Why wouldn't a brand want to take advantage of an opportunity to inspire people? I keep being surprised by clients who feel that inspiring people isn't for their company or the initiative we’re discussing, as if inspiration lacks gravitas or might diminish them.
If we don’t inspire the people we want to reach, do we deserve their attention?
Inspiring people has to be key in that first point where any brand, any piece of marketing communications, opens the door to start a connection with people. Inbound marketing, content and social strategies are designed to cultivate awareness in early audience engagement. From there, potential customers move into consideration, the stage where you can support the people you want to reach with the kind of information they want to learn from to move to a decision to purchase.
Brand-building at the awareness stage is where there's the chance to grab precious attention by inspiring people with the purpose and vision behind your brand or initiative. This stage is just as emotional as it is rational. When you can get peoples' attention at the awareness stage, you’re in a position to guide them through marketing communications pieces that will help them make the decision to purchase.
Water.org has done a great job of this. Their campaign of hope pulls people who’d be interested in to visit their website, where there are infographics, stories and case studies in a range of educational and informative communications that support audience engagement. How they've designed their landing page comes reflects their goals for audience engagement. This kind of engagement encourages people to learn more and it moves them along to donate. People will only move from awareness to consideration to decision by being inspired to connect, to learn more, to give.
There are many points of contact to be covered in the awareness stage, the connection points to inspire people to that kind of engagement. For early-stage startups, that might include social media presence, email and website content, your presentation and trade show materials as well as the talking points you carry around in your head.
Purpose-led businesses in sustainability and those with social impact are inherently rich with stories that inspire people. Surfacing those stories at the right point is the first step to building a great brand that inspires people – and is relevant to them. By helping people grasp what you and your initiative stands for, the change you want to make, you’re in a great position to invite them into solving the problem you’re fixing.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.