Authors Christophe Fauconnier & Benoit Beaufils, respectively CEO & founding partner of the consultancy Innate Motion, share their vision and the tools they use to develop purposeful brands in their latest book, Creating Value People to People.
At the core of the book is the idea that purpose, shared value and brands should go hand in hand to achieve sustainability and to make an impact, that business could be a sustainable development tool rather than be solely profit-oriented. In addition, brands should represent the business and the purpose in order to create the value of human relevance where human logic applies. Most of the time business logic applies and companies often forget that their customers are people with emotions, desire, dreams and needs.
Psychology represents an important instrument that should always accompany any marketing strategy and “reframe” companies or brands to create value of customer relevance.
The book’s vision is closely aligned with Amartya Sen’s people-centered theory. The Indian-Bengali economist talks about development “as expansion of the real freedoms and capabilities that the people enjoy and that lead them to life a live that they value” and brings people, happiness and quality of life at the center of any development conversation (Development as a Freedom, Oxford University Press, 1999).
Such a shift from a profit-oriented model to a more human approach is also based on sharing and co-creation, and as the authors confirm: “Nothing is more powerful than a group of people with a sense of purpose, sharing something that matters to them. Purpose matters to us because it allows us to co-create a culture or an environment in which ideas that people want to believe in can happen.”
According to the book, business needs to be humanized and in order to do so three vital behaviors are essential:
- Stop outsourcing your feelings. Companies should get closer to the customers and be empathetic.
- Take on a human scope. Marketing is not the only tool for a good brand. A people-to-people approach is fundamental.
- Get serious about play. Imagination and co-creation bring social innovation and the final purpose is what always makes the difference.
These three steps are vital actions that companies should take in order to break the barriers with the society and customers, and in order to have meaningful brands where marketing and purpose go hand in hand.
The authors also bring to attention the importance of creating shared value and bring stakeholder engagement a further step toward an “ecosystem collaboration,” where “stability seekers” share the same situation and collaborate to achieve the same objectives: balance, values, happiness.
Business can truly make a positive impact by offering its customers a product or a solution, but also innovative ways of reducing problems or risks.
One of the presented tools aiming at integrating purpose into a business is “The Believer’s Pyramid,” a methodology based on three pillars: human truth, brand truth and product truth.
Any individual has beliefs, dreams and principles. Beliefs help people to move on and grow, to progress, to develop for a better life and a better world. The human truth represents the human reality, the brand truth represents the dreams and the product represents our beliefs becoming tangible and real. According to the book, a purposeful brand should consider all three of these aspects and embed them into the customer proposition.
Customers are nowadays not only looking for quality but also for inspiring products. The book presents some key learnings brands should apply to meet customers’ expectations.