Want to Build a Powerful Brand?Start a Movement!
In today’s dynamic, digital world, great brands are more than just the products they sell. Products are static things, commodities, and consumers are inundated with so many competing commodities they need something to differentiate your product from the masses.
Sure, you could list all the ways your product is better than product X, and that may help a little, but it won’t get you the passionate, devoted fans you really need to turn your brand into a powerhouse. It won’t make your brand become part of the social consensus or “go viral,” to put it in Millennial terms.
A brand that stands for something — something consumers can connect with, get excited about, feel inspired by. The reason people line up around the block for every new product Apple releases says less about the product than it does their relationship with Apple. Apple means something to them. Buying Apple products means buying into a certain lifestyle and mindset. When you’re an Apple person, you’re identifying with certain values that make you part of a tribe.
Brands that create passion set the stage for people to create personal meaning and connection to their brand. These are the brands that create loyal followers.
So while your product or service should by all means be the best (don’t bother moving forward unless it is), that’s merely the price of entry into the market. If you want to your product or brand to matter, to become part of the conversation, you need to think about how you can ignite a movement that brings value to the world.
The Power of a Movement
Why is a movement essential to creating a great brand? Because any company can sell a product or service, but when you’re a movement, what you’re really selling is an experience, a purpose, a mindset and lifestyle. And that can do so much.
- A movement is an ecosystem centered around a powerful idea. A movement can become a creative monopoly.
- A movement makes big change achievable. It doesn’t just promote a brand or product, but improves society as a whole.
- A movement inspires passion and action — it doesn’t try to change your buying behavior, but strives to empower and influence for good.
- A movement allows your brand to be seen as an unbiased, kindred spirit. It enables a connection that goes beyond selling or pitching, creating a genuine relationship between you and your customers. You become an advisor, catalyst, problem-solver and fellow journey-taker on whatever mutual interest or path you’ve created.
- A movement moves.
- A movements inspires.
- A movement compels people to share, talk about and spread the mission.
A movement isn’t about money — in fact, the focus can’t be on the money. If your movement is strong enough, the support will come and your products and services will benefit.
A movement fosters relationships — which are the real capital in our purpose-driven, connection economy.
Why Movements Work
We live in an interconnected world, where we have almost unlimited access to networks and social platforms. Everyone can broadcast their lives, their passions, their interests in hundreds of different channels. People now have the ability to create their own platforms to tell the world what they believe, what they care about, what they do and don’t like, and what they’re passionate about. And if their followers and friends like what they’ve shared, they can create their own channels and platforms to spread the message even further. It’s instant amplification — word of mouth for the digital age.
But no one will reach out to their social networks to share the benefits of your product or service unless they have a reason to. In a world where information comes at us all the time, your brand must have something distinguishing about it that compels people to stand up and talk about it.
People today want to be inspired, to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to reach their dreams, to make their world better, to find answers to those problems they can’t seem to solve.
Ignite a movement around your brand or organization that can do this for them, and then they’ll start talking — and others will start listening.
How to Create a Movement
(And How NOT to Create One)
A movement isn’t a campaign. Campaigns are about marketing or advertising your products or services. Campaigns aren’t lasting, and they don’t leave an impact on someone’s life. Movements are about people, passion and kindred spirits.
If you see your product or service as simply a transaction, it becomes nothing more than a commodity, and you enter into a pricing competition, which is a race to the bottom. Never compete on price. In addition, we are in a post-product era. No one cares if your app does one more thing better than your competition’s. No one cares if your service or product has a small nuance or new button (which you’re throwing everything at marketing-wise to communicate). You won’t convince people this is important, because they aren’t listening. So just stop now.
Movements must be based around passion and shared ideas. They elevate and empower people around a common interest, purpose or initiative. They solve problems real people care about, problems they’re facing in their own lives right now.
Igniting a movement for change isn’t easy, nor is it something all brands and companies should do. A movement isn’t simply a statement on a website or a social media campaign; it needs to inspire passion.
Should You Ignite a Movement For Your Brand, Project or Organization?
You should not create a movement if
- your goal is to get rich, have someone acquire your company, or you dream of a $3.5 billion valuation and IPO in your future.
- you talk daily about getting that “one big win” or “big hit” that will push your company over the top. (It most likely isn’t coming.)
- you expect instant results or overnight success. (Because the “big win” is coming, right?) Creating a movement, sustaining it and nurturing it takes time, energy, passion and a strong purpose. It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme.
You should create a movement when…
…you understand that in today’s connection economy, the more a brand creates value for others, the more value it has in the market; there is a direct correlation.
…you have a passion and drive for doing something big in the world, whether that means the world at large or your local community. You’re ready to look beyond your own desires and needs to make this happen.
…your idea solves a problem that hasn’t yet been solved.
…your idea addresses a need that hasn’t yet been addressed.
…you’re ready to shout your message from the rooftops (no one else will get on board if you yourself aren’t passionate about it).
Want to Learn More?
Are you excited? Does this resonate with you?
If you’re ready to learn how to launch your own world-changing movement, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve spent the last 16 years igniting successful, game-changing movements, including bringing the homeschooling movement into the digital age, helping drive the virtual schooling movement, and transforming multi-million dollar funded research into a new standard for business relationship that’s been adopted by Exon, Microsoft, Dell, Intel, P&G, and other billion-dollar powerhouse. I’ve also taken the timeless ideals of American icon Joe DiMaggio and translated them into a new lifestyle brand, Joltin’ Joe, with its own “Give It All” movement.