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Inspire Me

What does your company stand for? If you can’t answer that question quickly and with conviction, you may want to take a hard look at your corporate mission statement.

These days, people are beginning to realize that connecting your company—and your employees—with a larger purpose is a great way to give life and substance to your organization. Many brands are tapping into this trend and using it to drive powerful marketing campaigns.

Secret’s campaign to connect with teens is one of my favorites. What is it that teens care about? Teen bullying. The new #MeanStinks campaign takes the issue head on. Championing a cause that your customers truly care about and tying it to your brand to drive engagement is the name of the game today. And if you ask me, Secret really nailed it with this new campaign.

Another one of my favorites is the Kind Bar  “you're #kindawesome” campaign.  It encourages customers to give each other roses with a personalized message. This approach is unexpected and sweet—and way more effective than the obvious granola bar giveaway.  #ToyotaGiving will donate funds to world hunger if you share a picture of what you’re passionate about. The American Express #PassionProject features customers sharing their expertise with the community at large. IBM is helping the world by building a #SmarterPlanet.

These brands know something about tapping into the human spirit. It's a laudable and incredibly effective strategy to connect with a greater cause.  It’s all about tying your brand to something that matters to your core customer on a personal level. It's never about a product. It's about making a connection.

Great people (and great brands) are purpose-driven. Ask yourself, what is my company’s motivation? If it doesn’t inspire you, it likely doesn’t inspire your customers.

So what are you waiting for?  Inspire me.

6 Responses

  1. Pam says:

    Great stuff Tami! Inspiration is simply one of my all time favorite words. You are right in that brands must stand for something. Must be bigger than themselves or their bottom line. It must be authentic though when choosing a cause and not chosen because a product line is failing or a campaign is not getting enough attention. It must come from the heart and they also must live it, not just put a hashtag behind it. 

    One of my favs is the simple Coke smile machine. Why not just inspire by making someone smile. I don't think it always has to be as complicated as we make it. Simply inspire me…. 


  2. Amar Trivedi says:

    Superb post, Tami. Marketing with heart comes from marketers who live the brand. (+1 Pam.) Brands that tap into the human spirit are 'people' experts. They go beyond the ordinary to build strong emotional connections + genuine customer relationships + memorable end experiences. Brands initiatives that have inspired me recently:

    1. Red Bull #LiveJump – a masterpiece that pushed human limits at many levels 
    2. Coca-Cola's Happiness Vending Machines (cleverly adapted for region: Dance-offs in Korea, Peace/Unity in Indo-Pak) 
    3. #Olympics2012 – how the event created positive vibes in the midst of tough times:
    a. P&G's – Thank You, Mum. the hard work parents put into bringing up champions
    b. NIKE's running campaign motivating overweight youth to not lose hope, never give up 4. IBM's Let's Build a Smarter Planet outdoor ads that went being billboards and helped passers-by by serving as shelters, seats, ramps etc.

    All simple, fun, contagious ideas to be part of. Each met marketing goals and sales targets and… grew into something larger. Everytime a marketing campaign triggers individual reaction -> community action -> grows into a movement –> I'm inspired.

    Awesome post. Got my gears going 😉 I'd like to share my humble attempt at creating a hub of memorable content. Welcome to Inspiration Central: Inspire and Be Inspired.


  3. Great post, Tami. Love the #MeanStinks campaign. It's clever, important, and fun all at the same time. That combination is very hard to pull off gracefully. I also think one of the keys to success in each of the campaigns you mentioned is that they aren't preachy. Few people want to endure a lecture from some brand (even when it's a brand they love).

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