Saturday, August 16, 2014

You Have To Be A Challenger

Photo: Flickr/Bill Selak

Earlier this year, fellow Minneapolis-based General Mills not so quietly put a stake in the ground supporting diverse families. During the Sochi Opening Ceremonies, Chevrolet became one of the first brands to ever feature a gay couple during an Olympic spot, and my former employer, Coca-Cola, produced an ad called ‘America Is Beautiful’ that featured ‘America the Beautiful’ sung in seven languages.

It was, in my opinion, Coke’s strongest creative moment in years.

These are just a few examples of a select group of brands that are doing what it takes to win hearts and minds. They are brave organizations putting out brave content. And the world needs more great content, not more shiny objects or snark.

At Spredfast, we counsel our partners to #BeBrave. Regardless of vertical or product, brave content has a few core beliefs:

You have to stand for something: The days of saying “this social issue isn’t relevant to my business, so we are going to stay out of it” are over. Inequality, injustice, and racism are not optional issues for any brand that wants to be relevant. And sometimes, there is positive ROI in just ignoring the folks who think otherwise. Acting like an ostrich doesn’t even work very well for the ostrich.

Be moving, be funny, and be useful. Pick two of three.

Give hope and optimism and fight despair. Things might seem tough, but there’s never been a better time to be alive. People help each other out, pick each other up, and usually do the right thing. Make those moments the focus of everything you say. If your brand relies on scaring people, or is generally odious, LinkedIn can help you find a better job.

Delight customers. It should be why you’re in business.

And if you can’t do any of the above, and you keep hitting a brick wall, and you can’t do work that you’re proud of - go work somewhere else. Your soul will thank you.

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