When I say the words ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ what is the first thing that comes to mind?
If I had to guess, I would say that like me, you would be thinking of the images, colors, words, and sounds that relate to the products and services you value.
Now, on the other hand, you’ve probably heard of holistic healthcare/healing, holistic means to approach one’s health from a zoomed-out perspective. Looking at the approach to life, rather than only the specific illness or symptom. A holistic approach to branding works in the exact same way. People buy from people. Not from companies. Capturing the soul (personal values) behind the brand and making sure all paths of communication honor these personal values, give customers a clear idea of what they’re buying into. Even brands that do not have ‘souls’ so to speak, create personal values as it makes them more human, more relatable. For example, Volvo’s image is built around the personal value: safety.
Purpose-driven branding, also known as holistic branding, is built around the idea that everyone is here for a reason and has a unique purpose. There is something in you, that only you can do, in the way that you do it. Holistic branding not solely focuses on the outcome, but on the ‘why’ as Simon Sinek puts it. It ensures your business -and all its departments- are perfectly aligned to your soul mission.
With that being said, there are 5 reasons why you should consider a holistic branding approach.
- Internal marketing + branding
Internal marketing refers to the internal alignment between various functions + departments and the image of the brand among its stakeholders + employees. For example, how your employees think of your business also affects your overall market image. While some companies have created a good brand image in the market, worker dissatisfaction can spoil their reputation. Let’s face it, it is 2021 and working conditions are becoming as important as the overall social image. If employees are dissatisfied, they are only one click away from sharing their unhappiness on social media. How employees perceive your brand, how they rate your work environment and the leadership are crucial to your brand.
- Integrated marketing + branding
The growth of digital technology has led marketers + content creators to use several channels to reach customers from websites to apps, social media, and paid online advertising. However, whichever channel you use, it is important to send a consistent and coherent message across all the channels. When your message is clear and consistent across all the channels, your customers get a clear picture of your brand and your products. Customers love brands that express themselves consistently and authentically. Moreover, building a company that is true to the heart’s mission of the people behind it is destined to grow rapidly and inspire others.
- Relationship marketing + branding
The focus of relationship marketing is on building long term and long-lasting relationships with customers, employees, distributors, shareholders, vendors, suppliers, public, media, government, and financial institutions. While companies focus a lot on customer relationship management it is not just your relationships with your customers that matter but with suppliers, distributors, and other stakeholders too. In holistic marketing, relationships are a special focus area and strengthening ties can definitely lead to higher success in terms of marketing and sales.
- Socially responsible marketing + branding
Holistic marketing also places a special focus on social image and those aspects of marketing that are directly concerned with or affect the community and society. While most big brands focus on social responsibility to create a responsible social image and earn a strong reputation, holistic marketing considers socially responsible marketing practices integral to the success of all the marketing efforts by a brand. It is important for businesses to be legally compliant, respectful of the society, environment friendly and to adopt ethical business practices. All these factors have a direct impact on the social image of a brand.
- Performance marketing + branding
Performance marketing is also an important component of holistic marketing. While marketers should try to create an advantage for their brand by investing in marketing activities, generating returns on the marketing investment is also an important responsibility they should not forget. Performance marketing focuses on the performance aspect of marketing. Apart from generating returns on the marketing investment by the company, marketers need to ensure that the marketing activities are having an impact and will help the business earn a competitive advantage.
Much like the example used above, holistic branding approaches a one’s brand from a zoomed-out perspective. Looking at the approach to life, rather than only the specific issue at hand. A purpose-led brand creates higher alignment with all creating forces surrounding us. Which leads to a healthier, more wholesome, inspired and more successful way of doing business.