Part 1 of 3 in “The Future is Bright for Business and Brands”, a thought piece for First 5000 on the importance of optimism in building business and brands.
Optimism Drives Long-term Value
With communities, the environment and the economy all negatively impacted by recent events, the outlook to the start of 2020 in Australia has not been the positive start to the decade we’d all hoped.
In this climate, it’s only natural for businesses to seek ways to “batten down the hatches” and minimise the impact on their bottom line – both of which further impede positive sentiment and positive, forward-moving action.
Unfortunately the “softer” people-focussed areas – marketing, human resources, community engagement and environmental action – that are more difficult to attribute direct impact on revenue and easier to attribute costs are often the first to be eyed for reduction.
However building long-term value for business and brands requires creating long-term value for customers, employees and all stakeholders, not just shareholders. People, planet and profit go hand-in-hand.
This means business and brands need to invest in the future as much as they can afford whilst looking for quick wins that don’t negatively impact long-term brand value.
We need an optimistic outlook to develop future-focussed strategies: for brand positioning and brand planning, in establishing the vision, purpose, brand belief and objectives; in translating values to behaviours and culture “values in action”; for longer-term brand-building communications that position the brand aspirationally and inspirationally in people’s hearts, minds and lives; and innovation for new products and services within the brand, new brands and new business models.
We need optimism in its positivity to persist in improving the customer experience, employee experience, community relationships and environmental impact, fixing pain points and pursuing surprise and delight at the moments that matter most.
We need the confidence to move away from short-term sales activities that diminish brand trust – such as ads following people around the internet – and avoid altogether implementing short-term activities that are detrimental to the brand – such as price discounting.