The Pursuit of Brand Happiness
Not long ago, a few companies realized something profound about the human spirit in its pursuit of meaning and purpose. Then they quietly began to reinvent their reason for being in order to bring “meaning” to the lives of the people who buy their products.
From that point, through masterful imagery and tricks of the advertising trade, new promises were made about fulfillment in life. Their marketing shifted from merely attempting to get people to think and feel a certain way, to a proclamation of a better way to live by way of a “brand experience,” thereby creating loyalty through the brand and not simply to the brand.
These are big promises to make, and even bigger to keep. When I drink soda, for example, the only experience I encounter is sluggishness and an increase in my waistline — not the refreshing euphoria promised by one particular cola. But the pursuit of brand happiness presses onward from presentations of product features to portrayals of product/human interaction.
Brand marketing self-indulgence might appear to be the right path to bliss but, I promise you, it only leads people to a shallow existence. For example, “It’s everywhere you want to be” typically ends up translating to something like a $400 blender from Bed, Bath & Beyond. True significance comes through self-discovery — helping people do more and be more. Companies that matter in people’s lives empower them to see and act outwardly.
Enter nonprofit organizations
Nonprofit organizations are beginning to realize this more than anyone else. Their brand experiences are unsurpassed. Saving a life, curing a disease, fighting poverty and ending hunger all are roads that lead to true worth. With that in mind, some organizations understand their constituents are, in fact, “co-creators” of their brand promise. So much so that these nonprofits boldly are declaring that their wonderful acts of compassion will go undone unless purposeful and like-minded individuals step forward.