Catalyst

Who is your inspiration?

Aniruddha Atul Bhagwat | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 28, 2016

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If the consumers can see a bit of themselves in the brand, the process of inspiration has started

Words cannot do justice to an inspired feeling – your heart racing, loss of inhibition, and a thought that will just not leave your head until you get up and do something about it. Inspiration is testosterone for the mind turning the inspired thought into your sole belief, goal, religion and purpose in life.

Through the word’s origins, inspiration was only related to God, but today, the word has evolved past its origin unto any person, object or action that inspires people. Inspiration leads to motivation and subsequently to action. It is an aspiration for brands across the world to be an inspirational brand as it would mean they have a strong influence over their consumers’ minds. Brands spend millions on this journey to inspire their consumers to believe in them, and crudely put, give them access to their mind and soul. Unfortunately, inspiration cannot be bought. It cannot even be an objective. It is an end result.

Look to the consumer

At times, brands approach this journey of inspiration by creating mass awareness, building strong preference within their category, and showing their consumers their brand strength in the hope that they will forfeit that key to their mind and be inspired. Brands with this approach fail. And fail miserably. Just like people, brands need to take inspiration before they can become an inspiration. So should brands be inspired by other brands? Winning campaigns? Brand leaders? Perhaps. Or they could look a little closer home, and be inspired by the person that matters the most to them: The consumer.

Inspiration is a two-way process and a connect between the two entities. People find inspiration in things, people and actions, not only for aspiration, but because they see a part of themselves in the object of their inspiration. They see their story with a successful end, and they want to believe and have faith in their inspiration so that can emulate their own successful story. Brands and consumers are no different, and if brands want to inspire, they need to find a strong connect with their consumers. If the consumers can see a bit of themselves in the brand, the process of inspiration has started. Brands need to go out and understand their consumers. Not only their desires and wants, but also their fears and doubts. These insights will lead to inspired brand actions and will lead to a brand becoming the inspiration itself.

Establish emotional connect

Building an inspiring brand is a long and arduous process, and certainly demands the question, is becoming an inspiring brand even worth it? A recent global survey of inspiring brands, which included renowned brands such as Apple, J&J, Starbucks, and s McDonald’s, came out with findings that prove working towards being an inspiring brand is definitely worth it — 86 per cent of the consumers said they would recommend a brand they are inspired by, 92 per cent would share their experiences, and 70 per cent would spend their money on it. Further, the key reasons that make a brand inspiring, demonstrated through this study, are trust, keeping promises and ones that stick to their ethics and morals. These reasons suggest consumers are inspired by brands that represent human qualities they are drawn to and believe in.

The key to unlocking the passage into your consumer’s mind is to understand them completely and evolve the brand action to ensure relevance, connect, and be in line with the aspirations, desires, fears and doubts of your consumer. This would enable the consumer to see themselves in the aura and story of the brand, making it more relevant and enabling a strong emotional connect with the brand. As a consumer looks up to a brand, they will slowly start to reciprocate by moulding themselves to be relevant and making an effort to connect with the brand. And eureka! You have a relationship deeply rooted through inspiration enabling an emotional connect prioritising itself over product, benefits, and service and moving towards brand faith and conviction. And that is awesome. So brands should ask themselves a question that enables their success: Who is your inspiration?

Aniruddha Atul Bhagwat is the Cofounder & Director of Ideosphere Consulting

Published on April 28, 2016

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