March 27th, 2016

Penned by Chief Strategy Officer Dave Corelli.
Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.

Brands have a substantial influence on humankind - but what will we do with it?

Every now and then, we come across something that is bigger than marketing. Bigger than business.

That stirs something inside of us. Makes us reflect and be grateful. Makes us want to be better.

On Tuesday, I came across something released by the 7UP brand in partnership with Martin Garrix - a Concert for the Deaf. I urge you to watch it here before reading on.

Brand builders and marketers have an unbelievable amount of influence in people’s lives. Collectively we create, administer and control the vast majority of things people interact with everyday.

That’s pretty potent when you take a second to reflect on it. It’s a lot of responsibility. Brands can and do have a substantial impact on the livelihood of humankind.

Ultimately, this means that we have a decision to make. Are we simply selling things for the sake of profit, or do we embrace our role in the fabric of society and strive to use our influence to make people’s lives better?

If we dig deeper into the 7UP brand ethos, we will witness a subtle shift, a shift to being more than a beverage. The brand has infused itself with a ‘live it up’ philosophy, and has embraced music as a platform that moves us all. The thoughtfulness and intention in the approach carries through to their product offerings, social channels, event partnerships - any interaction with the brand.

I can’t be certain whether this is simply a campaign or a new way of thinking for the PepsiCo product, but given my conversations with their team and observations of their recent market activity, I would bet big it’s the latter.

Mauro Porcini, the SVP & Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo has come in and worked to revolutionize the way the company does business through a design-thinking approach. In an interview for The Next Big Design, when asked “How can building better brands and businesses ultimately change the world?” he eloquently articulates the following:

Building better brands and businesses may change the world because these two variables greatly impact the life of any human being, every day, directly or indirectly. But better brands and better businesses don’t necessarily imply a better world and a positive impact: it may sometimes even be the opposite.

Therefore I would rephrase the question in a different way: “How can building better brands and businesses ultimately create a better world?”

Consumer brands have a duty to their investors, shareholders, and employees to do well financially. But they also have a duty to respect the power they wield. A responsibility to do something with it.

The ironic thing is, once they realize this and do something about it, and do it right, the profits and business usually ends up taking care of itself.

/ Corelli

Dave Corelli is Chief Strategy Officer of SportBox Group, a global entertainment agency with verticals in strategic marketing, personality representation, and event creation and ownership. Corelli oversees business and creative strategy globally for the agency, its clients, athletes and events. Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.