According to those who study marketing history, it wasn’t until 2015 that the industry came together and declared, led by a seminal book, that the world we had entered a new seventh era of marketing: 2022 the age of brand movements.
This framing worked at the time. Our consumer culture had shifted away from valuing things and toward praising the constant sharing of fleeting experiences. The FOMO was written into creative briefs and marketing strategies for YOLOers. Meanwhile, our corporate culture was using Xs to define brand (BX), consumer (CX), employee (EX), and digital experience strategies (DX).
Playbooks focused on moment-to-moment, experience-to-experience journeys were used by the successful brands of this era. While the funnel is no longer in use, building a series of stops along a customer lifecycle map still dominates marketing strategy.
Nonetheless, a lot has changed since 2015.
Modern culture is being driven by new societal and cultural trends. We applaud the emergence of today’s stakeholder economy. Businesses are responding by rethinking how they create brand identities, build media empires, engage their communities, and even create entirely new worlds.
Brands are shifting from working in a series of moments to fueling long-term engagements as a result of all of this—external megatrends and evolving marketing playbooks. We see a huge opportunity emerging from this shift. It’s an opportunity defined by the next era of marketing, the era of Brand Movements, which is just getting started.
Brand Movements 101.
The fertile intersection of building brands and building movements is now being researched and analyzed, from us at Better’fly Lebanon to prominent consulting firms. Brand Movements are created and defined here.
Strong and modern brands are the starting point for the definition. They meet unmet requirements, alter their habits and assist people in expressing their individual identities. They activate communities by bringing people together.
The definition is then broadened by focusing on brands that outlast fads and trends. Brand Movements happen when a brand catches fire and becomes more than just something to buy; it centers a community and becomes a part of people’s daily lives.
Brand Movement distinctiveness
- Sticky Concept: Begin with a big idea that is straightforward, distinct, and aimed at changing people’s minds or behaviors. The sticky idea replaces the old way of doing, acting, and thinking, and it defines the group’s ultimate goal.
- The Root Cause: Bring people together around a common cause by creating a rallying cry based on shared values.
- Credibility: Cast a guiding light into new territories. The people who work in the company are thought leaders and subject matter experts. The brand positions them as a trustworthy authority that people admire and support.
- Values: Showcase the values of the movement (rather than just the brand). Encourage them to consider the similarities and qualities that your participants admire and want to emulate. Connect your Sticky Idea and Common Cause to the values.
- Identity: Include a unique visual marker that symbolizes their membership and commitment to the group as a way for participants to visually display their commitment to the movement and its underlying brand. Or an icon that demonstrates the movements’ shared value and makes them a visible member.
- Participative: Provide clear roles and a place for people to leave their mark, as well as a strong call to action.
- Organized: Establish the order, in collaboration with the underlying owners, process, and ambassadors, to feed tent post moments and long-term campaigns that reinforce the ultimate goal, celebrate the Sticky Idea, highlight the Common Cause, and reassure participants that the long-term vision remains strong.
- Similar Experiences: Create a series of places where people can feel at home and ways for them to get involved in the rallying cry. Rituals and traditions serve as anchors. Make content the catalyst for forming new peer relationships.
Brand Movements Catalyzed by Shared Experiences
To capture and catalyze the characteristics of their Brand Movement, marketing executives and event professionals will need to shift their thinking, realign their strategies, repurpose their investments, and re-imagine their experience architectures.
However, the power of our industry remains at the heart of their success: when we bring people together who share a common passion and purpose, ideas germinate, values emerge, and behaviors change. We ignite, strengthen, and propel a Brand Movement by bringing people together through an event, an experiential marketing program, or a digital-first moment.
We shift from forming moments to fueling movements when we work together. “Ambitious goals have usually seemed ‘impossible’ until they were achieved, at which point they suddenly became ‘inevitable,'” according to a piece in the New York Times Magazine on when a moment becomes a movement.
It’s time for businesses that want to change the world to turn the impossible into the inevitable. It’s time to jumpstart your brand movement.
Ready? Let’s get started.
More of this is delivered to you as our agency continues to explore the future of experiences; Contact us today to stay ahead of the curve. Our experts are ready to answer all your questions and take your business to a higher level.