What is impact branding?
If a brand is the heartbeat of your company, then impact branding is all about making that heartbeat taking a stand for the greater good. Impactful brands act differently than regular businesses, because they are equally committed to the people, planet world and values that their customers care about
Think of brands like Tesla, Tom’s Shoes and Patagonia. These brands didn’t just start businesses that make money, they created movements in their industries because of what they stand for. It’s no surprise that these brands have radically committed fans and followers supporting them.
Impactful brands are on a mission to change their industry for the greater good.
“Accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”
What’s brilliant about this is how inspiring this is to Tesla’s customers, because they’re not just buying a car, they’re investing in a business that is advocating for a sustainable environment. It’s aspirational and it’s changing the world.
a bad example:
Regular brands, are on a self serving mission.
BARNES & NOBLE:
“Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell. Because the product we sell is books, our aspirations must be consistent with the promise and the ideals of the volumes which line our shelves. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers.”
That leads into another 100 words of blah, blah, blah. It’s corporate babble at it’s best. There’s nothing inspiring about this for a Barnes & Noble customer. It’s all about them and it fails to connect how being the “best specialty retail business in America” will make a positive difference for its people and planet.
Even when a company has a corporate responsibility program, if it’s not putting impact at the core of its mission, it’s just window dressing.
what are the benefits of impact branding?
“Brands with a purpose grow twice as fast as brands without a purpose” Jonathan Atwood, Unilever
It creates real competitive differentiation
It builds genuine trust and loyalty with your customers
Nearly two-thirds of consumers across six international markets believe they “have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society”
It attracts top talent and keeps employees engaged because 21st century employees are focusing more on mission, purpose, and work-life balance
One study found that employee morale was 55% better in companies with strong sustainability programs. It reduces risk factors in the supply chain
Fostering can lead to significant reduction in costs and increase profitability over the long-term
At this point you can start to activate your clear direction into messaging. This will culminate in your overall brand strategy, a series of outcomes that includes mission, vision, values, positioning, differentiation, messaging, tagline, manifesto, business name and product names.
Once you accomplish the above, you’ll be ready to move into the (exciting!) brand identity phase, wherein you explore different visual themes in-cluding logo design, photography palate, textures, colours, fonts etc.
step 1| conviction & clarity
Like many visionaries, One More Woman Founder Jennifer Love had all sorts of great ideas prior to launching her business. The first step into forging these ideas into One More Woman was getting laser-focused on things like values and key messaging, as well as the purpose and vision she wanted her movement to actualize in the world.
Below is the matrix One More Woman used to gain clarity. (Although not every section is filled out during Step 1.) Learn more with our Impact Method Roadmap.
step 2 | customer centricity
Jennifer Love knew that she needed to connect with her audience if she was going to create a movement for, and with, them. She made their mission the company’s own.
It’s carried over. Everything One More Woman does now has ‘wow’ customer experience all throughout it. Here’s an example of a retreat they put on last year. The guests were greeted with Kombucha when they arrived. There was oceanfront aromatherapy yoga at the villa. Every day the women lit their intention on the altar. There were beach walks. On and on … Wow! That’s connecting with your customers!
step 3 | impact design & messaging
For many people, Step 3 is the most exciting. You’ve done your soul searching, you’ve connected with your audience, you’ve put in the work … and now you see your brand strategy come together.
Jennifer experienced this with One More Woman. The culmination of all her work is phenomenal! Please see how it came together on the website. Here’s one aspect – the manifesto – below:
before I hired brands for the heart, I was bumbling around. Now I have a clear focus. We sold out our first ever event. Landed an investor in the first 40 days of launching. Secured a 6 figure sponsor deal. What a great indicator of the need for this movement and brand!!!
Jennifer Love, Founder, One More Woman