If you’re a growth-hungry leader, entrepreneur, brand builder or marketing visionary then the latest research about how consumers feel towards the world’s top 1000 brands should be an alarming statistic.

In Western Europe alone we wouldn’t give a monkeys if 93% of the top brands didn’t exist. If this is how consumers genuinely feel towards the world’s most popular brands is it any wonder that many of them are struggling to find new ways to grow, attract top talent and ultimately make profit?

Why has it got so bad? What’s behind the consumer backlash towards brands and what’s the solution?

The end of an era for meaningless brands
They say ‘All good things come to an end’ and this is especially true for those companies and brands that have simply followed the conventional business blueprint of: make a product/make a profit. For these brands making money is the only reason they exist. And while it’s still the most dominant form of business thinking, it’s rapidly becoming tired and outdated.

In Western Europe and America the situation is at a tipping point. These icons of consumerism have become littered with brands we don’t care about. Brands with no meaning. No purpose. No beliefs. Brands that thrive on mediocrity. Brands run by leaders who want to screw us over. Brands where profit is the only measure of value. Brands that talk to us like we don’t exist. Brands that tell us to follow their rules. Their processes. Brands that have lost their way. Brands with no spark. No energy. No imagination. Brands that are lost. Run by leaders who can’t see beyond their spreadsheets. Brands that care about one thing only (and it’s not you or I). Profit.

So what’s the alternative? How do brands compete and thrive in this new era of consumerism when all the rules have changed?

In recent decades, the battleground for competitive advantage has been fought on product features, pricing, technology differentiation and most recently around customer service and the customer experience. But what’s next? What happens when most competing brands have a similar set of products and services, similar pricing structures and an altogether positive customer experience? What will be the next battleground for differentiation?

Welcome to the Age of Meaning.

Meaningful Brands outperform the stock market by 133%
It often takes a ‘black swan’ event like the last recession to throw conventional ideas and business models into a necessary state of flux. What often emerges is new ways of thinking, new ideas and new models that set the agenda for the following decades. One of these growing mega trends is the birth of the so called ‘Meaningful Brand’.

Don’t be fooled by its quasi worthy title, Meaningful Brands outperform the stock market by 133%, have an increased share of wallet of 46% and improved marketing KPIs of over 100% vis-à-vis their traditional competitors. 

In a nutshell, consumers and business buyers are rallying and supporting these companies who are treading a more meaningful path.

What is a Meaningful Brand?
Meaningful Brands have an agenda beyond profit. They are brands with purpose. Run by leaders with guts and vision. They know right from wrong. The value they create and the values they instil act in harmony. They are brands with a set of beliefs. They are brands that want to make better products. Make a difference. Make more money. Brands that want to inspire a legacy. To make the planet fit for our children. Brands that want to play an active role in society. Brands who dare. Brands that see beyond their logo. Beyond their products. Brands that deliver personal value and collective wellbeing.

Meaningful Brands represent a new business model for building a successful and sustainable company in the modern age of consumerism.

Feel like you need to know more?

Rooster Punk. Our place in a fu*ked up world
We’re a creative agency, but not a traditional one. We work with growth-hungry companies, leaders and visionaries to build the next generation of iconic, meaningful and profitable brands. Get in touch if you feel inspired.

*Havas Meaningful Brands survey for Western Europe. 2015


Paul Cash

Written by Paul Cash

As chief rooster at Rooster Punk, Paul is passionate about helping the leaders of ambitious and visionary companies communicate their ideas and products through the power of story. Paul is an author and leading thinker on creating meaningful brands. He’s also a big believer in business as a ‘force for good’. Prior to founding Rooster Punk, Paul co-founded multi-award winning technology agency, Tidalwave. Follow him on Twitter: @Zagology

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