The brands leave the supermarket shelves and the magazine ads and start interacting in the areas of interest of its public, supporting, sponsoring, investing or carrying out social, cultural, environmental, sports, entertainment, style and behavioral actions that can be related to their attributes. These brand attitudes already cause an effect on an expressive portion of the companies’ marketing and communication budgets, mobilize a growing number of professionals in these sectors, occupy the CEO’s agenda, and make room for specialized suppliers to emerge.
By means of its actions, the brand makes its intentions real, realizes its meaning, and produces an emotional gratification for its public, increasing its relevancy and credibility. Those that were before tactical and punctual brand attitudes, now start having a strategic role for companies, to reach their institutional and corporative objectives, as well as their marketing and commercial goals.
Now, the brands build platforms of continuous action, tailored to suit their needs. Thus, they create and carry out nominative events, like Tim Festival, Skol Beats, Nokia Trends, Maratona Pão de Açúcar, Coca-Cola Vibe Zone, Guaraná Antarctica Street Festival, Nike 10K; and also embrace causes, like the cause of youth adopted by Votorantim, community by Vale, the education by Bradesco and Itaú, nutrition by Nestlé, sustainability by Banco Real and Natura, well-being by Pão de Açúcar, the breast cancer prevention by Avon, the children’s cancer treatment by McDonalds, and the protection of childhood by Rede Globo.
The brands’ field of action is wide and diversified. They take part in fashion events, like the ones sponsored by Fiat, Grendene and Motorola; plant trees when products are purchased, as is carried out by Ypê and Ipiranga; maintain cycle lanes and radio programs informing about the traffic, as is made by SulAmérica; give their names to theaters, like Citibank, Credicard and HSBC; adopt artistic areas – such as the support given by Natura to music, as well as by Pirelli to photography, and by Petrobras to the movies –;introduce and maintain cultural centers, such as is made by Banco do Brasil, Itaú, Santander and Oi, as well as movie theaters, as made by Unibanco, Bombril and IG; they sponsor volleyball teams, as made by Finasa and Rexona, soccer teams, by LG and Fiat, athletics, by Caixa, and auto racing, by Petrobras.
In all the examples mentioned, there is a connection between the action and the business objectives. These are attitudes that create a benefit for the brand’s targets, and, in many cases, for society. However, they are not a result of philanthropy, but of business strategies. They strengthen the identification with the brand, the relationship with stakeholders, as well as the corporation’s reputation and self-esteem. Brand attitudes produce concrete results.
A number of factors has influenced the companies in order to create effective experiences between the people and their brands, to make their attributes tangible, and to adopt positions of public interest. Technological development and globalization have increased the offer and reduced the differentials among products and services; lifestyles and the standards of behavior are more diversified and in constant transformation; the emotional motivations started to have a determining role in product consumption; the appreciation of the sustainability concept has imposed social and environmental variables to the business equation; and society has become more critical, well-informed and with greater power of pressure over corporations.
In order to survive in this complex world, companies must build up a good reputation, and their brands must have a clear identity. The bigger the respect for the company is, the lower is the risk for its business. The more the brand makes sense for the public, greater preference and loyalty it will have.
The brand attitudes are driven not only by the higher responsibility the companies have towards society and by the emotional relevance of the brands in people’s lives, but also by the loss of efficiency of conventional media. Today, people demand more than auto-referential and fictional ads, once these fail to give credibility to the company’s commitments, confer authenticity to the attributes of its brands, nor insert them into the real-world life of their stakeholders.
To be relevant to people, the brand needs to make its identity real and bring its promises into effect. It needs to act. To act before talking. To communicate by means of its attitude.