Citizen Brand: 10 Commandments for Transforming Brand Culture in a Consumer Democracy

Marc Gobé
Internationally Acclaimed Branding Guru Challenges Corporations: "It’s Time to Act as Good Citizens" What have today’s brands in common with politicians? - They need to take an active, positive role in people’s lives in order to be elected —locally and globally, says Marc Gobé, the founder of the widely successful Emotional Branding concept. Today’s all-powerful, post-hedonistic consumers expect a deepening level of emotional commitment and social responsibility from the brands that they choose. In CITIZEN BRAND, an evolvement of his revolutionary EMOTIONAL BRANDING concept, the internationally acclaimed branding guru tells corporations how to become the socially relevant, caring community members that are elected in today’s consumer democracy. Three quarters of consumers would vote for corporate community involvement and ethical business practices, say recent polls. Yet while "cause marketing" programs abound, few corporations truly understand the emotional power of the "Citizen Brand" approach, argues Marc Gobé. Using brands like Starbucks and The Bodyshop and Home Depot as examples, CITIZEN BRAND reveals how companies can create strong and deep partnerships with people in America and across the globe by enriching their lives in creative and truly relevant ways. The bursting bubble, anti-globalization protests in Seattle and Genoa, an economic slowdown, and the September 11 tragedy. . .the events of the past three years have changed dramatically what consumers expect from today’s brands: they seek emotional support and orientation an increasingly complex, strenuous reality. Getting this right requires an intimate understanding of one’s customers and their deepest values, says Marc Gobé. CITIZEN BRAND reveals how smart companies have responded to this reality check by treating their customers–-and employees—with a new humanistic, emotional sensitivity. Nucor has made it a point to not lay off any of its people in the face of recession; other companies have followed the example of The Bodyshop by establishing community programs for customers and employees; Coca-Cola is using its trucks in Africa to bring medication and education to local customers. As Gobé underlines, CITIZEN BRAND is not a comprehensive form of philantrophy or a new business strategy, but an inevitable consequence of global change: ". . .in a global world influenced more and more by local politics, religious upheaval, and social awareness, the role of businesses will change in a dramatic way. The need to reassess one’s corporate responsibility is critical in a changed world."


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