A recent survey report conducted by Havas Media revealed that consumers would not care if 77% of 1,800 brands from 31 markets and 22 industries disappeared. Even more, the study revealed that 58% of brand content is not meaningful. These staggering statistics suggest that most brands are going to need to try a lot harder to reach their audience. What makes a brand meaningful? And more importantly, does that matter? According to the report, meaningful brands:
- Provide effective and inspiring content that relates to their customers.
- Deliver products and services that provide functional benefits.
- Improve people’s lives by making an impact on their wellbeing.
- Offer collective benefits that drive our whole society further.
Meaningful interactions matter. The report details some powerful results meaningful brands have realized:
With the vast number of products and services to choose from, consumers have come to expect more value in the choices they make. They want brands that not only satisfy their basic needs but have a positive impact on society as well by going beyond their products and offering content that conveys this collective value.
The Most Meaningful Brands of 2019
The top thirty most meaningful brands can teach us a lot about the shifting landscape of consumer favor. These brands consisted of large tech companies such as Google, YouTube, and Microsoft. What makes these companies so meaningful? They are brands that produce products and services that provide unarguably functional, personal, and collective benefits. But just as importantly, they create meaningful content that differentiates them from other brands.
One brand in the top thirty stands out among the rest: Michelin. Decades ago, there weren’t as many cars on the streets as there are today, which meant that sales were very low for tire companies. Michelin needed to come up with a plan that added value to their customers which would increase their sales. To face this challenge, they released the “Michelin Guide” which provided very useful information and valuable suggestions for drivers. This became known as one of the first examples of content marketing. It provided a functional benefit for its consumers which made the company more meaningful.
What can brands do to be meaningful?
The simple answer: they focus on producing great content for the customers.
The report ranks “content effectiveness” per industry. Automotive stands at number one, which is quite remarkable since only a few of the “Top 30 meaningful brands of 2019” are automotive brands. Creating quality content is the primary driver of brand relevance in 2019. It inspires us to be better, educates us how to be better, and informs us why we need to be better.
Executing this might feel like an uphill battle for most brands. But the brands that are succeeding are doing so by focusing on community-driven marketing tactics. Brands who focus on highlighting the voice of their passionate customers naturally become more meaningful and relevant. For example, Panasonic, an electronics brand that successfully uses community-driven marketing has seen a substantial increase of 121% time on their site and 179% of their viewers are more likely to come back to their website. By using customers’ user-generated content in the form of, photos, reviews, and videos, a company can successfully create a more community-based brand.
Executing a Meaningful Content Strategy
“It’s not about slapping in celebrities or going into a new form of content and hoping that is going to connect meaningfully with your customers”, says Maria Garrid, the Chief Insights and Analytics Officer for Havas Group.
Creating an authentic approach through the UGC from your most loyal fans is a perfect way to connect with customers. Simply put, people will be able to relate better to the company. Among all other insights, Havas also provides lists of expected content roles per industry. Each of these roles can be fulfilled with community-driven marketing.
These brands provide practical examples to learn from. Whether inspirational, entertaining, or educational, great content can change the world. Sure, it’ll help your customers discover your products and services, but it can also help them thrive as a community.
Make a difference in the lives of one thousand of your customers, and you’ve already changed one small community for the better. And your influence will keep growing by word of mouth, scaled by community-driven marketing.
Editor’s Note: A special thanks to Marco Mijatovic for contributing research and outlining this post. Marco Mijatovic is a member of FirstSiteGuide.com, a website filled with numerous free online resources that can help you run, start, and grow your online presence.