Authenticity an opportunity for business success

All businesses have a purpose to grow and be profitable, but consumers are increasingly demanding companies commit to more than their bottom line for the benefit of society.

Nick Bayes says a strong purpose and strong values result in a successful business. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

All businesses have a purpose to grow and be profitable, but consumers are increasingly demanding companies commit to more than their bottom line for the benefit of society.

That’s the view of one of Western Australia’s most prominent advertising executives, The Brand Agency’s managing director, Nick Bayes.

Mr Bayes told Business News an ever-increasing element of branding and advertising for The Brand Agency’s clients was to embrace a purpose outside of the core operation of business, which for any company was to be profitable.

“It’s not enough to have a good product or service any more, people are looking for something more than that,” he said.

“It’s the biggest opportunity for any organisation to have a point of difference.”

A commitment to values and purpose, Mr Bayes said, was something that’s been embraced by The Brand Agency itself, which operates on a philosophy of ‘opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow’.

He said the agency’s overarching purpose was to build strong brands that would in turn bring prosperity to the wider community.

“There is no point advising our clients on that unless we do it ourselves,” Mr Bayes said.

“If you’ve got a strong brand, a strong purpose and strong values, you’ll have a successful business, as long as it’s authentic.”

In today’s uncertain and turbulent global business and political environments, which Mr Bayes described as a “believability crisis”, trust had become paramount for business success.

“People are looking out for organisations or brands to fill that gap a little bit, actually stand for something and actually provide a level of trust that they may be not getting from those bodies that they are used to getting it from,” he said.

“That’s a real opportunity for organisations to actually stand for something and advocate on behalf of their customers, and people want them to do that, and they’re looking for them to do so.

“The brands that are brave are the ones that are winning, because they are standing for something.

“Because of the rise of the likes of (Donald) Trump and Clive Palmer, fake news and all that, people are a bit scarred. 

“People are probably more loyal to their smartphone brand than they might be to a political party. Which is an opportunity.”
However, Mr Bayes cautioned that embracing a purpose was not simply about choosing a cause at random – it needed to resonate with their goals as a business.

“I’d like to see organisations think more about how they are spending money to align with who they are and what they want to achieve as a business rather than just sponsoring a sports team or something similar,” he said. 

“That is great for some brands, but not all. 

“Most companies need to really bring it back to what you stand for as a business, what your true purpose is and then spend the money to align with that.”

Mr Bayes said a local example of a company embracing its roots through its corporate social responsibility activities was insurance provider RAC, a company which The Brand Agency does not count as a client.

The RAC of course was established to provide roadside assistance to its members, and while its suite of services had evolved to include insurance, finance and vehicle maintenance, Mr Bayes said the organisation’s social activities remained true to the company’s identity. 

“It’s about being believable, being true to who you are as a business that defines what you need to do from a corporate social responsibility perspective,” he said.

“I think the RAC, one of Western Australia’s heritage brands, stay true to who they are. 

“They are a motoring organisation, yes they have diversified into other areas, but they make WA a better place based around the permission that their members give them to advocate around mobility.

“They don’t advocate for orangutans in Indonesia, that’s a very important issue but it’s not for RAC. 

“They know who they are as a brand and they do it well, and they have an effect through all of the programs they
have. 

“They are a shining example of what they do well.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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