Culture should be an integral part of a brand’s agenda. Those with a cultural mission (and activation to deliver their mission in a meaningful way) will authentically talk to consumers in the conversations that matter to them most. Izzy Pugh looks at five brands that have actively engaged with culture and rewritten the rules to not just participate in, but also contribute to culture in relevant ways.
- Sport for England
Sport for England is picking up where Dove left off to encourage women back into sport without being worried about the way they look. The #thisgirlcan campaign has understood the cultural reasons getting in the way of women exercising and it is busy rewriting the rules.
- Guinness Black Africa
Guinness inspires people to make bold choices, celebrating those who have the confidence to carve their own path, those ‘Made of More’. Guinness Black found commonalities in culture across African countries of a young creative generation of African talent prepared to dance to a different beat with a progressive, entrepreneurial spirit. So Guinness celebrates a range of musicians, artists and entrepreneurs from different African countries who are each pushing the boundaries of their culture in their own way through their personal expression.
Etsy has become one of the most culturally vibrant brands in the US and now the global stage. Spotting the ‘Maker’ trend early on, Etsy has become intrinsically linked to the movement. It has created a new business ecosystem, where makers, sellers and buyers are linked in a virtuous circle of collective empowerment. Etsy Wholesale has now been launched as a way to help creative entrepreneurs sell directly to retail stores, and an in-person payment system that makes it possible for sellers to grow beyond their online presence.
Wardah, an Islamic skincare brand, has come in from a totally different angle on skincare creating a locally relevant offer that is in tune with what women are looking for in a way that the global personal care brands aren’t and it is threatening to knock them off the top spot. Being culturally relevant isn’t just about global scale it is about local understanding.
Jaguar has actively engaged with culture with their ‘good to be bad’ campaign. The campaign gives Jaguar a delicious dark side that has managed to make other automotive competitor brands feel more out of sync with culture than they had previously done. #goodtobebad was the most used hashtag throughout the Super Bowl 2014, Twitter users revealing their own thoughts on why it’s good to be bad.
Izzy Pugh is director of cultural strategy at Added Value.
Image credits: Sport England, Diageo, Etsy, Wardah & Jaguar
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