Empowering consumers is the future of branding

Empowering individuals, instead of scaring or belittling them into needing a product, is the future of building a lasting brand image.

Both men and women are bombarded by stereotypes in the media and advertising about what they should look like, smell like, or be like. By taking a step forward in developing a more positive brand image, brands can capitalize on consumers's drive to be a strong individual.

 Great brands build an image that stands for something, like empowering consumers.

Great brands build an image that stands for something, like empowering consumers.

Brands need to stand by female empowerment

Brands are starting to learn that women appreciate female empowerment advertisements. According to Google:

Women ages 18-34 are twice as likely to think highly of a brand that made an empowering ad.

Female empowerment as part of the brand's identity cannot come and go. The stance needs to be maintained over time for it to be seen as genuine. A brand is a series of perceptions made over time, so by leaving a piece of the brand behind, or hopping on a new trend, will not necessarily benefit your brand.

Nike and Dove, across multiple years and campaigns, have done an amazing job maintaining their positive image of women.

Build brands with empowering content by showcasing greatness

Brands can take a step away from advertisements and generate engaging content like below in order to help build their empowerment image. Crossfit took a leap and took some ballet with professional ballerina Isabella Boylston. Videos like these help showcase the strengths of Isabella's profession, which helps to empower her brand and other females that identify with her.

Empowerment is not just for female consumers

If a brand is willing to take steps forward and change their image with the times, they need to be willing to commit to that change. 72andSunny Amsterdam is helping Axe move forward with their new, positive brand image. Axe is trying to move their brand's womanizing stereotype forward by empowering men to find something that makes them unique in "Find Your Magic."

Marketing director Matthew McCarthy says:

Perhaps in the past, the idea that a guy needs to project a certain outward appearance as being most important, the seismic change lies in the individuality of personal style as key to a guy feeling attractive. I think that attractiveness and confidence is still a lot of what this brand is all about, but now what makes this exciting is basically we’re relaunching the brand around this idea of individuality. That’s how we distill the idea and optimism of the brand, the freedom that guys now feel, and want to step into more than ever.

What can you give your own brand to help consumers identify with it?

Through advertising or content, consumers want to identify and support a brand. Think about how your own brand can drive a more positive self-image for its consumers and help them empower their own lives.