Title: A Brand's Purpose...Less Unicorn, More Zebra?
Author: Laricea Ioana Roman-Halliday
Genre: Business Ethics, Marketing, Advertising
We live in a very troublesome world, which needs more than ever actions that speak more than words, consumers who act through their choices and businesses that put purpose above profit. I set about writing this book from a desire to raise awareness around brand purpose, its critical implications for society and beyond and to provide the tools for making the right, informed decisions for both marketers and consumers when it comes to evaluating true brand purpose. There has never been such a desire to change, fix, improve, eliminate, or embrace actions that would make a difference to the current affairs and not only make us feel better about ourselves but genuinely help shape a better future. Specifically, for this reason more than 60% of consumers believe that brands play a greater role than governments when it comes to the future of this planet. Whilst this is all fabulous news for brands to be entrusted with such great confidence, some of them are taking advantage of this trend in an unorthodox manner. Thus, through this book I am hoping to highlight some of the issues around brand purpose and purposeful brands, attempting to better define brand purpose and dreaming to be able to make a difference in how people/consumers/marketeers perceive brand purpose and its real importance and power. This book is addressed to a very wide audience: from consumers, to marketers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, founders, pretty much anyone who has an interest in sustainable businesses and future proofing the future. Different types of readers should gain different advantages from reading my book: - for general consumers, they should not only be better informed in terms of understanding the businesses' positioning and marketing communications, but also realising the great power they have to praise the brands they are buying for acting legitimately and with true purpose, or on the contrary, boycott, reveal purpose washing practices and requiring change - for business leaders, entrepreneurs and founders to grasp the huge benefits true brand purpose can bring to a business and the different tactics that can enable them to find purpose and act upon it - for marketers to always act truthfully when devising a brand's (theirs or one they are working for) strategy, challenge the status quo and push decision makers within the business to leverage purpose for good and not for profit Unicorns are tech start-ups with a valuation of more than $1bn that aren’t nearly as uncommon as they were a decade ago, a unicorn is an exceptionally desirable status that many are dreaming of achieving. It is a fictitious status for most companies who are aspiring to unicorn-like success not just because they haven’t been equipped from the start with a certain set of credentials that would enable them to transform into a unicorn, but also since their desire is purely based on profit rather than a genuine mission at heart. Zebras on the other hand are real and black and white: they are profitable by improving society at the same time, without compromising one or another. Their individual results generate collective outputs. Most of the zebra brands are founded by women and other underrepresented founders (Black, Asian and ethnic minorities). “Three percent of venture funding goes to women and less than one percent to people of colour. Although women start 30 percent of businesses, they receive only 5 percent of small-business loans and 3 percent of venture capital”. I am hoping that this book will make a difference on how businesses perceive, approach and apply brand purpose, which is for greater good, through genuine actions and a more empathetic approach towards consumers, society and the planet. My desire is for this book to enlighten the audiences, expand their understanding of brand purpose and its greater consequences and ultimately change the current state of affairs by being more like a dazzle of zebras and less like a lonely unicorn!
A combination of analytical and business self-help. To broach a subject as complex as this is commendable. It will not be an easy read but it is worthwhile for every big business to read this book.
Early on, the book tries to lay the groundwork by defining the concepts of ‘brand purpose’. This section is important but will take a couple of reads to fully grasp the points here. The book really illustrates the central concept with the listing of companies who are doing things right and those who did things wrong.
It took me, as an entrepreneur, a couple of days to get the understanding. This book should be read by every business - someone with the ear to the owner or the owner in person. Companies need to have a full grasp of this concept. This timeframe we exist in requires deep think about what a company actually stands for. A very important business book for the 21st century.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Laricea Ioana Roman-Halliday is a business leader, marketer, mentor, public speaker and brand specialist who has built her passion for brand purpose on the back of her meaningful marketing career with various Fortune 100 companies. Her experience includes working with Microsoft, Google, Unilever, Huawei, Hyundai and many more. She is a big environmental advocate who truly believes in successful business done for good and is constantly curious about driving it forward.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N