“Mea­ning­ful brands out­per­form stock mar­ket by 120%”.

office art making a difference in corporate cultureHavas CEO David Jones tweeted the following news story earlier tonight:

“Meaningful brands outperform stock market by 120%”.

120%. And why is that, you ask? Perhaps it’s related to something Seth Godin and I were riffing on, WAY back in 2008:

SETH: You can’t drink any more bott­led water than you already do. Or buy more wine. Or more tea. You can’t wear more than one pair of shoes at a time. You can’t get two mas­sa­ges at once…

So, what grows? What do mar­ke­ters sell that sca­les?

I’ll tell you what: Belief. Belon­ging. Mat­te­ring. Making a dif­fe­rence. Tri­bes. We have an unli­mi­ted need for this.

In a world where commodities rule, where everything is free on the Internet, where everything is being outsourced to India or China, “Meaning” is the only thing you have that people are going to be willing to pay a lot for. This is what The Hughtrain was all about.

And “Meaning”, of course, starts with language. So think about the kind of language your brand is using, think about how you can evolve the language, the “conversation”, up the food chain.

As this is something ad agencies are particularly good at (when they allow themselves to be), I think David & Co may be on to something…

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  1. I agree that brands need to help people understand why they exist, and why anyone should miss them if they disappeared tomorrow. But evolving the language up the food chain (or ‘climbing the meaning tree’) is rarely successful, as most end up with a pap statement such as “to make life better”. Purpose is tough thing to fake, and yet we’re going to see many more businesses giving it their best shot.

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