The Motivating Millions round table for May was hosted at a unique and inspiring location, the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking.
WWF’s work is in itself inspiring of course, but the quality of the building and its environmental credentials, the stories it tells and the way WWF people work together is inspiring too.
On a tour of the building we saw scouts working in the on-site education centre, local groups using the auditorium and members of the public exploring the discovery pod displays in the entrance area. This is a building with a very open and inclusive public face.
Aligning brand purpose
We were there to discuss ‘How to align brand purpose and culture to maximize opportunity and minimize risk’.
Director of Brand Communications at WWF International, Winnie De’Ath, launched the conversation with some powerful examples of the challenges faced by organisations with a high level of brand ownership.
The challenge of balancing the energies of passionate people who have things to say about important issues, with the fleeting immediacy of social media, for example.
Or how scientific experts who need to engage with the public can adjust their message and tone of voice to reach their audience.
And how by creating brand and messaging frameworks that are too rigid, we can inadvertantly constrain the daring voices that organisations often need.
Engaging through co-creation
We explored co-creation as a way of engaging people and building ownership. We looked at the difference between Brand and Character, and how Character helps us think about the authentic day-to-day experience of interacting with a brand.
And we discussed the importance of considering who, why and how we’re trying to reach our stakeholders rather than just what we’re trying to say.
It’s clear that this process of brand custody and reinvention is continually evolving and that organisations are frequently ‘excavating’ and refreshing their people’s connection with their brand purpose to keep it relevant, fresh and front of mind.
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