Common Ground: Shaping Brand Strategy to Avoid the Quicksand of Social and Political Melee

The social and political turmoil of recent months have highlighted a sea change in what’s expected of organizations operating in the public square. Consumers are hungry for a better world. They want organizations (private and public companies, non-profits) to have clear positions on important social and political issues and be willing to use their muscle to help drive things in a better direction. Those who waffle, equivocate or simply respond randomly to the “melee of the day” risk damage to their reputation.

In working to respond to these changes, traditional marketing practices and reputation management that rely on control, consistency, and stability have collided headfirst with forces of the digital age. In particular, the democratization of information, with its ever-shifting and multiplying channels of engagement have amplified the voices of political and social melee. The result? A new paradigm for marketing that urges companies to align their brands with a purpose.

In this time of uncertainty, Heart & Mind Strategies’ clients are asking us to provide strategic guidance on how to meet these changing expectations. We have a long history of providing counsel to political, government, association, corporate and non-profit leaders, giving us a unique and comprehensive perspective on these complexities. Additionally, our approach to uncovering and mapping the values that drive decision-making is rooted in more than 40 years of research among business leaders, consumers and policy-makers. Our clients have benefited from guidance on how on how to define and instill organizational values that will help them effectively navigate the quicksand of rapidly shifting social, political and economic change.

It’s important to have a framework for thinking about challenges this complex. Common Ground is the structured approach we have developed to help marketing and communications leaders identify, map and create strategies that account for the full spectrum of values that must shape their response to these challenges.

As marketing guru John Gerzema observed:

“A values revolution is reshaping the consumer marketplace. Companies, regardless of their size or target market, must understand the significance of this social trend. Those who grasp it and adapt will find extraordinary opportunities.”

To learn more about about the Common Ground approach, click here for a brief (6 minute) audio booklet: