Whilst most holistic or ethical businesses advertise in some way or another, the idea of ‘branding’, ‘promoting’ and ‘marketing’ can often seem like a very different world. Readily associated with big business, capitalism and mass consumerism, such an approach can seem coarse and brash, that you are ‘just in it for the money’, and even at odds with the very essence of your philosophy.
Our Branded World
Most people, when thinking of branding and marketing, imagine big superstores taking over independent shops, or global banks making money out of us at every opportunity. You may think of the adverts, which bombard you each time you put on the TV, open your emails and walk down the street. It all seems very in your face and unethical with the sole purpose of pushing you into buying anything and everything. Big brands also feel impersonal and remind us of big government-like corporations.
Fortunately marketing and branding isn’t always this way, and most of us wish to feel connected to what we are buying or getting involved with on a deeper level than just money and material things. There are plenty of strong ethical brands or those I call ‘brands with a conscience’ that many of you probably buy into every week.
Yes, these brands are making money, but they are also helping to be kind to our environment, ourselves or animals at the same time. These are brands I’m sure most of you will recognise and may have in your home.
My personal favourites include Ecover – ‘Effective cleaning Ecologically’; Clipper Teas – ‘Natural, Fair, Delicious’; Suma Wholefoods – ‘Vegetarian, Organic, Fairtrade’; People Tree – ‘Sustainable and Fair Trade Fashion’ and Neals Yard Remedies – ‘Organic, Natural Health and Beauty’. All these brands began with an ethical vision of kindness to the planet and all living things and are trusted and successful with this vision.
These brands are also great examples of good, strong marketing; they all have a clear and well-designed logo, a USP (unique selling point) and are successful because they are in line with their customer’s values. A new breed of spiritual gurus also use the web and marketing to their full potential including Diana Cooper with her website and books about angel guidance and Gabrielle Berstein, New York’s new spiritual role model, with her website gabbyb.tv and her books including Spirit Junkie.
My Contribution to Ethical Marketing
Being the mother to a young child I want to help make the world a kinder, more compassionate place for him and his generation. Right now I feel I can do this by combining my training in and interest in holistic therapies with my vocational expertise in graphic design and marketing. My intention is to enable holistic and ethical, independent enterprises to become more successful. Creative Soul is all about getting to the hearts of the ethical and holistic businesses I work with, then using my marketing expertise to create a unique package which portrays the essence of each business to potential clients.
I believe that as the consciousness of the earth rises, people are changing and feeling less secure in the world. Those who may not have chosen a holistic or natural path previously may now be more inclined to do so. Therefore such businesses now need to create trust in their customers and be accessible to a wider range of people and it is here that I am currently refocusing my energy.
Marketing your Holistic Business
So here are the ways I recommend you can create a successful brand with great marketing on a holistic/ ethical level:
Decide who your market is
- This is important to any enterprise big or small. If you know who you are aiming your product or service to then it’s easier to plan the rest of your marketing strategy.
- Do you want to cater to a specialist range of people or do you want to appeal to everyone? It’s good to be the best you can in one area rather than ‘jack of all trades’.
- It’s often what is closest to your heart where you will be most successful. You will show passion and be able to keep going when times are hard.
- What are your values and can they connect with the values of others?
Vision or Story
- Once you know your passion and audience next develop a vision of what your enterprise wants to achieve and where you have come from. This is your story, and the more personal the better.
- If you can create a vision or story that your customers can read then this is something they will feel connected to on an emotional level. You can build your design and marketing around this. If you ever feel lost yourself you can refer back to it to get you back on track.
USP (Unique Selling Point)
- A unique selling point makes you stand out from your competitors and sums up what you do it one sentence.
Timeless, attractive design and clever use of colour
- Once you know your audience, good design is key. Some people think this isn’t an important factor but this, and the language you use, is how you connect with your audience.
- Colour is extremely important in marketing as the colours you choose for your logo or branding, like colour therapy, give a strong impression. Take the brands above as an example, the colours signify and bring about different feelings. In my next blog post I will explore all the colours to show how each one can bring about emotions and connect to people on different levels.
- It’s great to decide on how you want to come across to your customers. Do you want to be laid back and funny, or friendly and practical.
- Think about your audience and how they would like to be spoken to.
- How can they best trust in you and your services?
In this day and age it’s definitely good to have a web presence. A website, some sort of presence on social media networks like Facebook/ Twitter etc and some way of communicating with your customers on a regular basis such as emails or newsletters is ideal. Though many of us ‘natural’ people are resisting it (especially myself for my young son) we do live in a digital age, and most adults obtain a great deal of information from the Internet. Although Facebook and Twitter take up a lot of precious time, a great deal of inspirational enterprises do make good use of such platforms. After all, although they are digital, they are a way of connecting with others and opening up opportunities we may not have had otherwise.
So there you have it; branding and marketing shouldn’t have to be so scary and badly thought of if it is used to bring about a transformation in society and help ethical and holistic enterprises advance!
The aim of my work is to use creative ideas and concepts to create connections and opportunities, which in turn create change. If you would like to explore how I could support you in marketing your own holistic business I would love to hear from you.
Happy Ethical Marketing!