October 02, 2019

A Fearless New World: how to be a brave brand

It’s 2019 and everywhere you look, there’s a brand or business marketing something most likely in an already saturated space. As the business, technological and digital landscapes continue to evolve so must the companies and brands that are enveloped within them. But how do we do this? Do brands and businesses passively go with the flow, reacting to industry change only when it directly affects them? Or should they take a more proactive approach anticipating both their own needs as well as those of their customers?

It’s no secret that change is life’s only constant, which is why businesses and brands need to welcome it with open arms. The only way to grow is to adapt in the face of different situations and experiences, taking the good along with the bad. A brand that has done exceptionally well in this regard is the streaming behemoth, Netflix. Having once upon a time been considered an online Blockbuster of sorts, in 2007 Netflix changed how people consume content forever by launching its online streaming service. By reinventing itself, Netflix has now effectively become one of the most powerful players in today’s entertainment industry.

Reinventing the wheel doesn’t have to be the only way for a brand to be fearless. There are other ways to be bold and what should not be underestimated is the power of storytelling. Take Nike for example. Their primary focus has always been to sell shoes and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Despite not making any profound and miraculous promises with their products, over the years, Nike has been able to tell a story not only marked by health and sportsmanship but by the possibility of achieving greatness as well. With no secret recipe or ticket to success, Nike simply instructs the consumer to ‘Just Do It’. From the inception of the ‘Just Do It’ campaign back in the 80s, Nike has not only been able to use this narrative to market their products to consumers but also to many top tier athletes as well.

What better way is there to get out of your comfort zone than by taking a few risks? Where businesses and brands are concerned, taking risks with ideas might just be the perfect place to start. After all, the only way you’ll know that they’ve worked is literally by testing out the waters. Burger King recently pulled a marketing move that literally no-one, not even the mighty golden arches could have foreseen. In the midst of a McDonald's fundraising campaign to raise money for Children with Cancer, Burger King stopped selling Whopper burgers for a whole day so that McDonald’s could increase Big Mac sales for their charitable cause. The move resonated extremely well with people, especially across social media, and proved that taking a huge risk like this is not only a memorable marketing strategy but also the grandest of gestures that not even the toughest of competition could refuse to appreciate.

Being a fearless brand involves more than just adopting a proactive approach to future business needs. It’s about embracing change and taking risks but most importantly, doing so while allowing your brand’s purpose to be your guiding light. Breaking the chains of convention and marching to the beat of your own drum is ultimately what’s going to enable your brand to be fearless in this brave new world.


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