Insight
Jun 18, 2013
What are the most inspiring initiatives from "brands with heart"?

Brands with Heart

This year, CBA is partner of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint Etienne, which explores the large theme of Empathy. At this occasion, we’ll cover a topic that warms our heart, in such a way that we use it as our credo : « brands with heart ».

Emotion is very often the starting point of a designer’s inspiration… Saying this, the real challenge in our field is to move from an emotion-driven vision to a genuine emotional response for the end consumer. As underlined by Rafael Gomez, designer at Queensland University of Technology, ”to design enjoyable products we must first understand what makes people happy and design products based on that critical understanding.” He analyzed the emotional impact of MP3 and PDA devices : beyond the functional benefits of these music players and communications tools, these devices were perceived as important for consumers, because of their « escape » and « relaxation » attributes. The understanding of human needs should thus be leveraged to create any goods or services, according to Gomez.

Co-creation as an emotional commitment driver between brands and consumers

Youtube, Wordpress, Tumblr, Soundcloud, Flickr, Instagram, … numerous sites and applications enable everyone to become creative and to share their words, pictures, songs, videos, and so on… Creativity is now everywhere, and it influences the evolution of marketing : today, brands can collaborate with their consumers-creators, in order to create always more bonding, commitment, and conversation.

According to Cecilia Weckstörm, head of the Consumer Experience department at Lego, “Brands are no longer created, they are cocreated,”she argued. “Strong emotional engagement produces the motivation to cocreate.” Also, Lego encourages its millions fans to develop content via their social platform ReBrick, which allows the brand lovers to share their own creations.

In addition to their commercial value, brands can try to boost their social value on a long-term perspective, by raising awareness on their own causes. Wikipedia can count on the involvement and support from thousands of contributors, and is thus able to offer a source of knowledge without precedent, that is accessible to everyone. A brand such as Autolib incites people to share their car, instead of owning one. This way, brands encourage creation and sharing, while minimizing the destruction of human and natural resources. When they imply such an equation, brands enhance their emotional capital towards consumers.

Brands that commit. For real.

We wrote a note on Generation G about three years ago : brands still continue to praise for kindness. Interflora sending flowers to Twitter users when they feel down, Ben & Jerry’s offering free ice-creams, Tropicana bringing the sun back to a Canadian city during winter, Google supporting the LGBT cause with its campaign It Gets Better, … All these initiatives truly reveal brands’ hearts.

Chipotle, the Mexican fast-food giant, proved its difference when fully repositioning its brand philosophy early 2000’s. In its report Food with integrity, the company draws attention on its efforts to get supplies of healthy and free-range meats, organic products, hormone-free dairy products, family farms and as much as possible, from local producers. In 2012, Chipotle communicated for the first time on TV during the Grammy Awards ceremony, with a campaign entitled Back to the start, a poetic animation movie denouncing the devastating effects of intensive farming, with a country-style cover of Coldplay’s song The Scientist. Chipotle invited the audience to buy the song on iTunes. The benefits have been donated to their foundation Cultivate Foundation, which aims at encouraging responsible, sustainable and healthy farming. In addition to this Cannes-awarded campaign, the display integrates a unique loyalty program – Farm Team – dedicated to helping members chosing a more responsible diet, as well as a Cultivate music festival, mixing concerts, food, crafts and debates.

Through this assertive posture, aligned with the current consumers’ expectations, its sophisticated storytelling, a remarkable campaign that calls on emotion, we can definitely say that this constitutes a great brand project, all the more surprising coming from a fast-food chain ! Rival fast food giants are learning lessons from Chipotle’s stance.: McDonalds recently announced its willingness to stop tapping into intensive farming !

Brands which change the world : an utopia ?

In a crisis context which has brought along gloominess for a couple years, brands have finally understood that consumers were eager to consume goods and services with a purpose : they want to feel that they contribute to building a better world. Brands like Fairtrade suggests another way to envision consumption, by improving the life conditions of small producers. The positive evolution is that this type of initiative is not only the prerogative of fairtrade organizations…

The case that moved us the most lately is the operation Help – I’ve cut myself… and I want to save a life. Help Remedies is a company which sells over-the-counter medicine and first aid products in the US, and which was already known for several reasons : its packaging that take the heat ouf the serious world of drugs with playful, colorful and minimalist boxes, affordable prices, a witty and fun tone of voice, crazy website and videos, …

Last year, the brand teamed up with the ad agency Droga 5 and the bone-marrow transplant organization DKMS, and included a marrow donor registration kit, a swab for mopping up drops of blood and a pre-paid envelope. inside its band-aid boxes. The principle is simple : when cutting yourself, you can send some of your blood to the national bone marrow registry, which will inform you of your donor potentiality, by easily reaching for a plaster. This sharp initiative put the spotlight on this fundamental cause thanks to an simple yet powerful mechanism, and the brand saw its bands sales boomed by 1900% in a couple of months ! Not to mention the hundreds of lives that could have been saved, with one simple gesture…

Financial scandals, food crisis, frauds, relocations, bad buzz, … rarely brands have been fighting over so many issues and threats. Though, they have the power and means to make society sensitive to great causes. By launching heartfelt actions, generous brands can not only increase their profit, but also and beforehand generate loyalty from a commited and passionate audience. And let’s dream for one minute : they might be able to change the world.

Share

CBA London


New Wing, Somerset House
Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Map

Phone +44 (0) 20 7788 4727
email

© 2016 All Rights Reserved

CBA is a global design agency.
It is composed of a network of 13 offices located across the globe, sharing the same mindset.
Our 305 professionals work passionately everyday on projects for more than 30 countries.

CBA Global en
CBA France FR / EN
CBA UK EN
CBA Italy IT / EN
CBA Spain ES
CBA Turkey EN
CBA Middle East EN
CBA Asia Pacific EN
CBA US EN
CBA Latin America PO / ES / EN

Type your search and hit return

Subscribe to our newsletter

First name

Last name

Email address

You will need to confirm your address to activate your subscription
By clicking 'Subscribe Now' you are agreeing to our privacy policy

Terms and conditions

LEGAL MENTIONS

This site is edited by:
CBA Paris
SASU with a capital of 1 150 000€ Euros
RCS Paris
Headquarters : 96 rue Edouard Vaillant, 92 300 Levallois-Perret, France
Tél : 01 40 54 09 00

Director of Publication : Louis Collinet

This website was developed by :
CB’A Srl
Headquarters: via Lecce 4, 20136 – Milan, Italy

The information displayed on this site concern all CBA Paris entities. These companies are referred hereafter by the name « CBA Group ».

Property rights

Copyrights

All data, text, information, images, photography, videos or any other content shared on this website are protected by copyright. Any reproduction, representation, use or adaptation, whatever the form, of all or an element of this site without the written consent of CBA group will be considered as a counterfeit act and falls under the penalties of Intellectual Property Code.

Brand copyrights
All named and logotyped brands and other distinctive signs which appear on this website are CBA group’s property and / or of their clients. Consequently, any reproduction or representation, and any use of these distinctive signs is prohibited, except with a writtent consent of their owners.

Links generation to
www.cba-design.com
The website allows the set up of an hypertext link pointing towards its content, except using the technic of « deep linking », i.e the pages of www.cba-design.com should not be integrated within another website pages, but accessible through the opening of a new window.
This authorization should not apply in any case to websites displaying controversial, pornographic, or xenophobic information or which could tharm sensibility or cause public disorder.

Website editor 's responsibility

Website content :
CBA Group has attempted to ensure the accuracy and the update of the information contained on this website ; CBA Group reserves the rights to amend, at any time and without notice, the content. However, CBA group cannot guarantee the accuracy, the precision or the comprehensiveness of the information carried on this website.

Website access :
CBA group companies cannot be held liable for any incovenience or damages related to the general use of Internet, notably in case of service breakdown, external intrusion, downloaded viruses, or damages caused to the equipment or software which would be linked to the use of this website.

Links to other sites :
The site might include links to other Internet websites. Given that CBA group can’t control these sites, CBA group cannot bear the responsibility towards their contents, advertisments, products, services or any other material available on or from these websites. Moreover, CBA group cannot be held responsible for any damages or loss related to a trust relationship to the content, goods or services availables on these sites.

Privacy policy
Visitors are made aware that all personal date collected on this website are automatically processed. Data collected are kept confidential and are aimed at the exclusive use of members and services of CBA group.

These personal data fall under the dispositions of law « Informatique et Libertés » of January 6, 1978.
It is understood that the visitor is given a right of access, amendment or deletion of any personal data related to them, by sending a mail to :
CBA Fabien Godimus 96 rue Edouard Vaillant 92300 Levallois-Perret
or by sending an email to fabien.godimus@cba-design.com