At the beginning of this year, trend forecaster WGSN released its 2019 report on brands and marketing. Touching on everything from the power of collaboration to meaningful content and the importance of authenticity - it also highlighted the rise of 'brave brands'.
Image credit: Joyce McCown on Unsplash.
Succinctly summed up, the report stated ‘brave brands lead with their hearts and heritage, sacrificing potential profits for purpose’.
The bold and the brave
An example of this would be Coca Cola Brazil’s anti-prejudice campaign, which launched at the end of 2018.
For many years, the Portuguese phrase ‘This Coke is a Fanta’ has been used as a homophobic expression to make fun of the LGBTQ+ community in Brazil, which is why Coca Cola created a limited-edition can, featuring the iconic red Coca Cola original design on the outside with Fanta inside. The cans launched on International LGBTQ+ Pride Day, with the message ‘This Coke is a Fanta, so what?’
But, as highlighted in the WGSN report, there are many ways for brands to be brave. Owning up to mistakes and mishaps can also show a great deal of bravery. When the UK’s KFC ran out of chicken in 2018, it unveiled its ‘FCK We’re Sorry’ ad as a public apology to its customers.
Closer to home, Taylor Blinds & Shutters went in a similar direction with the podcast series Blind History
in collaboration with Cliff Central.
The series – a conversational 15-minute crash course in getting to know history’s greatest people – was hosted by Taylor Blinds & Shutters MD Anthony Mederer and radio personality Gareth Cliff.
Bravery is about including the consumer, a sentiment echoed by Sivonne Davis, VP of marketing at L'Oréal USA.
During an Advertising Week panel on engaging conscious consumers, she said: "To write any good story starts with knowing your audience. For me, it's also about talking to consumers. Whether it's during, before or after you're developing your storyline, they need to be included in that conversation."
And as Steve Jobs famously said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”