January 06, 2006
When I took Lucire into a print format in 2004, I made sure it reﬂected my personal values. Each copy, for instance, has a breakdown on how much of its cover price was going to printing and salaries. Only after a while did we remove the proﬁt statement from the magazine. And proﬁts would automatically go to socially responsible causes that I believed in—countering the carbon dioxide emissions that we generate, for instance, with planting new trees.
However, these didn’t get much press, nor have they meant much of a difference to the everyday buyer in New Zealand. They have received interest from those journalists here already passionate about these ideas—people such as The Dominion Post’s Carolyn Enting. But as a nation, we are not as green as we let the world think (examine our environmental policies and the percentage of GDP being put into them, and you have the truth behind ‘100 Per Cent Pure’). I have encountered cynicism. Instead, there seems to be more interest in Lucire being a socially responsible brand in the United States, of all places.
I am glad Lucire is still owned by yours truly, because these ideas must be driven from the top. And I still believe them to be right, not just because I have another 13 colleagues and co-writers of this book who say I am right.
There continues to be mounting evidence that this is the way of the future, and in the United States, the country driving hybrid automobile sales, that future is already here. Just that few in publishing want to go with it, with uncertain sales. With Lucire’s US launch looming, I’m still deciding whether to bind our publishers there into our environmental policy and philanthropy, or whether we merely continue with it in the master edition. I will have to make my decision in the next few weeks.
In a branding model, management commitment needs to be extremely high for ideas that might not translate into sales overnight. And management needs to keep an eye on the future. Sometimes, considering the brand as an expression of brand vision (the classical model) or collective perceptions (the consumer movement model) won’t work, at least not when the latter model is concentrated on a single market.
The CEO and the brand manager need to be sages, in the greater consumer environment. The research stage in traditional brand management will never lose its relevance, and it has become more vital that future consumers are looked at—particularly with the second model. permalink
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