How to plan your brand strategy for 2016 (the sustainable way)

The year is almost over. Christmas has gone and New Years’ is just a few days away. Another year has flown by. I just realized how fast it all goes.

So, you’ve probably been reflecting on the past year —like I have, and now you’re getting ready for 2016 —a whole new year. Do you have any plans for your brand strategy for the coming year? Have you thought about it?

Maybe you’re planning to build more awareness, to create better emotional connections with your clients, to differentiate your product more or to create more credibility and trust, so in the end you’re in a better position to motivate your prospects to buy from you. Great plan!

MORE THAN JUST SELLING

I must confess that I’ve always had a bad feeling in my stomach when it comes to selling. I don’t know why. When I think of selling or making a lot of money, this image of a guy pops into my mind —the evil corporate sell out:

Imagine... a smug guy in a pinstriped grey suit standing there all sure of himself. He thinks he’s better than everybody else. He’s arrogant, but somehow people look up to him. Just because he’s considered ‘successful’ and has ‘made it’. All he thinks about is profit —people and planet are just resources to him to get more profit. He doesn’t care about others or the environment, just himself. Everything is about material gain. More, more, more... Arghh!

To me this guy is the representation of all that is evil —all that is wrong in this world.

Atelier Pan | Evil

— Inside Job (2010)

I believe more people struggle with a similar image. People who work in the creative, social and/or sustainability business tend to have a certain view of the business world. Sometimes it even goes as far as money = bad. I know this view is very black and white. It would be very beneficiary when we could add some shades of grey to this world view.

Fortunately there’s a way!

PEOPLE OVER PROFIT

The time of Conscious Capitalism is here and morality, honesty and transparency are becoming the norm —as Dale Partridge describes it in his TEDx Talk: How to Value People Over Profits. He talks about the four eras in the cycle of capitalism: 1. The Honest Era —Captivated by values, 2. The Efficient Era —Addicted to more, 3. The Deceptive Era —Destroyed by greed, and 4. The Apologetic Era —A Revolutionary Act. He explains that we’re in The Apologetic Era right now, where companies offer their sincere apologies for their unethical behaviour over the years. Watch the TEDx Talk for more details on the eras.

And if we can trust Dale’s predictions we’ll probably stay there until about 2020.

Atelier Pan | Conscious Capitalism Eras

— PeopleOverProfit.com

BRAND STRATEGY (THE SUSTAINABLE WAY)

Businesses that hold morality, honesty and transparency in high regard have a lot of opportunities in the Apologetic Era. So, as we’re about to enter a new year I’d like to encourage you to keep these values in high regard and weave them into your brand strategy and everything you plan to accomplish in 2016:

  1. Build more awareness
  2. Create emotional connections
  3. Differentiate your product
  4. Create more credibility and trust
  5. Motivate to buy your product

“You should never be ashamed for fighting for better business practices, for a better system, for a better world. Becoming a people-over-profit organization is not just about success. It’s about the world we live in and the people who live in it with us. We are influencers, stewards, and change makers.”

— Dale Partridge, People Over Profit


Dale Partridge also wrote a book on this subject. A really interesting read, called 'People Over Profit’. It’s a practical and honest book for all of you who want to make a difference, have a positive impact and ultimately create a better world. If you’re interested, you can pick up a copy here: People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful (Amazon affiliate link).

How do you plan to make the world a better place with your change making business?

Please answer the question below in the comments and I’ll give away one copy of Dale’s book: People Over Profit (Kindle version) to one of the commenters.

Update Jan 6, 2016: The book was won by Natasha for sharing her insightful comment. Thanks again, Natasha!

Finally, let me wish you a very happy New Years’ Eve! We’ll talk to each other again in January.

Atelier Pan | People Over Profit

GOING FORWARD

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With pleasure,

Simon

Atelier Pan | Brand Design for Conscious Entrepreneurs

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