Brand Influence. Power.

By John Murinye

We’ve heard it advised to Peter Parker (Spiderman), “With great power comes great responsibility.” And it’s true. How are you using your brand influence?

In psychology, there is a term called Observational Learning. This is how Wikipedia defines it, “Observational learning is learning that occurs through observing the behaviour of others. It is a form of social learning which takes various forms, based on various processes. In humans, this form of learning requires a social model such as a parent, sibling, friend, or teacher with surroundings. Particularly in childhood, a model is someone of authority or higher status in an environment.

The world needs a hero. Inherently within us is this desire to be more. This is why comic books and superheroes are so enticing. They appeal to our very basic instinct.

Recently, Nike decided to partner with Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. This move saw Nike receive some backlash, but at the same time, their stock closed at a record high. Brand influence. EA also decided to include lead female characters in their Battlefield V’s World War II battle setting. This also created a stir amongst the gaming community, yet at the same time became a beacon of light for those who have relentlessly fought against the industry’s lack of diversity. Brand influence.

“Good Branding Is Honest”

More than ever, we are seeing big brands realising the need to take a stand for what they say they value. “Good Branding Is Honest”. And rightly so. It never was and certainly is no longer enough to proclaim brand values or pillars and not follow suit with action.

If you are a brand — you have influence. You are in a unique position to use that influence to advocate meaningful change and better our communities.

In fact, I would argue, as knowledge and enlightenment become easily accessible, for you to leverage your brand influence, you need to be a brand of integrity and character. The onus is on you, to be the hero.