Hey Big Brand! Ready to Be A Hero? Try Purpose-Based Co-Parenting
We are doing a great deal of work ion ‘purpose led and fed’ business and brands of late. An early hypothesis suggested the primary appeal would be among millennials, yet that has proven not to be the case. Yes, indeed, this cohort is demanding to know brands’ POV on critical issues facing the planet – sustainability, world hunger, impact on the ecosystem, child labor – the list goes on and on. Our work illustrates compellingly that each of us at nearly every age and stage is engaged by either making less bad choices or actively encouraging good through our brand decisions.
Our deep-dives, through our signature consumer hypnosis protocol with Hal Goldberg, surfaced some further powerful guardrails, helping brands come at this social engagement strategy authentically, rather than a flavor-of-the-day promotion. One of these insights is particularly compelling, because it suggests approaches that are genuinely, well, fresh. How often do we see that in the marketplace?
Our “altruism platform” has been constructed on learning that early memories encode the meaning and thus power of helping in the face of injustice, institutionalized deprivation and catastrophe. That help lies somewhere on a continuum spanning brand preference decision-making all the way to picking up a hammer and heading to a devastated area to re-build.
I headline this insight as “Co-Parenting with the Consumer.” That first memory of societal difficulty happens when we’re six or seven. As one fellow explained:
I went with my mother to deliver Meals on Wheels. We went to the apartment of a woman who was elderly. I thought she’d be eager to eat the meal we brought, but she just put it aside for later. Once we left, my mother explained that as we age our appetite can decline. That was a revelation to me. I had thought life just kept getting better as you got older: Learning to talk and walk, getting your permanent teeth, being able to sleep over at a friend’s house, learning to play the piano or ski, whatever, growing up: getting older was all about growth and progress. Suddenly, I realized that it wouldn’t be endless: There comes a time when things start getting worse. I was shocked and upset. I couldn’t even tell my mother how tragic this seemed to me. It was my first glimpse of mortality and I was frightened.
What can a brand do to help us co-parent our children when they confront harsh reality? Isn’t this white space for brands and businesses? The parents may be making the brand decisions today, but social engagement begins at home. Helping them help their children become concerned and empathetic adults who believe they can make a difference in the world is a remarkable – and loyalty generating – differentiator. Think about what it could mean for your business.
Then, give us a call.