The Importance of Having a Meaningful Brand in the Modern Age


We all want to have a successful brand, but here’s a sobering statement for you:

If your business isn’t meaningful, it’s irrelevant.

We’re not making this stuff up. According to a report by Havas Group, if 77% of brands disappeared today, nobody would care; at the same time, 76% of people expect brands to contribute to their quality of life and well-being.

What is this telling us?

It means the companies that are going to survive are the ones that make a strong connection with their customers. It’s the brands that stand out in people’s minds because they are unique, exceptional, or just downright cool.

Make no mistake—only businesses that have a meaningful brand and make a lasting impact on their customers’ lives will thrive.

You Must Have a Meaningful Brand That Makes an Impact & Here’s Why

If the fear of being irrelevant isn’t enough, there are several other reasons you need to have a meaningful brand…

There Is Good Money in Being Meaningful

Let’s face it—we’re all in business to make money. And being a meaningful brand is one of the best ways to do that.

As demonstrated by another finding from the Havas report, “Meaningful brands have outperformed the stock market by a staggering 206% over a ten-year period between 2006 and 2016.”

The report further outlines that key performance indicators (KPIs) increase dramatically in relation to a company’s meaningful performance. For every 10% increase in meaningful performance, the following KPIs increase:

With numbers like these, we should all be breaking down every obstacle that gets in the way of making a meaningful impression on the world.

There Are Personal, Collective, & Functional Benefits to Being a Meaningful Brand

The Havas report looked at 350,000 consumers and over 1800 brands in 33 markets and 15 industries over an 8-year time period. That’s pretty comprehensive, and out of that research came 3 distinct benefits of being a meaningful brand:

Personal Benefits

Consumers have a lot to gain from meaningful brands, which is precisely what makes those brands meaningful. How does your brand stack up? Are you helping your customers save time? Do you make their lives easier in some way? Do you give them peace of mind? Do you improve their level of happiness?

Collective Benefits

Meaningful brands often make an impact collectively as well. Whether it’s related to the community, workplace, environment, or ethics, the role your brand plays in society and the impact you have on the future is huge. In fact, the Havas research found that 55% of consumers actually feel that brands are more important than government when it comes to creating a better future.

Functional Benefits

Then there are the functional benefits of meaningful brands, such as quality, safety, and responsibility. Meaningful brands are often category leaders making innovative product and service developments.

When You are Meaningful, You Attract Raving Fans

The term “raving fans” came from the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. It’s what you get when your customers love you so much that they will line up to buy from you. They talk about how awesome you are to everyone, and they are loyal to the end.

Want some raving fans?

It’s simple: Develop a meaningful brand and you will naturally attract raving fans all over the place. This happens because meaningful brands make a difference in their customers’ lives; therefore, those brands matter to them.

By making that kind of impression on a consumer, you gain their trust, and they feel attached to and develop a stronger connection to your company. That’s what puts the “raving” in “raving fans.”

How to Create a Meaningful Brand

Simply put, there are 6 ways to be meaningful (as revealed by the Havas report), and they vary by industry:

  1. Inspire
  2. Entertain
  3. Educate
  4. Help
  5. Inform
  6. Reward

Do at least one of these things (more than one is even better), and you will have created a meaningful brand.

But let’s not stop there. Here are some additional tips to help you make the strongest impact on your customers, the community, and the future…

Always Be Valuable

Whenever you talk about being meaningful, it always comes back to value. The number one purpose on your agenda as a marketer should always be “How can I provide the most value to my customers?”

Know Your Customer

Before you can bring value to your customers, you need to understand them. That means understanding them so deeply that you totally get what would give them value, and you are able to provide it to them so effortlessly that they think “OMG, this is the answer to my prayers!”

Know Your Company

In order to provide that value, you also need to have a full grasp on what you can and can’t offer. Look at the features and benefits you provide, your customer service, and your community outreach. In what ways do you make lives easier? What do you do exceptionally well? What do you need to improve?

It can also be helpful to look at what role you want to play in your customers’ lives. Is it a teacher, coach, protector, connector, supporter, inspirer, or something else?

Get Crystal

What your brand stands for should be crystal clear—to you, your employees, and your customers. It must present a clear and concise message so that it isn’t confusing and can generate an immediate emotional response.

In the end, you want your brand to elicit a feeling, an emotion, or a sense of “ah-ha” at the mere glance of your logo or mention of your company name. If you can do that, you’ll be remembered and can make a bigger impact.

Stop Adding to the Clutter

Are we still in the information age? Some say we are now in the Age of Experience; some say it’s the Era of Innovation. In any event, we are certainly consumed with information, so much so that it is really becoming a problem.

Just 5 to 10 years ago, people were hungry for information. You could create an e-book and people would give you their email for it no problem because they wanted that information. Today, it’s more accurate to say we are living in the “Content Overload Age.” Let’s look at some proof:

That’s CRA…ZYYYY!!! And it all leads to the fact that although you need to create content to stay alive in today’s business landscape, it is essential that you not just add to the chaos. That means ensuring you are putting out stellar content that is meaningful and that backs up the values and messages that your company stands for.   

The Havas report indicated that 60% of content that is created by brands is “found to be poor, irrelevant or failing to deliver.” In other words, the majority of the content being produced is not making an impact on people’s lives.

Marriott’s VP of Global Creative & Content Marketing, David Beebe, put it best when he said, “Our approach is that as brands, we need to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and become what they’re interested in.”

Let’s Summarize

Brands are important, yes, but more than that, they should be meaningful. Your brand needs to make an impact and benefit your customers’ well-being, whether it’s personally, collectively, functionally, or a mixture. Remember, if you aren’t meaningful, you are irrelevant, and that’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

What are you going to do this week to make your brand more meaningful?


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Filed Under: Business Tips

About Lindsey Perron

As Thomas’ daughter, Lindsey was introduced to the world of sales and marketing at an early age. Curious about what her dad did, Lindsey would jump at every opportunity to help and ride along on sales calls. Always quick to take charge and lead the group—a trait that has only grown with time—Lindsey was frequently told by her parents that she was destined to be a manager or CEO of some sort. While working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lindsey interned with the UW Office of Equality and Affirmative Action and served on several councils, which gave her the opportunity to develop her persuasive writing skills, researching skills, problem-solving skills, project management skills, and more. After working as the lead teacher of the 4-year-old room at the local daycare center, Lindsey decided to switch gears and join the Viral Solutions team. In her position, Lindsey is able to help clients think through an end goal and reverse engineer it into the steps needed to achieve it.

When she’s not working, Lindsey loves spending time with family, be it traveling somewhere together or just hanging out at home.