Lux 500

Responsible and Responsive: Conscious Brands 100

Held in partnership with Hall & Partners, global agency Wolff Olins launched a conference detailing the 100 Most Conscious Brands of 2021. Attendees heard from three speakers working in different markets about how to build a successful, purpose-led brand.

Top 10 Global Brands:

  1. Microsoft– 2021 Creative Marketer of the Year
  2. Headspace– Highly personalised support
  3. YouTube– Uses the power of video storytelling to spotlight social justice and environmental causes
  4. Pfizer– Real world distribution of health services
  5. Google– Technological advances significantly improves quality of life
  6. Netflix– Ensure representation of minority groups and encourages cultural context in their content
  7. Amazon- Controversial, yet are deemed the ‘new essential’
  8. Disney– Promotes diversity by breaking boundaries through their traditional character archetypes
  9. AstraZeneca– Manufactured and distributed life-saving medicine
  10. Pixar– Producing content with culturally relevant ideas

The speakers offered their thoughts, and then engaged in discussion, on the functionality of conscious brands. Chief Marketing Officer of BlackRock, Frank Cooper, CEO of Lime, Wayne Ting, and Lori Gross, Brand Manager for Microsoft provided a well-rounded perspective on how different types of markets approach Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The methodology of creating this report involved a six-step programme that began with defining the meaning of a conscious brand. Researchers then moved on to the discovery process: a series of interviews were conducted at all levels of a company to gauge the real goals of the brand. The aim of doing so was to understand the connection between an employee’s sense of purpose with the wider corporate functionality. Advocates and adversaries of social and environmental activism were also interviewed to gain true market intelligence surrounding consciousness.

Wolff Olins explains that a conscious brand needs to be both responsible and responsive, and that ‘GOOD isn’t GOOD enough. If they are going to remain competitive, there is also an urgent need for brands to be more RESPONSIVE—more alive to peoples’ shifting IDENTITIES, MOODS and CULTURES.

Authenticity is key

Every brand has a unique story and marketing strategies that aim to connect with the general public. However, truly conscious brands go beyond PR exercises and fully integrate their agendas into the brand’s DNA.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced change onto brands, meaning they have only been able to survive by evolving.

Many companies shy away from releasing a certain political stance as a part of their ethos because it risks. Although, the reward of doing so is that a deeper connection is forged with the loyal customers is created.

Inauthenticity does get exposed so the new charged atmosphere forces companies to be true to their claims because otherwise, their misgivings are analysed thoroughly and broadcasted.

Consciousness should be reflected at every level of a company, especially in the public-facing output. Instead of holding one figure responsible, all senior staff need to believe in the conscious vision for it to develop because the CEO solely cannot manage every aspect of their brand. Furthermore, this vision must align with investors because key stakeholders will most likely have a different expectation of what a brand should deliver. Therefore, in order to trade on a social license, a brand must be able to identify their responsibility and responsiveness in terms of making real positive contributions.

Overall, this conference highlights the importance of understanding how brands incorporate their values into their services. In our current time of radical change, the speakers are hopeful about social goals being actioned in corporate communities and suggest that as consciousness is more necessary, it will become more prevalent.

To Read the Full Report, Click Here: Welcome to The Conscious Brands 100 | Conscious Brands Report

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