Do you have a Conscious Brand?
That’s a question I’m asked a lot, so recently I sat down with Nikki Wright, our Conscious Brand Strategist to explore the concept of conscious branding and discuss our unique online tool — the Conscious Brand Assessment Tool®.
Rob: So what is a Conscious Brand?
Nikki: If you’re in business and you care about making a positive contribution to the world –if you recognize that being a ‘success’ in business is not just about making profit — then you already have the principles and values that sit at the foundation of a Conscious Brand. If you’re a leader in business and you think this way — then it’s vital that you’re building a brand that reflects these values. You need to be intentional about it if you truly want to make an impact.
To explain the difference, a Conscious Brand:
- Has a higher purpose;
- It introduces a strategic framework for action towards that higher purpose and provides governance for decisions that are purpose-led and profit-enabling;
- It delivers meaning and purpose for the people in the organization;
- It empowers a meaningful connection with your audience via empathy and mutual beliefs and values;
- It communicates with positive framing, empowering your audience instead of using fear-based messaging that exploits inadequacy;
- And lastly, it is so clarifying for the organization that it mobilizes people towards a common goal, creating agility and responsiveness within the organization.
These six key areas form the basis of our Conscious Brand Assessment Tool.
In a nutshell, a Conscious Brand is one that actively and intentionally nurtures positive values, relationships and experiences with all stakeholders — it values people and purpose through the same lens as profit.
Rob: What is the value of an organization becoming a Conscious Brand?
Nikki: Making the transition to a more ‘conscious’ brand approach is critical for any organization that wants to ensure they are both relevant in the future and actually doing good for the world. Bringing more awareness to the values you’re supporting, the messages you’re putting out into the world and the behaviours you demonstrate are so important. Saying you’re a purpose-led organization and actually being one are vastly different — the process of becoming a Conscious Brand will shine a light on the opportunities your organization has to ‘walk the walk’ so-to-speak. As you become more aware you become more intentional in your actions. Intentionality brings real progress, opportunity and growth.
If you’re serious about shifting your organization towards more conscious practices, or if you’re leading a purpose-led organization and want to ensure you’re practising what you preach — the Conscious Brand Assessment Tool will give you visibility and keep you accountable.
Rob: So lets talk about the tool… it allows your organization to ensure that your purpose is on purpose…
Nikki: Yes, what that means is — is your purpose actually embedded? Do your people find it meaningful? Does it engage your audience at a values-level? Does it lead your decision making? Is there a strategy around it? Are you actually progressing towards it? Are you measuring that progress?
The tool is designed to reach every person in your organization, assessing their understanding, connection with, and trust in, your brand, higher purpose, values and behaviour. The responses from every employee are collated together, giving a clear view of the alignment and cohesion that exists across your organization. Impact and growth begin on the inside — your brand and organization will only grow if you can mobilize your people. For human beings, the best mobilizer is purpose (and the best thing is, purpose-led capitalism is great for society and the world).
Rob: The tool allows organizations to not only see if their purpose is on purpose, but where there is alignment within their organization across the 6 pillars and where there is dissonance. The 6 pillars that make up a Conscious Brand are Higher Purpose, Purpose Driven Strategy, Conscious Communication, Intrinsically Engaged Employees, Empathetically Connected Customers and Agile & Responsive. How do each of these pillars interact with one another?
Nikki: The 6 pillars are indicators that you have a conscious brand… so the higher your score on each of the pillars, the more likely it is that you are actively embedding and actualizing purpose within your organization and brand. They all work together but at the core is higher purpose… this comes first. Without higher purpose, an organization will find it more difficult to have a meaningful, values-based connection with their people and customers. They are unlikely to have a purpose-driven strategy nor take a conscious approach to their communications, and their agility and responsiveness as an organization will be affected by this disconnect.
Often what we can see from the results is that an organization is at one of four levels when it comes to being ‘on purpose’ — and they are ‘Stated, Embedded, Activated and Conscious’ — the highest level being what we are aiming for, a fully Conscious Brand. When your team completes the assessment tool, it’s measuring your brand and organization against these six key indicators to get a clearer picture of where you currently sit along this journey. It also looks at all the nuances and identifies patterns that can provide insight into the ‘why’ behind the results. For example, a company that we worked with this year discovered a pattern of strong connection to their purpose and subsequent engagement across one department — they were then able to look at the context of that team, identify the reasons and begin to replicate these with other departments. Another example would be a company who were able to identify brand believers on the edges of their organization — people they normally wouldn’t suspect. They recognized they were able to have a positive influence or ‘ripple effect’ on others in the organization. By identifying these people through the assessment, they were able to look at ways they could empower them to help embed their purpose internally and increase their impact.
If you’d like a more in-depth understanding of the Conscious Brand Assessment Tool, keep an eye out for our video where we’ll be going through an example report and explaining what is measured and how. Or get in touch and we can walk you through the process, what’s involved and how it might help your organization.
Visit consciousbrands.com or email email@example.com