One day I was at a party and this person said to me, “Brands aren’t important to me… I shop at Aldi and Muji see!” Popping into my head was that famous allegedly Mark Twain Quote “De-nial ain’t a river in Egypt baby!” Well maybe he didn’t say the baby bit at the end but you get my drift.
Now what if I was to tell you brands are not just important – even to those submerged in the bull rushes – but that they are in fact a route to happiness. That far from being the source of all evil as some would have us believe they are a good thing for humanity.
One Minute to Midnight have been doing a ‘little’ project recently on Human Values and Brand relationships. Our programme called the Dimensions Project has taken us to five markets (China, India, Brazil, UK and USA), with over 2500 people and studies 20 of the worlds leading brands, understanding the power of Human Values on Brand Relationships. On our journey, we found out that those who agreed strongly with the statement “I lead my life by values” were three times as likely to be happy. Not only that but they were also far, far more content with all other aspects of their life from finances to home to relationships to health. So in short living life by one’s own values has an enormous impact on our contentment and our well-being.
“Ok that makes sense” I hear you say dear reader, “but what has that got to do with brands and how do brands make us happy?” Well we didn’t stop at just looking at the importance of these human values to humans we looked at them in terms of human-brand relationships. We know the best brands make connections on a deeply human level, they form relationships of real meaning and we fully explored this space. Our Dimensions Project has revealed that people are 3 times more likely to use or purchase a brand that has similar values to them than ones that don’t. This applies across all 20 of the world’s superbrands we looked at and across a variety of sectors from cars to soft drinks and from social media brands to beer. Not only this but when one brand out-performs another in this deeply human way, i.e. through the power of human values, affinity to the brand is higher and purchase / usage goes up too.
So to add two and two together and make the proverbial 4, if living life by ones values makes us happy and we as humans seek out brands that align or confirm our values then through brands we can increase the worlds well-being by enabling people to live a life true to their values.
So one final Jerry Springer style thought… this all means that brand guardians have a tremendous responsibility not just to their brands but also to the humans that use their brands and to the world at large. As people seek meaning and purpose in their lives brands can play a key role in enabling them to live life by their values. As such great care and attention should be taken in shaping these brand-human relationships as powerfully as we can… the ultimate in all things corporately responsible.