Every time your heart beats today someone tweets about the Apple brand. This comparison is significant, because many of us know that in 2017, brands are alive. They have a heartbeat. Brands are brimming with emotional and social connections. They are strong because of the relationships they have. Say something beautiful to Apple today and I bet you can make them blush.
Over the last few months the brand community has been graced with some great contributions to a really important discussion – Trust. There was the PwC’s CEO survey, the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer report, and an article in the Globe and Mail on Smarketing. My takeaway from the readings were that we live in a trust-based economy, however, trust around the globe is in crisis. Unfortunately, we are using old ways of doing business while simply selling and marketing to customers when we could be building brand love. A beautiful brochure and some sweet words no longer drive an economy. It’s no wonder sales and marketing teams are so divided; they are being asked to push in the wrong direction.
Department of Trust
My contribution to the conversation is for corporations to take a fresh look at themselves. As Andy Grammer suggests (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bgemCaaQkU) sometimes, “it’s easy to miss what’s under your nose.” Let’s be brave and be the change our customers seek. Let’s create a Department of Trust to replace the ol’ Department of Sales and Marketing. Then appoint a Director of Trust, add in a Manager of Company Purpose, a Manager of Relationships, a Manager of Customer Interest…to get us started.
In a single month Orenda collected close to 5 million data points (online social media mentions) on about 35 brands of various size. We know and can prove that factors like trust are company assets or liabilities that determines a company’s financial condition and outlook. Would you buy shares in a company where you can see in real-time that trust in its brand is eroding? I wouldn’t. Not in today’s economy. And if you were a company that could see trust in your brand increasing, wouldn’t you want to know why and have an entire team dedicated to building on the momentum? I would, and we will.
We will also keep a constant watch on our brand health. A lot can happen in a year and to demonstrate how much, let me mention the Trump Effect, where a single tweet by Donald Trump can send the Dow Jones tumbling (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/business/the-trump-effect-whats-an-investor-to-do.html?_r=0). Using Orenda, the financial market would be able to see the Trump brand gain or lose momentum and how it correlates with changes in the stock market. The impact is volatile now, but we predict the effect will settle soon. As for companies competing in the marketplace, using old data to make today’s decisions puts you far behind companies using real-time data to compete. As a CEO, I want to know immediately if trust is falling in our brand. And, if I’m in charge of increasing momentum, I want to know in real time where my time, effort, and money is best spent. Proving impact accelerates decision-making and stifles internal conflict over budget, strategy, and where to put company resources. And who wants to battle over budgets when they can be building brand love.
Today you need to earn customers, you can’t buy them. Let’s change the conversation, change the direction and look with fresh eyes.