Ever since different social media channels appeared they started developing and growing at a very high pace. People indulged in internet communication, sharing mood statuses, pictures, significant dates of their life and much more. Not long after, businesses followed: updates on new products, interactive games, internet tolls, you name it. In a present situation if business wants to keep up with consumers and wants the real feedback, presence on social media channels is not even in question. Instead, companies should critically evaluate what they do in SM and how. With the capability to outreach to the entire world in just one click – should the companies continue to view branding the way they did before? Absolutely not.
As Simon Mainwaring mentions in his book “We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World” , social media allowed brands and consumers to communicate like never before, and this communication is ought to bring the positive change into the world. After working in the branding field for companies like Nike, Toyota and Motorola ,Mainwaring strongly encourages companies to start shifting their structure from so-called “I First” perspective to “We First”, the change being evident- changing from a strictly self-interested branding (and, in general, way of living) to the behavior aimed at the universal well-being of the world population.
I couldn’t agree more. The statements above do not mean that companies need to become non-profit, but they do need to start implementing concepts of synergy. A perfect example of ‘We First’ brand is Lush Ltd. The company’s values are very well-defined (using only ethically sourced ingredients, fighting animal testing and reducing landfill etc.). Moreover, these values are not just simple words; they are supported by company’s actions. For instance, with the help and support of Lush, Humane Society International has been able to phase out mandatory animal testing of cosmetic products in China. It is a win-win situation: Lush strengthens their brand image, China stops animal testing.
Another example of a strong ‘We First’ brand is actually not even a company, but a person. Natalia Vodyanova, a top-model, is very famous not only for her work in the fashion industry, but also for her Naked Heart foundation’s extensive support for children, orphans, and people with physical or mental disabilities. Moreover, using her own personal brand, she has been able to involve big fashion houses (like Guerlain) in helping children.
Social media makes it incredibly easy to spread the message all across the globe, so it is only essential that we use it for the right causes.
Warring, S., 2011. We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World. 1st ed. United States: Palgrave Macmillan.