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What is Purpose? What is Brand Purpose?

What is Purpose? What is Brand Purpose?

nyc-ad-agencyPurpose-Driven branding. Brand purpose. Or purpose are the same thing. Your brand purpose consists of the central motivating aim of your brand, organization or company—the reason you get up in the morning. Purpose should guide decisions, inspire behavior, shape goals, offer a clear sense of direction, and create meaning.

For some business leaders, purpose is connected to meaningful, satisfying work. For others, a company’s purpose underpins company commitment and responsibility. Brand purpose codifies a select few beliefs. Your brand purpose clearly expressed, is the red thread along which you and your people do what you do. Purpose will be unique for every company; what your brand identifies as its path will be different from others. Questions that may come up when you reflect upon your brand purpose are: Who are we? Why do we do what we do? When do we feel fulfilled?

Your brand purpose is your contribution. Some business leaders feel hesitant about pursuing a purpose because they worry that it sounds like a self-serving or selfish quest. However, genuine brand or company purpose is about recognizing your contribution to the world—helping people or society solve problems. Genuine purpose should actually end the self-absorbed, self-serving relationship your company has with society. When your authentic brand purpose becomes clear, you will be able to share it with your employees, with your customers, with your prospects and with the whole world. It’s incredibly empowering.

But there is one significant challenge. Too often a brand’s purpose ends up dormant, sitting in a PowerPoint somewhere or a plaque on the CMOs wall, but never really acted upon in a meaningful way. And in some ways, that’s not surprising, since a purpose that’s inspiring is almost by definition lofty, making it easier to talk about than act upon.

Jumpstart Your Brand Purpose

This idea of activating brand purpose is near and dear to me because it’s what we specialize in at StrawberryFrog. We pioneered an approach called ‘Movement Marketing’ that’s proven to help brands avoid the hazards that come with pursuing purpose. A big part of this approach is a structured brainstorm we call a FrogLogic session in which we ask ourselves some tough questions to jumpstart creating a purpose a brand can act on. Here are a few of them:

What’s the enemy? Knowing what a brand is against can give focus and energy to what the brand is for. For example, nearly all banks have a purpose that dances around the idea of “helping move people’s financial lives forward.” This can obviously lead to actions that are generic. But if we think harder as to what a bank brand’s nemesis is – financial insecurity, fear, or lack of understanding, etc. – clearer and more ownable actions bubble up.

Is your thinking at the right ‘altitude’? Some brands aim too low on the purpose ladder (e.g., “our purpose to serve our customers.”) Nice to know, but what do you do differently based on it? Other brands aim so high that it triggers the B.S. meter. I once found myself saying to a client, “What if it really IS just a salty snack, not a self-actualization tool?” You don’t necessarily have to take on a huge societal issue to do successful purpose branding.

Does your purpose have buy-in at the top? More than once, I’ve seen a brand’s high-minded purpose initiative be shut down by top company leadership as either not pragmatic enough or ‘too risky’. This has happened often enough that I once seriously considered writing a blog post called ‘How to be a socially conscious marker – when your company’s leadership doesn’t really believe in anything’. Bottom-line, if your company’s top leadership isn’t 100% on board, a higher purpose is likely to just be window dressing for your brand.

Does it inspire on the inside? I’ve often found that a good first step in articulating an actionable purpose is to ask the question,” what would make an employee want to get up and go to work every day?” If an employee can readily put a brand purpose to work in his/her job, it shows in the customer experience – which is what actionable purpose is all about. That’s why purpose marketing nearly always works better when it works from the inside out.
More and more today consumers not only have strongly held beliefs, they’re acting on them. It’s time for marketers to do the same: to move from purpose-finding to purpose-activation, to get our collective heads out of the clouds and put our brands’ highest ideals to work out in the world.

By StrawberryFrog

Preventing the Undeniable: How to Challenge the Deniers by Energizing the Climate Movement

Preventing the Undeniable: How to Challenge the Deniers by Energizing the Climate Movement

nyc-ad-agencySomething significant has changed in our global culture over the past twenty years. Blame it on politics, economic pressures, the energy industry or the opportunists, but, if we are to be honest with ourselves, the fact is that the climate change denier movement has soundly overwhelmed the other side. They have built a movement based in denials that have ignited a portion of the world’s populace that is more determined to stand AGAINST their self-interest and the environment than FOR the status quo. The denier movement has made consistent headlines with their challenges to the 97% of expert climate scientists who definitively state that humans are responsible for climate change. Not only are their claims unfounded, but the deniers are much hungrier to be heard than their opponents making their movement even more potent. How can this be? How successful have the various pro-environmental movements been overall? It wasn’t that long ago that climate change almost ushered Al Gore into the White House.

There’s no denying the environmental movement has had their fair share of successes. For example, through its members, the Earth Day Network has managed to create the largest single civic engagement event every year on April 22nd. Their mission statement is literally to build the world’s largest environmental movement and by many measures, they have. Each spring more than one billion people participate in events on that day to protest, activate, educate, and perform service projects related to the cause. The first Earth Day began in 1970, spurred by the release of Rachel Carson’s seminal environmental work Silent Spring in 1962. Fueled by the anti-war movement and environmental concerns, “on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.” As examples of the Earth Day movement’s efficacy, we have their activism to thank for the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Endangered Species Act, and the passage of both the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

Great progress, right? Fast forward to 2019, almost 50 years after the first Earth Day and the same question remains: why are there still climate deniers? Has the “counter movement” really been that much more effective? Why are fossil fueled SUVs and trucks still the best selling vehicles purchased? Why isn’t climate change the most important topic on every poll for consumer concerns? In fact, climate change and global warming didn’t even come up as a topic measured by the polling organization Gallup when it conducted a survey of American opinions on “What Is the Most Important Problem Facing the Country Today from September of 2018 to March of 2019.”

So why aren’t more people focused on climate change despite the laundry list of natural disasters and the underreported mental health impacts that we’re all experiencing regardless of your location or socio-economic status?

2020 will mark not only an incredibly important election year here in the US, but it will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day movement. To continue to propel the movement forward, we can use what we’ve learned to ignite and sustain movements for some of the world’s largest companies to further spark and re-activate the climate change movement. We launched StrawberryFrog in 1999 and pioneered an approach called “Movement Strategy and Movement Marketing” that has proven to help companies and brands avoid the hazards that come with pursuing purpose. We advocate for meaningful purpose-driven stances as the way to avoid the pitfall of devising a purpose that just sits on a PowerPoint slide and does nothing. A big part of this approach is our 6-stage formula for creating a massive movement:

1. What (or who) is the enemy? Knowing what any movement is against can give focus and energy to recognize what the movement stands FOR. If you simply state what you are FOR, then that thinking can lead to words, ideas, and actions that are generic. But when we concentrate on what or who our real nemesis is, then distinctive and impactful actions bubble up. In this case, the climate change movement needs to define the enemy as anyone or anything who stands in the way of real systemic change – that means calling out the #climatedeniers because there is #noPlanetB.

2. What are the barriers to changing mindsets and behaviors? Why do they behave as they currently do? What is important to them in the category and in life? Using new leaps in behavioral science the movement can identify ways to create the change they seek. We brainstorm with our clients to arrive at concrete suggestions for a solution. For example, psychologists have identified a state called “motivated interference,” which occurs when we hold a specific bias to ignore the evidence. Remember when Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) brought that snowball into the Senate Chambers to prove global warming was a myth? Take his stunt and combine it with accurate facts, and the impact he managed to achieve for the deniers, can be attained by the climate movement.

3. Have a simple but cool and inspiring call to action. People long to be part of something bigger than them. But the movement our society stands behind requires authenticity. If the purpose does not carry weight to activate it and elicit a response, it risks falling flat before it can even take off. A big idea that’s catchy and emotive has a strong potential to become a movement. Because it has power and relatability, it bonds the participants by standing together against the enemy. Some social movements that have sparked this type of activation are #metoo, #blacklivesmatter, and #iweigh.

4. Insightfully provoke a discussion. The goal is to overcome a state of complacency. The enormity of climate change can sometimes stop people in their tracks. Although “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar for former Vice President Al Gore, it also received criticism for potentially increasing the political divide around climate change. A lot of the communications around the movement have been all about the dire warnings that if we keep consuming fossil fuels, then the human race will go extinct. That may be true, but it’s not yet a fact. Auden Schendler, the American climate activist, and Andrew P. Jones, Co-Founder, and Co-Director of Climate Interactive, both warn, “Solving climate is going to be harder, and more improbable, than winning World War II, achieving civil rights, defeating bacterial infection and sending a man to the moon all together.” Inspiring people to action requires you to turn a deep human insight into a sharp instigation that will stir your audience’s souls. Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old high-school student in Sweden, has managed to do this in the past year by organizing an international student walk-out to protest climate change inaction. But, she needs more tools to spread her provocation wider and deeper to ensure it doesn’t decay.

5. Create “must-share” content with sticky language and content. People must want to share your content and message. The movement must have memorable language that the culture can adopt to form a lasting association with its purpose. It’s important to remember that viewing isn’t the same as sharing. Your content needs to be shareable in order to translate into deep engagement. The climate change movement can’t just generate content that induces rubbernecking and qualifies as “disaster porn.” It needs content that appeals to all facets of the human psyche when it comes to such a complex issue. For example, it’s not surprising with the popularity of the Marie Kondo effect that the most shared videos on social media are about decluttering and organizing. Perhaps there’s a content idea about Marie Kondo cleaning up Mother Earth!

6. Influence the influencers. Get great content to your most passionate fan base first and to those rising influencers who most influence your mass consumers. Direct engagement via social platforms nurtures and raises awareness of the movement. A great example was released on April 18th and has been trending as #1 on youtube. Rapper and comedian Lil Dicky released a (warning: NSFW) video featuring boldfaced names Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio to name a few. We will have to wait to see how much money is raises for We Love The Earth but the video has already been viewed over 15M times so that’s real awareness already. Another great example includes the wildly successful Ice Bucket Challenge. Since 2014, largely due to social media, the ALS Association has raised more than $115 million for research towards Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Celebrities like LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Sergey Brin, Sheryl Sandberg, and Bill Gates all posted videos. Within the first 15 days of the campaign taking off, the ALS Association had received $15 million in donations from 307,600 new, first-time donors.

As we envision the development of a movement, we can use the juxtaposition of what it is FOR and AGAINST to identify the sticking point (in this case, the deniers) and transform it into a compelling point of action. Essentially, start a controversy and then solve it – the controversy is already here, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. The foundation of a movement has been built, it’s up to us to activate its purpose.

By Scott Goodson

Founder of StrawberryFrog

Youth Movements in the 90s – The Face Returns

Youth Movements in the 90s – The Face Returns

nyc-ad-agencyThe Face magazine, the source of cultural movements for generations of youth in Europe and the cool kids in the America’s and elsewhere, is back.

The new incarnation of The Face will first be an Instagram account, live this week, then a website, starting in mid-April.

The first new printed issue will not appear until summer, and be a quarterly magazine. Sure publishing has completely changed since the magazine closed down but then again in this digital world there’s a thirst for cultural nostalgia and methinks The Face is on to something special. Other successful examples of new age publications in the age of phones is “Author” taking the fashion world by story, created by the great grand niece of Coco Chanel, Oona and the cultural defining Brownbook about all things cool coming out of the Islamic world, published in Dubai.

Back in my formative years creating youth movements, The Face was founded by the editor Nick Logan as a music magazine with an finger on the pulse of cultural movements on the rise. Early contributors included Julie Burchill, Jon Savage and James Truman, who would go on to become the editorial director of Condé Nast. I worked on numerous campaigns shot by Juergen Teller who oversaw many of the covers of The Face.

I’m excited it’s back, and hope it lives up to the excessively high expectations set by its parents. It certainly gives rise to the hope that other culturally iconic magazines like Interview and Paper magazine.

By Scott Goodson
Founder of StrawberryFrog, the world’s first movement marketing company.

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Why is Employee Engagement Important?

nyc-ad-agencyEverything is changing in the world around you. It’s mind-boggling. Deflating. If you’ve ever felt as though your organization is suffering from poor employee engagement, you’re not alone. The fact is, poor employee engagement is among the number one challenges companies must deal with, especially in this fast-changing world.

Whether you’re experiencing low levels of employee engagement due to shifts in management, company vision, disruption due to technology, new product offerings, or simply due to the current organizational culture, your failure to address the situation is likely costing you significant financial losses.

It gets worse…

By continuing with disengaged members in your organization, you’re giving your competition an unfair advantage to take away what’s among your most valuable assets.

Your Team Members…

In order to stay ahead in today’s competitive environment, the importance of employee engagement cannot be overstated.

According to Doug Conant, who served as CEO of Campbells’s Soup,

“To win in the marketplace… you must first win in the workplace. I’m obsessed with keeping employee engagement front and center.”

During a ten year period that saw the S&P 500 stocks lose 10% of their value, Campbell’s Soup stock rose by 30% under Doug’s leadership.

Without making the priorities of your team, a priority of your organization, achieving the success you desire is highly unlikely.

At StrawberryFrog, we believe that Movement strategy and the cultural mobilization of your employees through Movement Inside can achieve behavioral change inside your organization and transform your company. It can help the C-Suite and HR leaders transform employee mindsets and actions. And it can move quickly, building momentum, motivation, creativity, and trust.

We started our company doing Movements Outside with the launch of the Smart Car: the movement to reinvent the urban environment. Very quickly we realized that our Movement Marketing approach was effective at institutionalizing new habits inside companies too. So we started an adjacent practice. We began designing Movement Inside programs and Movement Strategy for organizations wishing to ignite behavioral change and quality decision making among employees. What we learned is that changing employee mindsets, behaviors and actions requires a Movement Inside, not a top-down mandate…and certainly not your average boring email.

Under the Influence

When members of your team are engaged with your organization and the work that they do, their contributions are enormous. They are able to positively influence other team members, customers, job seekers, sales, ROI and ultimately the bottom line. In many instances creating a domino effect of benefits that can empower your organization to dominate your market.

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Talent Acquisition & Retention

“Engaged employees are 59% less likely to seek out a new job or career in the next 12 months.” – Gallup

The costs associated with acquisition, retention, and atrophy of talent can be astronomical. After factoring in separation costs (severance, unemployment benefits), recruitment costs (hr, on-boarding, training), and productivity costs (position vacancy & productivity acclamation), organizations that don’t invest wisely to engage team members, find themselves at a grave disadvantage.

Additionally, organizations must realize that not only is offering more money more expensive but as well, more money is not the answer.

“89% of employers believe that more money is the solution to acquire and keep team members happy vs the reality of only 12% of employees actually leave organizations to make more money.” – OfficeVibe

By focusing on Movement Inside which leads to purpose and powerful engagement, organizations can acquire talent for less, and keep talent longer, thus reducing the costly expenses of turnover AND without having to offer higher salaries to stay competitive.

“71% of employees would accept a pay cut, just to get a better job.” – Hayes.com. And even more, would be motivated to work for a company with a purpose that is greater than financial gain. This grows significantly higher among Gen Y and Gen Z.

Productivity

StrawberryFrog, through its Movement Inside approach, delivers talent acquisition and retention and also delivers financial gains via increased productivity that engaged team members contribute. Again we see from the stats below that pouring more money into “the machine” is not the answer.

“Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.” – Research Foundation
“Highly engaged companies show 37% lower absenteeism than companies in the bottom quartile of employee engagement.” – Gallup
“Companies with engaged employees, outperform those without by 202%.” – Dale Carnegie
“95 percent of highly engaged workers used their time wisely, with only 54 percent of disengaged employees doing the same.” – Limeade Institute
“96 percent of highly engaged employees were also highly motivated, compared to just 37 percent of employees who reported low levels of engagement.” – Limeade Institute

By engaging the members of your team, your organization enjoys higher levels of productivity – WITHOUT spending more money!

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Earned Media

Additional benefits of the StrawberryFrog Movement Inside approach to company transformation includes earned media. That which comes via recognition, often due to acts where an individual or business rises above the status quo. It is the word of mouth, sharing on social media and various other forms of attention that follow organically. Earned media can’t be bought but it’s among the most valuable forms of media an organization can receive.

“Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels.” – (MSLGroup)
“79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition.”– (Hinge Marketing)
“Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels.” (Social Media Today)
“Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads.” – (Marketing Advisory Network)
“Earned media drives 4x the brand lift as paid media.” – (Bazaar Voice)

Not only does earned media from engaged employees contribute to sales and conversions but to talent acquisition and retention as well.

“When asked which employee-shared content consumers found most relevant, recruiting rose to the top: 30% of consumers find job posting useful.” – EveryoneSocial
“Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate – only 7% of applicants are via employees but this accounts for 40% of all new hire hires.” – (Jobvite)
“47% of referral hires have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at companies.” – (Jobvite)

Be it internal or external, the benefits engaged employees can provide via earned media is massive.

Sales, Revenue, Stocks & ROI

While engaged employees can contribute significant ROI due to the reach and impact of earned media, it doesn’t stop there. Once customers arrive to do business with you, we must recognize that engaged employees show more motivation to service and satisfy your customers, thus further contributing to conversions and customer loyalty – A.K.A. – “Repeat Business”.

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“Repeat customers spend 67% more on average than new customers.” – Bain
“Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” – Bain & Company
“Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”

And let’s not forget about the additional Earned Media from your happy customers that spread the word.

“Repeat customers refer 50 percent more people than one-time buyers.” – Bain & Company

With all of these benefits that include reduced talent acquisition costs, reduced talent retention costs, increased productivity, increased media exposure, more powerful media exposure, and increased conversions, organizations that prioritize employee engagement have a severe advantage to leave their competition in the dust.

Doug Conant from Campbell’s Soup wasn’t alone in his findings. Stock prices for Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for rose 14% per year – over a 7 year period, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

Get Happy

You can’t change a company through a top-down mandate, but you can with a movement. Movement Inside leads to happy employees, which in turn, is money in the bank.

While the financial benefits are obviously important contributors to help businesses thrive, perhaps at the root of all this un-evil lies the power of happiness.

According to a 10-year study done by Shawn Anchor, “Happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: including sales by 37% – not to mention a myriad of health and quality of life improvements as well.”

Additionally, “57% of highly engaged workers reported low-stress levels vs 17% of unengaged employees showing low-stress levels.” – Limeade Institute

The Secret’s In

Empowering your corporation or organization with Movement Marketing and highly engaged team members is among the most important goals an organization can strive for. Engaged employees in an organization contribute to increased productivity, brand awareness and reach, sales, revenue, and corporate value, all while reducing expenses and stress.

Movement Inside Works. Again and again.

In one example, we launched the onUp movement for SunTrust bank and created great momentum around the stand to stop financial stress in the United States. With an enemy such as financial insecurity, we were able to devise a program working with our marketing partners that has seen significant positive change among employees, and over 4 million participants in the movement at onUp.com

And in one of our most successful “Movements Inside” to date, we worked with Mahindra; who is among the largest organizations in the world, boasting operations in over 100 countries and having over 40,000 employees. Their presence exists in aerospace, agribusiness, aftermarket, automotive, components, construction equipment, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail, and two-wheelers.

And even at massive scale, the results were exceptional. Mahindra has experienced year over year increases in employee engagement due to the Movement Inside that StrawberryFrog created.

Anand Mahindra sought to evolve Mahindra’s culture to be nimble, innovative, and customer-centered. He knew it required a journey to align and galvanize all employees. His leadership team began with a search for purpose together with StrawberryFrog. Over the course of several months, the Mahindra team led Ruzbeh Irani, worked with StrawberryFrog to learn about the needs of everyone, from factory workers to scientists, external partners, customers, and investors. Together they defined and distilled the purpose of the company, paring it down to three simple pillars that unpinned the Mahindra RISE movement: Use your ingenuity. Accept no limits. Drive positive change. The key strategy we used to align all the different interests and activate a solution which was good for all, was to focus on an idea on the rise in culture to buttress the RISE movement idea. And this is what everyone could get behind. The motivation was pride, not dictates from the top down. And instead of plastering this new slogan on motivational posters, the leadership team began by quietly using it to start guiding their own decisions.

The goal was to mobilize employees and leadership and to demonstrate this idea in action, not talk about it. StrawberryFrog designed Movement Marketing communications, management training, and role-playing sessions over several months across all companies. Projects were selected across channels to highlight the pillar of RISE and Mahindra teams were rewarded for their alignment with the movement. Then we went global involving their largest offices in key markets like the USA and Chile, Europe and South Africa. A comprehensive internal RISE team and platform was developed to help Mahindra employees be proactive with their customer requests and innovate around problems in an agile way.

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Change of Heart

Before you get all riled up and ready to make changes within your organization, it’s important to understand the fact that change, be it good or bad, is often met with resistance.

“70% of change management efforts fail.” (Hammer & Champy)

Whether it’s a lack of trust in the motivation or personnel behind the change, fear of personal failure to adapt, worry about becoming obsolete or losing one’s importance, or simply complacency in the way things are; the reasons resistance occurs will vary, but as sure as death and taxes, resistance will be a major obstacle.

Long gone are the days of a top-down mandate. Leaders must recognize and empathize with the unique perspectives, attitudes, motivations, habits, competing commitments and beliefs of their team members to engage them with their hearts and their minds.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

It takes courage and open-mindedness to create an organization comprised of engaged employees but the rewards to be realized are beyond compare.

Find out if a Movement Inside will work for your organization.

By StrawberryFrog

StrawberryFrog is Contagious

StrawberryFrog is Contagious

nyc-ad-agencyMaking a Splash: Company Profile
StrawberryFrog Contagious Magazine

Big may be beautiful at the empire building end of the communications business, with clients like HSBC and Samsung upping the consolidation ante, but one company becoming an increasingly famous exception to this rule is StrawberryFrog.

StrawberryFrog is a pioneering exponent of the third way: not your trendy independent making waves in its national market, rather a movement marketing and advertising company servicing multinational accounts from a single hub without the need for a phalanx of offices in capital cities. StrawberryFrog is mentioned frequently in the same breath as MDC agencies Crispin and 72 and Sunny, and Mother. But while these companies boast a roster of 280 and 100 staff respectively, StrawberryFrog positions itself as a lean, mean, fighting machine with a nucleus of only 70 full time staff serving a roster of blue-chip clients including Emirates, IKEA, Heineken, Mitsubishi Motors, Pfizer and Sony.

When it launched in 1999, StrawberryFrog became the first full service marketing and advertising company to adopt a business model pioneered by architects, scientists and movie studios. ‘The idea behind StrawberryFrog is to deliver the best possible strategic and creative solutions, operating with a little bureaucracy as possible,’ explains founding partner Scott Goodson. ‘The client gets fresh yoghurt, not pasteurized. We have a core senior team who work directly with the client like any huge consultancy or agency, but then we contract in a specially tailored groups who collaborate via the net. Some of these talents include former consultants from Booz Allen, McKinsey, strategists, and creative directors from Widen & Kennedy, Goodby, TBWA. We’re like the kid whose dad owns the candy store. When a client hands us an assignment, we can reach out to some of the brightest people on the planet (a way of working that is designed for the Gig Economy). A few days later we have the richest, most varied solutions you could possibly wish for.’

The strategy of outsourcing applies equally to media. The neutral status of StrawberryFrog enables each client to negotiate its own media arrangements with a preferred partner (or new cheaper and better software). ‘We’re the pilot, the client is the Lear jet and the media agency is JFK,’ says Goodson.

A revolutionary spirit is hardwired into the company’s DNA. Visit StrawberryFrog’s website and the first thing you see if a nimble frog leaping away of the herd of lumbering dinosaurs. ‘Our model is geared towards large US and international clients wanting effective, break-out strategy and creative communications (movement strategy and movement marketing) done better, better and cheaper than the big corporations,’ says Goodson.

Despite numerous advances from holding company and consulting company nemeses, StrawberryFrog remains defiantly independent. There is a swagger about StrawberryFrog. Goodson certainly never misses an opportunity to spread the Frogism gospel.

Former president of Mitsibishi Motors Stefan Jacoby says: ‘I consider my choice of StrawberryFrog one of my best decisions. They contributed to turning around the business with breakthrough strategy and branding. This led to a rise in our market share. If these achievements weren’t enough, the Frogs helped us realize significant reductions in our marketing costs.’

Goodson is confident that StrawberryFrog that his movement marketing, advertising and design company has remained ahead of the curve, despite imitators like Anomaly and others springing up. ‘We are very much into non-invasive advertising where the consumer actually seeks out the product rather than the other way around. Our work has always focused on inspiring consumers to talk about and actively participate in branded ideas. We invented this new model of movement marketing to engage people in ways a 30-second ad no longer can. Big and small, everyone is running faster, the work is getting more exciting and that’s good for clients.

By StrawberryFrog

How to Start a Movement. Strategy, Powerful Psychology, Drivers & Tactics.

How to Start a Movement. Strategy, Powerful Psychology, Drivers & Tactics.

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The Movement Strategy Phenomenon

If you’ve ever found yourself looking for deeper insights about movement marketing and the movement strategies behind them for your brand, you’re at the threshold of something very powerful. The movement phenomenon has drastically impacted the world we live in. Movements in politics, war, protest, and activism have been around for centuries and shown us how effective the social collective can be. By taking a closer look at what fuels movements, and how movement marketing agencies create strategies to leverage them, brands can utilize the insights gained to better understand how to create a movement of their own that can impact their brand and bottom line tremendously.

What Is a Movement?

While movements vary in size and nature by which they form, they often center around social values or a specific social goal. When communities of people join together based on their beliefs, values and/or virtues to achieve common goals, a movement is in the works. Movements may also be entirely playful or whimsical in nature or simply have these elements within them.

Among the attributes that make successful movements so powerful is not only the sheer number of individuals that they’re made of but more importantly, the psychological bonds that members have to the movement and the psychological impact members have on those around them.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Before diving into the nuances of how to start a movement for your brand and formulating your movement strategy, it’s important to understand that movements are largely built on pre-existing conditions. Groups of people that share commonalities. Be it situational or emotional, these people are often already connected whether they know it or not. The thoughts they have about their “condition” are confirmed, reinforced and empowered as they seek out others in the same boat (confirmational bias). When validated, not only is there a stronger bond to their beliefs and values, but as well, a solidarity is formed with others in the group that empowers the individuals and the group as a whole with pride, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. (Tajfel). Furthermore, a feedback loop takes places whereas individuals tend to amplify the status of the group in order to elevate one’s own self-image.

The Herd Mentality

It’s no secret that the vast majority of people are followers. Hence the term “Sheeple”. The herd mentality shows us that people look to others for safety. And to witness others engaging in a certain act or behavior often validates our own decision to disavow or engage as well.

“It takes a minority of just five percent to influence a crowd’s direction – and that the other 95 percent follow without realizing it.” – (Psych Central)

We see this notion utilized quite often as brands show off how many “happy customers” or “billions served” they have, the authoritative entities they associate with via logos on their websites and the celebrity endorsements that often cost a fortune.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs demonstrates some of the important aspects of human nature to consider as well.

At its core, movement marketing and a successful movement strategy need to understand and connect with the underlying conditions, beliefs, values, virtues, needs, wants, desires and overall emotions that bond a group together along with the behaviors they possess.

Movement Strategy

While much of the success of a movement can be attributed to the organic organization and growth of one, the core element behind the success of a brands initiative, is the movement strategy in place. Here are a few of the foundational steps and insights to consider when looking to create a movement strategy for your brand or when collaborating with a movement marketing agency.

How to Start a Movement
Define the Monster

The monster is the enemy. From an emotional and psychological standpoint, who or what is your desired audience against? What keeps them up at night? What causes them pain? Their plight against the monster is a powerful component in your movement strategy that can motivate, inspire and bond members together to make change.

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Take a Stand

What is your brand against? What does your brand believe in? It’s important to clarify what your brand truly stands for so you can stay on track with your beliefs, values & goals and identify the correct audience to sync with.

What change do you want to take place?

Is it a social behavior or specific action you seek? It should be more than just a general idea, and it should connect your brand and audience in a cohesive manner based on common beliefs, challenges and goals identified. This is not about your product or service.

Understand the behavior of your target audience

Before you can connect with your audience, you need to understand what drives them, how they act and how they react. Take a close look at your audience categorically and more importantly, in their lives. Consider their basic needs, their psychological needs, and their self-fulfillment needs. (Maslow’s Hierarchy)

Be inspired by purpose and driven by benefits

With purpose and benefits driving your efforts, you’re on the road to creating something much larger than an “advertising campaign”. Movements come to be via powerful emotions that bond people together to drive intended actions. A movement strategy with purpose and benefits speaks to the heart, soul, and mind of your audience through the values and virtues encompassed within it; giving true meaning to your work and a powerful bond between your audience and brand.

Be Insightfully Provocative

Figure out where your brand fits into the conversation that’s already taking place and share genuine thought-provoking insights. The goal is to overcome complacency and invigorate emotions. To activate people to mobilize. Again, this is not a conversation about your brand or product but about the core essence of the discussion taking place.

Don’t Buck The Trend

As you’re considering the various conversations taking place, take a close look at current trends in culture. Not only to discover areas of growth and decline but as well, to be very aware and careful about the nuances each trend may possess. Catching onto a huge trend could lead to tremendous success, but one wrong move or statement and you could end up worse off than when you began.

Advantages of a Movement Strategy Over Traditional Marketing

While traditional marketing is an important part of your mix, earned media – that which can come from a movement strategy can provide powerful benefits that traditional can’t access.

Reach

As the current state of paid distribution channels is largely fragmented between broadcast, print, direct, outdoor, digital and more, movement marketing enables brands to connect, engage and reach people that might not be connected to one of these channels via earned media; media earned by brands that activate people to spread the messaging, purpose, benefits, values, virtues and goals associated with the movement AND brand connected. With the advent of social sharing on top of traditional word of mouth, a brand’s reach can be magnified exponentially and quickly by the “members of the tribe”. Traditional marketing simply can’t access or harness this form of distribution and reach.

Trust

Word of Mouth marketing not only impacts reach, but trust as well. There’s no higher level of trust than recommendations coming from another person. A fellow human that has already joined or engaged in a movement is living proof that there’s substance and truth behind the movement, thus providing safety and believability as to why someone else should follow in kind.

“92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising” (Neilsen)

“Earned media is the most trusted form of advertising” (Nielsen)

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Emotional Connection

It’s no secret that today’s consumers want their purchase to mean something. Cone Communications published a study that showed:

“87% of consumers said they would be willing to buy a product or service based on a company’s advocacy concerning a social matter”

“76% of those surveyed said they would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs”

“63% of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change”

Independence & Sustainability

As movements often take on a life of their own spreading the various attributes (and brand) associated with it, a successful movement strategy reduces the need of being solely at the mercy of the media buy. The self-sustaining power of the people can be far less costly and provide higher conversion rates compared to repeatedly investing in expensive media that expires after air time.

“Lead generation driven by earned media out-performs lead generation driven by paid media by a delta of 10-15%” (Conductor)

“Earned media drives 4 times the brand lift of paid media and 51% of millennials are more likely to be influenced by earned media” (BazaarVoice)

It’s important to keep in mind that the co-creators and co-owners of a movement strategy are those that engage with it, grow it and sustain it. And that the symbiotic relationship taking place with a brand is far more powerful than trying to force a message down someone’s throat and sell to them.

Talent Acquisition & Retention

In addition to growing your brand externally, a successful movement strategy can increase the desirability for talent to work at a company.

And as Pew Research reported that millennials have become the largest segment of the workforce at 54 mm, the notion that “94% of millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause” is extremely significant with regard to talent acquisition and retention. – Achieve.

Furthermore, internal team members that contribute as brand ambassadors have shown to impact initiatives dramatically.

“Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs the same messages shared via official brand social channels” (MSLGroup)

“79% of firms surveyed reported more online visibility after the implementation of a formal employee advocacy program. 65% reported increased brand recognition” (Hinge Marketing)

“Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels” (Social Media Today)

And while taking a stand for a cause won’t eliminate attrition of talent on its own, at an average cost per hire of $4,129, (Your industry may be much higher or lower) a movement strategy can significantly benefit an organization’s finances in multiple ways. (SHRM)

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Return On Investment

In order for a business to maintain, grow, and expand, ROI is obviously essential. In addition to reaping the rewards of the contributions above, increased ROI and revenue means additional resources available to contribute to the all-important movement you believe in.

In dollars and cents, “brands relying on earned media marketing save over $14 dollars for every new customer acquired” (HubSpot)

Incite Change

If your brand is truly in alignment with a condition or cause, and your brand contributes genuine purpose driven benefits, your voice and contributions have the ability to change lives for the better and make the world a better place; a much larger legacy than revenue generation.

Get Moving

Smart brands have seen the writing on the wall. By implementing movement strategies in their initiatives and brands overall, they’re being rewarded with reduced expenses, increased ROI and exponential growth; all while making a positive impact in the world.

By StrawberryFrog

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