2012? Brands are human after all

At this very begin of 2012, it is  becoming clear to many people that something is wrong in our Western capitalist society. In the eighties of the previous century, we started losing trust in our governments to steer the economy and financial markets. Since 2008,  finance institutions have lost their credibility and sympathy. Now we are rapidly losing our trust in the free market and its ruling dynamics.  Markets are in decline and employees are being fired big time. The wealth distribution is more unequal than ever before and conspicuous consumerism continues to thrive. Now isn't it time for change?

Over the last couple of decades our capitalist system has come to exist with the purpose to make (more) money. Instead of creating sustainable business aiming to help people. It seems that organizations have gradually lost their social responsibility. Business has become a money game. The more the better. Money justifies it all.

The need to modify our current economic system, resonates on the frustrations in society. People, both left and right, young and old, are angry. Anger that is being projected at banks, telecoms and other dinosaurs of the old system. An anger that increasingly results in apathy against the trade unions, religious institutions and political parties.

Now that people are becoming united in their desire for change, how can we shape our desire for a better, fairer and happier world?

At BR-ND we have our own ideas on this. More than ever we wish to contribute to a beautiful world by promoting a new kind of emotive branding. We believe that individual organizations, small and large, can make that difference by recognizing that people and brands are human after all. Such emotive brands will lead the way and others will then have to follow.

In short, we believe organizations must embrace a new kind of thinking in their leadership, resulting in new social capital. They will need to redefine their success from a profit to a genuine human orientation. Their leadership team will have to become vulnerable, open and kind. They need to cultivate a style that encourages transparency and collaboration. They will support their co-workers to develop their talents and make autonomous decisions. And inspire through collective purpose. An emotive goal to somehow contribute to a better world. With more focus on the collective good, than the individual benefit. Such leaders will playfully connect and engage in dialogue. They will install new rituals and symbols to engage and motivate people.

It will be tough for the C-suite operators to change their style, thinking and behavior. Most will not succeed. But we have no doubt that a new type of leadership will enter the corporate boardrooms.

We wish to help such leaders with unleashing the emotive core of their brands. Leaders who will understand that their employees, their clients, suppliers and shareholders are human after all.

January 1st 2012

Alexander Koene, BR-ND