Why only bold brands are real brands
Anyone who has observed product development and staging from Instagram to supermarkets in recent years has inevitably noticed: conscious nutrition has not stopped at organic certification. The megatrends of vegetarian and vegan nutrition have gained more and more tailwind, not least due to environmental movements. And this has increased the opportunity for brands to position themselves for a new generation of target group aspirations: as an authentic, transparent and honest brand.
With this development over the past 5 – 10 years, some excellent brands have managed the change in strategic positioning. All under one condition: courage. In a society with increasingly complex information behaviour, the confusion caused by this same complexity has increased, and with it the need for the human component. When the umbrella term “marketing” is increasingly associated with manipulation and obfuscation of information, people look for what makes them trust – humanity.
Humanity is fallible and the only way to properly deal with that fallibility is honesty, transparency and authenticity that other fallible people can connect with. People crave this authenticity and few brands have used this trend to make their positioning much bolder and thus more successful.
An example of this is the Swedish brand OATLY, which produces alternative oat-based dairy products. With a radical change in brand strategy and identity, Oatly has increased its turnover by 100% within the last 5 years after 25 years of existence. The transformation from pure consumer brand to lifestyle brand has made the company a global honest, human, social and cultural brand: across all channels through its visual identity, the way the brand interacts with its community and with bold brand messages from a fundamentally honest positioning.
The linchpin is the quality that companies like to admire in retrospect as an excellent example, but rarely dare to do in advance: the courage to leave artificial marketing behind in order to build real connections with customers. Communicate authentically and honestly. Being fallible. It all seems like an uncertain investment that only proves itself after implementation. But: if the trend continues that people are more and more convinced by human values instead of marketing messages, there seems to be hardly an alternative way to be relevant as a brand without forcing market penetration through increasing marketing budgets.
And if we are honest: What company wants customers who don’t actually want the product?
Are you looking for a creative partner who can optimise your brand for the future with branding and corporate design and make it ready for digitalisation? Benchmark Design is a design agency in Munich. We specialise in creative and solution-oriented brandings and corporate designs with which our clients from start-ups to corporations define their brand and find new relevance.