Anne Bahr Thompson puts together a great post on Brand Citizenship, a principle that allows all facets of an organization to collectively deliver a brand’s promise and creates a shared sense of responsibility among consumers. Building loyalty and gaining a competitive edge are two reasons, among many, for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) to embrace the principle.
Leadership, loyalty and good citizenship unite under Brand Citizenship. … Fully integrated, Brand Citizenship defines the brand experience more precisely than campaign-based initiatives delivered only through social media, mass communications, donation-with-purchase or big-ticket events.
Our proprietary research acknowledges that many brands mean more to consumers than the products they represent. People often choose one good or service over another because the brand that represents it mirrors their own values, reflects perceptions of who they are or helps them to create an image of the person they want to be. Brands connect us with people who share our beliefs, educate us and bring us together.
The benefits of embracing Brand Citizenship for businesses are:
1. Gain lasting credit for your environmental and social programs
2. Give more control over the future to consumers as they ally with you because you are transparent
3. Strengthen brand equity by centralizing operational efforts under one banner: the brand
Is your SMB business ready for Brand Citizenship or have you already embraced the principle? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.
Postscript: In the video below, at the 2013 conference of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Shelly Lazarus, Chief Executive Officer of Ogilvy & Mather discusses how strong branding and corporate citizenship should be completely integrated.
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