Navigating the newrealities of leadership
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?
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.
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.
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.”
Chief Brand Officer, JPMorgan Chase
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep your brand promise
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.
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.
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?
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.
On each episode of Chief Challenges, we explore the big issues facing innovative business leaders today.
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