This excerpt is from the second piece in a series with FastCompany’s Co.EXIST, on movement making as an organizational strategy.
Movement-making was popularized by nonprofits, but it’s a mistake to think that this is just a do-gooder’s strategy. Today, movements have broad applicability for business as an organizational strategy to authentically transform relationships among brands, employees, and customers. Marketers that influence the social norms affecting their product, instead of just campaigning for sales, will see demand created organically. By creating the environment for loyalty, those brands will transcend any individual product release.
Companies that ditch tired celebrity personas and transform themselves into vehicles for realizing their customers’ aspirations will transcend single transactions.
These aspirational identities are more important than ever as the millennial generation claims its place in the economy. There is plenty of press about millennials being selfish in their hipster-minimalist consumer values, but I’d say they are instead asking for validation of their aspirations. This means organizations must push past inspiring slogans and key into customers’ aspirational identities.
Let me pause to be clear about the difference between inspiration and aspiration and why it matters so much. People who are inspired are temporarily stimulated to do or feel something (Pinterest activates audience via inspiration.) Aspiration, on the other hand, involves striving in a long-lasting and meaningful way to achieve or become something in particular.