with Leanne Fremar

Chief Brand Officer, JPMorgan Chase

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Purpose over perception

Perceptions have always been important, but in the past decade organizations have pushed “perception is reality” to its breaking point.

Instead of demonstrating their value with meaningful, purposeful and CX-driven brands, many businesses have focused their efforts on convincing consumers of their value with vague, purposeless and aesthetic-driven branding. Fixing their eyes on the next competitor, the next quarter, the next disruption, many brands have completely lost sight of their core purpose. 

To avoid the pitfalls of purposeless disruption, business leaders must follow three key strategies:

Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align Align
Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate Activate
Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold Uphold

Align

Tell the truth

The values, philosophy and mission of your business should be embodied in the experiences it provides to both customers and employees. If those stakeholder groups disagree on what your brand stands for, and if neither can articulate its values, it’s time to reassess the foundations of your brand strategy.

At frog, we partner with organizations to help them identify the fundamental purpose of their brands and evaluate whether their resources are being spent in ways that further that purpose.

When customers, employees and leaders are aligned on a brand’s core mission, organizations can focus less on managing appearances and focus more on delivering value.

Alto is redefining the ride-hailing industry by focusing on a single purpose: delivering remarkable journeys defined by safety, quality and consistency.

frog’s full-stack creative and technology teams supported Alto in designing their revolutionary CX and building the technology required to deliver it on an ambitious timeline. The collaboration leveraged frog’s expertise in design and development to create early momentum for Alto as it carves its space in a booming industry. The result is a differentiated digital venture that offers a uniquely elegant way to ride.

Activate

Go beyond lip service

Many business leaders only consider the outward-facing aspects of their brand, but building a solid foundation for long-term growth and success requires that the internal structures and practices of the organization reflect the values it projects to the world. Especially as consumers become more attuned to brands’ internal culture and the talent market becomes more competitive, organizations must ensure that their systems, policies and governance are consistent with their expressed purpose.

How a brand translates its purpose into action depends on its specific goals, needs and values.

We work with our partners to develop data-driven strategies and human-centered experiences that serve their business, their employees and their customers. Then we support them in designing and deploying the tools, processes and products needed to execute those strategies and experiences, not only delivering sustainable value and scalable innovation, but activating organizations behind their brand purpose and ensuring a unified brand experience.

Building on a long-standing partnership with stc, a leading telecom and technology service provider, frog designed a new company-wide design language system (DLS) to support stc’s massive rebranding effort and inform the design of new products and services.

The flagship product of the award-winning DLS is the mystc app—a new, personalized digital platform that empowers stc customers to take control of their telecom services. Informed by in-field research in cities across the Middle East, the frog and stc team together raised the standard for self-service telecom experiences, driving new engagement across the region.

Uphold

Keep your brand promise

Instead of looking over your shoulder, shifting strategies and messages for short-term tactical gains, you can focus on improving the experiences and value you’ve promised to deliver.

Once an organizational structure and strategy is aligned around a brand’s core purpose, brand-building becomes less about convincing customers of who you are than about showing them what you do. This demands collaboration across the C-suite. According to the CMO Playbook, a new report from the Capgemini Research Institute, the CMO mandate has expanded far beyond brand-building to include shared accountability for customer experience, business growth and more. Uniting around a purpose is a clear way to prioritize opportunities for more meaningful disruption.

For your customers to understand that you’re upholding your brand promise, they first need to understand what that promise is.

At frog, we assist organizations in crafting content and communications strategies that engage their target users and clearly express their values, building brand recognition and providing pathways for business growth. By designing distinctive brand experiences such as tailored loyalty and membership programs or cause-driven initiatives, you can reward the customers who have helped you reach your goals while strengthening trust and reinforcing the core purpose of your brand.

frog partnered with startup Dispatch Goods to create a brand to combat single-use takeout containers. After only a few short weeks, Dispatch Goods had deployed the new brand language and identity on their website, social media and delivery van.

Just a few months after engaging with frog to establish its brand, Dispatch Goods entered into a pilot with industry leader DoorDash. 

Breaking the cycle of purposeless disruption

With the massive proliferation of digital brands and services in the past decade, it’s harder than ever for focused, purposeful brands to set themselves apart from those who are simply riding the wave of disruption, relying on logos, taglines and aesthetics to create the appearance of value where there is none. In trying to compete with these brands on perception, even focused brands can lose sight of their true purpose. If you’re ready to break free of the disruption cycle and realign your brand behind the core products, purpose and value it’s meant to deliver, frog can help. With the combined power of human-centered design and data-driven strategy, we support organizations of all sizes in defining and delivering on their purpose with brands built to stand the test of time. Ready to learn more? Take the new frog assessment: Does Your Brand Serve a Purpose?

Going Beyond
Sustainability

02

In the next chapter of Chief Challenges, we'll explore the business value of sustainability, regenerative transformation, what it takes to reach Net Zero—and what comes after that.

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