What does your brand stand for?
I’m a strong believer that powerful brands are clear on their purpose, something that goes beyond the tangible good or service that is on offer, and gives the brand a reason for being, inspires a unique point of view, an idea to buy into.
Working at Avon I’ve been fortunate to be a key part of the select team articulating the purpose that lies at the heart of this iconic brand, and developing some new content that helps bring that to life. Here’s my experience and the work we’ve crafted so far that has just been released.
First, why develop a purpose statement?
Because it becomes a north star to help guide development of anything we do and create a consistent brand identity; and because it helps galvanize the troops. Yes, motivating the masses behind a shared purpose is particularly critical for a brand that is built based on a community of people and the direct selling model like we have.
How did we get started?
The inspiration and starting point for a brand that is 130 years old and is a household name had to be a thorough understanding and acknowledgement of its roots.
The founder of Avon David H McConnell had a vision and belief in people and particularly women; at a time when women were underestimated and undervalued, decades before they could even vote. He saw a spark in people, potential in all and in particular in women. And one woman in particular became his partner in building the legacy behind the brand: Mrs P F Albee. Considered the first “Avon Lady” due to her successful marketing techniques and her recruiting and training of other sales personnel, she was a pioneer in getting women to become financially independent.
The other thing that they both saw was the value in supporting others in driving towards achieving one’s potential. They identified that empowered women empower women. And that chain reaction can live on over generations. Something that is so central to the unique heart of the Avon experience, and something that generates pride in everyone that really gets under the skin of the brand, and works hard to build their business and flourish.
Bringing it forward to today.
Much of the above concept coming from such unique roots rings true today, and that’s powerful. But in today’s world people desire authenticity in any brand they choose to engage with. It’s not enough to simply espouse what a brand is about from the past, you need to show it and live by it now, to prove authentically that you really live by it. Avon has grown to become a powerhouse in beauty and in the direct selling world overall but what I’ve learnt is that what really sets it apart are the Representatives, the people that make it what it is. And their stories, their energy, their optimism, their drive and determination is what makes the brand special and unlike others.
With a clear understanding of all of this the purpose statement wrote itself:
Empower generations of women to achieve their potential and to inspire others to achieve theirs.
With the three clear identifying traits in how we deliver on this: Authenticity, Potential, and Pride.
Explained masterfully this weekend on stage in front of more than 5000 Representatives at the annual Repfest conference by our CEO Scott White.
So what do we do with that?
We celebrate the very people that make the brand what it is. Celebrating standing for more than just the products, acknowledging and shining a light on the lives, livelihoods and inspirational stories of the people behind the products.
They are the Real Avon. It’s time to share that with everyone. Transforming our brochure and identity to have them featured as the only models throughout all of the latest campaign. Not super models, real, powerful role models that inspire others.
Check out this video that we crafted that brings the campaign, the purpose and this contemporary, authentic brand identity to life.
This is just the start of a transformational journey for this great brand. And with a clear purpose to guide it, it will hopefully live for another 130 years standing for more than the products, while being fueled by great products, and continuing to empower even more generations of women to achieve their potential. It’s great to be part of it and i hope this inspires you as much as it does me.