I had a conversation last week with a friend who has spent her career as a marketer and CEO in CPG, and she said something that I think a lot of people might be feeling right now.

“I’ve spent my career pushing things to grow. I just don’t feel like pushing sales and marketing on people right now.”

What’s happening in our world right now—social and racial reckoning, ridiculous politics, our adapted lives—may make you feel this way, too.

And it creates a tough dynamic for Constructive Brands; you want to continue to build a profitable business that also does good in our communities, but marketing too hard feels insensitive.

Lip-service purpose marketing is not the solution. Your consumers will see through empty platitudes, especially if you are vocal only when it seems like everyone else is speaking out.

So what do you do and say?

One of the Walden Hyde mantras that we apply to building brands and campaigns seems especially relevant at this moment in time:

People pick brands the way they pick friends.

Good friends are:

  • Consistent: their actions match their values
  • Not preachy: they don’t try to “educate” you, but support you through whatever changes you’d like to make in your life
  • Imperfect: they have humility and authentically apologize when they make mistakes
  • Reliable: they don’t ignore or belittle difficult feelings and events, rather, they’re steady and reassuring during those times
  • Fun: and they don’t forget to celebrate the good times

Similarly, what brands do and say should reflect their core personalities and values. Knowing what you stand for will show you how to deepen relationships, act with integrity, and find new ways to use your voice.

The thoughtful brands will thrive, but the balance and message needs to work.

The way you show up says a lot about you.

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