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06 June 2022
How brands are creating an antidote to apathy
“The shift from image to impact” – new research co-authored by WARC and Ogilvy – explores how marketers are looking to build brands at a time when the way we buy is being challenged.
Why it matters
Since the dawn of advertising, brands have tried to attach themselves to cultural trends. Effective marketing has been about conjuring an image. But now with an abundance of media and intense competition for scarce and finite attention, brands must cater to an audience that is beyond being simply a receiver of messages. The public are submerged in the experiences which brands create and the content they serve.
People’s expectations of brands are evolving. To improve performance, brands should consider showing how they are contributing to people and the planet (as well as profit) to fill a “trust vacuum” that exists.
Consumer dynamics are changing. People are being pulled in different directions at once. For example, how people define themselves versus how they’re defined through others; the paradox of uniqueness versus equality and the growing demand for both personalised and shared experiences. To increase impact and distinctiveness, many brands need to change how they ‘show’ and how they ‘act’. For example, from mirroring mass trends to becoming magnets for individuals, moving from aspirational to inspirational, or serving consumers as companion brands.
Brands need to develop methodologies to measure how much impact they deliver currently. Many of the component parts will already be in place; the challenge is bringing them together into a single view.
The big idea
With a public that is more selective in its choice of brands – while holding those brands to a higher standard – brands can no longer market how they used to. Brands must be companions, not destinations. They must include, not exclude. Above all else, they must have impact. The brands that do will sustain growth, and they’ll do so by making an impact on people, on the planet, and on their companies’ performance.