5 Aug 2009
OK I admit I haven’t exactly been the devoted blogger one should be when launching a blog but hopefully I have a good excuse. We’ve just bought a house, moved in, been offline for days and had to deal with a client crisis at work.
Unfortunately my blog lost out in the process.
Why a thought leadership position for a brand?
I’d like to explore my philosophy of why brands and in particular, corporations, need to have a thought leadership point of view.
It is expected by society, regulators and government today that the products and services a company develops and sells need to be seen to support growth, not just financially but also personally, socially and spiritually.
It’s no longer acceptable for companies to merely sell their products without due consideration for the environment, the communities within which they operate and the way they source and dispose of their products.
This is not a new term but a company’s ‘social licence’ to operate is constantly being called into question as legislators, community pressure groups, social media commentators, non-government organizations (NGOs) and the media, focus increasingly on companies and their responsibility from ‘farm to fork’ or ‘factory to landfill’.
Focus your thought leadership around your values and those of your audiences
It’s my view that companies should be looking at opportunities to establish connections with the values, dreams and aspirations of their customers if they are to remain competitive.
It is in these areas where companies should be focusing their thought leadership ideas – particularly if they want their brands to inspire their audiences and they want to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Companies serious about embarking on a thought leadership campaign should be re-evaluating what their brand/company stands for. Deep inspection of these questions linked to the aspirations, wants and needs of its customers should give you the clues to apply and deliver longer-term, strategic thinking to your thought leadership ideas.
I have already talked about the seven steps to great thought leadership (START IP), which if followed, will lead to more meaningful, strategic and values-based thought leadership campaigns.
I suggest you check it out - not only will it deliver better marketing and public relations outcomes for the company but it will help define a unique space for your brand and a great thought leadership position. One in which senior management and employees can believe.
I promise you that it’s not difficult and it is a very rewarding path to pursue. All that is required is time, commitment and importantly a willingness at a senior level to engage with and deliver authentic, compelling content to your audiences.
In this way, you will engage with your customers/clients/stakeholders in a way you never have before.
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