Nowadays we can say that everyone plays video games. Wait a minute… everyone? Yes! In addition to committed hardcore gamers, there are several profiles of casual gamers. Even your mom who plays Candy Crush is a gamer!
The casual mode of video game conquers a wide target audience both for the simplicity of the proposals and for the high chance of going viral: from Tetris to Angry Birds, it is difficult to resist the fever that these games cause.
Here’s a # TBT of 5 casual games that have rocked the internet in the last decade. Remember them?
The task: make the dummy walk forward without falling. The problem: the movement of his legs is coordinated by 4 different buttons. The game boomed for being almost impossible to play, yielding hilarious moments for anyone trying to keep the dummy standing. Funny to some, appalling to others. Its creator, Bennett Foddy, reported receiving many hate messages for having created the game.
In 2014, Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen was taken aback! His game, released almost a year before and born from the remains of a canceled project, suddenly became the most downloaded in all app stores. The game, a simple side-scroller in which the user must control a bird dodging obstacles, has reached a profit of 50 thousand dollars a day at its peak. The success was so huge that in no time, not only the original game was among the most downloaded, but also its dozens of imitations.
The premise of the game is quite simple: generate cookies from clicks. What started out as a game for the bored today has a universe so complex that it even has its own encyclopedia; from enslavement of grannies to interplanetary voyages, nothing should stand between the players and their goal of having more and more cookies!
In this game, the explorer must escape from monsters that chase him after he obtained an ancient relic. Sound familiar? Its success has yielded some spin-offs, a board game and even a promise of film adaptation.
In 2018, almost every internet meme was about it: a multiplayer game in which the crew of a spaceship must find out who, among them, is the impostor. Its popularity was largely due to Brazilian and Korean streamers who played the game live on Twitch. Even Guilherme Boulos played live!
Proceeding with the previous reflection (read here), in which we approached the fantastic world of games and how brands are dealing with this universe of new possibilities, now our gaze turns to the engaging mechanics of games, known as gamification. They represent valuable opportunities for brands and agencies to create new experiences in research, innovation and design processes and methodologies.
We can define games as something we do to entertain ourselves, with a clear goal, and challenges along the way that affect our performance. That is, when we talk about gamification, we are approaching these three key elements: pleasure, objective and interactivity. What is behind these elements and why are all spheres of society trying to apply them in different ways?
The principles behind gamification have always existed, so why is this phenomenon now gaining ground? For Vicente Martin Mastrocola, assistant teacher at ESPM where he teaches digital platforms, Game Essentials and Game Design, “companies have begun to understand the motivational techniques used by video game designers and apply them in other contexts. These techniques include goal design, badge recognition, team collaboration, stimulation of competition via rankings and points accumulation.”
Just as with the porn industry in the 80s, the game industry in times of pandemic seems to be the driving force for the implementation of emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, accelerating their use outside of it. There are plenty of examples: The New Yorker magazine has just released its first animated film in virtual reality; the 2021 edition of the SXSW festival was all online and interactive; Folha de São Paulo newspaper conducted a survey on the impact of the pandemic in an immersive game format; The Black Mirror series produced an interactive episode with multiple endings.
For brands and agencies, we see some opportunities to apply these experiences in processes and methodologies, and in how to interact with the public. For Carina Benitez, designer at CBA B+G, bringing this kind of dynamic to the corporate context makes the contact between all participants more enjoyable. “When we gamify the process, people instinctively want to participate more. This way, something super-ordinary and mundane in their routine ends up gaining a new look.”
Video games and immersive technology possibilities promise to revolutionize the way we consume and interact with brands. However, it is important to keep in mind that we are also experiencing a technological fatigue: excess screens, confinement and social distancing can lead people to seek a reconnection through physical contact. That’s why we bet that, in the future, brands should invest in gamer culture beyond pure digital, with playful experiences that mix digital and real, such as augmented reality. Our Branding for the future playbook and our article on empathy are good reading tips for those who want to delve into the importance of brands’ online presence and use of hybrid features.
Contact us if you want to chat about the challenges and opportunities for your brand. And if this topic inspires you, and you are or know business professionals, strategists and designers who are interested in being part of our team, write to email@example.com telling us about your expectations, goals and history. We are always in search of talent!
This article had the contribution of: Carmen Beer, Ana Cerqueira, Giuliana Sanchez, Thaísa Miyahara, Ana Paula Moreno, Fabiele Nunes, Carina Benitez, Fabiano Naspolini, Vicente Martin Mastrocola, Josy Lamenza, Daniela Irrazabal, Rosario Maglione, Renato Storni and Luis Bartolomei.
People have never played so much as nowadays. The fast-paced growth of the gaming industry triggered by the need to stay at home during the pandemic is making games win an increasingly diverse and wider audience. The figures are dizzying: in 2019, the market had a turnover of 1.5 billion US dollars in Brazil and 152 billion worldwide, leveraging more investments than cinema and sports. In 2020, electronic games were the most discussed topic on Twitter, with 2 billion tweets. What does this universe represent for brands and how can they play the game?
There is no doubt that games represent today for young people what music used to represent in the 90s: cultural identity and the feeling of belonging to a community. Games are intrinsically linked to young culture, today more than ever. But if your idea of a typical gamer is an antisocial teen geek, think twice. From Candy Crush to Fortnite, the profiles and ways to play are numerous, with games that fit everyone’s time and pocket, matching different lifestyles, personalities and interests.
According to the Pesquisa Game Brasil 2021 survey, 72% of Brazilians say they play electronic games, and most of them have played more online games since the beginning of the pandemic. The casual gamer is best represented by a woman between 25 and 35 years old, while the hardcore is usually a man between 16 and 24 years old. The survey also pointed out that almost half of the players are from the middle, lower and poor social classes. For all of them, the mobile phone is the choice of preference. This explains the success of games like Free Fire, available on mobile and with more than 100 million downloads. On the other hand, consoles are declining, much due to the exorbitant prices charged in Brazil. For Claudio Lima, CEO at Druid Creative Gaming, “the mobile has turned the key to the gaming market in Brazil. Playing was for upper-class individuals, it demanded a console or PC, and that was very expensive. Now, anyone can play. Kids today dream of becoming Free Fire players instead of becoming soccer players.”
In addition to playing, millions also watch other players, professional and non-professional, through streaming platforms that are growing non-stop – Twitch, for example, has more than 15 million daily active users. A global survey in 2020 pointed out that gamers between the ages of 18-25 spend an average of 4 hours a week watching other people online. This phenomenon is creating new types of influencers who play matches with their audience, sometimes hundreds in the same day, creating authentic bonds and a true closeness. The Brazilian gamer Cellbit, for example, has been recording videos for Twitch and YouTube since 2012, counting with more than 6 million followers, with a total of 300 million views.
The gaming industry is shaping the future of entertainment, with varied and complex productions, immersive technologies and universes full of possibilities, besides impacting the streaming industry.
Immersive Games like Beyond Two Souls or Cyberpunk benefit from high-budget investments worthy of the biggest Hollywood productions, with the participation of the best writers, actors and artists. The result is the creation of incredible narratives, characters and soundtracks. New immersive technologies such as virtual reality engage the player intensely and fully, while augmented reality blurs the boundaries between real and virtual. And of course, in these universes, players have the possibility to do many other things: their avatars can watch music shows and spend their money in different ways, simulating the real world. Roblox, a very popular platform that allows users to create their own worlds and mini-games, aims to ”unite the world by building a metaverse (a virtual world that digitally replicates the real one), where millions can meet up in games, conferences, or in collaborative jobs within a virtual economy that has its own currency.”
Many non-endemic brands, that is, those that traditionally have no market links with the segment, are entering this world, creating new market dynamics and generating new demands – internally and from their partners. Unilever has created an esports center to better meet the needs of its brands; Publicis Play, launched this year in the UK, brings together a pool of experts from the group to provide creative, media and production support to its customers. In Brazil, Druid started operations at the beginning of the year and seeks to creatively connect games and brands, through a Business to Gamer model.
For traditional brands, entering the gaming world may seem scarier than it really is – but we believe there are far more opportunities than risks. However, entering this game is something that requires preparation, and before you even start creating content and activations, you need to build a solid strategy, consistent with the brand positioning and value proposition, to connect with audiences in an authentic way and not just as another product placer.
We’ve identified some ways in which brands can begin to relate to the gaming world, building bridges with communities to – lightly and unpretentiously – join the conversation:
On the other hand, we believe that some initiatives, at first glance tempting, can in fact be much riskier or less impactful:
As the pandemic subsides, the connections made by players within games will create opportunities outside of them as well. People who have met online will want to meet physically and show how they belong to the communities. Therefore, events will boom and meeting places, such as the famous Lan Gaming Centers, can revive.
Want to continue learning about games, gamer culture and their relationship with brands? We recommend the podcast marketin.gg, which investigates the relationship between games and brands and Netflix’s High Score, a docuseries which tells the story of video games in a fun way. Are you missing the first classic games? Check here how to get access to a number of retro games, for free. Stay tuned and read our article on gamification, or on how brands can apply the mechanics used in games.
Get in touch if you want to chat about the challenges and opportunities for your brand. And if this topic inspires you, and you are or know business professionals, strategists and designers who are interested in joining our team, write to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us about your expectations, goals and history. We are always in search of talent!
This article had the contribution of: Carmen Beer, Ana Cerqueira, Giuliana Sanchez, Thaísa Miyahara, Ana Paula Moreno, Josy Lamenza, Daniela Irrazabal, Rosario Maglione, Renato Storni, Luís Bartolomei, and the special participation of Claudio Lima.
In the day-to-day life of big corporations, agencies or consulting companies it’s easy to forget the target consumer’s reality. Although consumers are on the core of everything that is done, thought and designed, oftentimes stakeholders know them through figures and reports, but rarely see them in flesh. It is a challenging task to make consumer insights known outside the CMI (Consumer & Market Insights) department and engage more of the company’s staff in the process of understanding the target consumer.
Today there is an increasing tendency to value big data and artificial intelligence – which we, at CBA B+G, totally support. However, we can’t forget the great value of building emotional and human ties throughout the research and innovation process, by using tools that promote an empathetic immersion in the lives of consumers.
But what exactly does empathy mean? According to the Australian philosopher Roman Krznaric, it’s about finding shared humanity. He believes that we are urgently in need of empathy to create the ‘social glue’ to hold our society together. From a business point of view, empathizing with consumers is not only ‘cool’; we believe it also leads to transforming, effective and positive results, in three different ways:
Storytelling is at the heart of any empathic process, and there are countless tools, non-digital, hybrid or completely virtual which engage the spectator in the story in a simple, touching and impactful way. Here are some tools and examples that can be applied to society and by brands.
A. Step into someone else’s shoes … literally
If empathy means to step into other people’s shoes, then why not literally do that? That is the proposal of the initiative called “A mile in my shoes” from the Australian National Maritime Museum, which invites visitors to wear shoes that belong to other (real!) people and listen to them telling parts of their stories. In São Paulo, the exhibition “Diálogo com o Tempo” (Dialogue with Time), hosted by Unibes Cultural, has created an immersion environment in the universe of old age, inspired by the same principle.
At CBA B+G, we have applied the same idea during an Innovation workshop held for Plenitude – a brand of disposable underwear, designed for people who suffer from incontinency. We have asked the participants to wear the underwear for three days, to put themselves in the consumers’ shoes and better understand their needs.
B. Capture moments of life through films, audios and photographs
Films and photographs are powerful empathy devices. This thought led the Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei to create the film “Human Flow” to raise global awareness about the refugees crisis. Brands also make use of empathetic films to create impactful campaigns. “Thank you, Mom”, the most successful campaign in the history of P&G is really touching because it effectively puts spectators in the place of mothers, creating a strong sense of identification.
At CBA B+G, we have been running ethnographic surveys and online diaries about consumers’ journey, asking them to film moments of their lives using their mobile cameras. For one of the partners we work with, from a hitchhiking app, we used the methodology ‘fear accounts’, through which we kept in touch with the app users via WhatsApp during a week, asking them to send us an audio each time they got scared when using the service, telling us what happened and how they felt. This method allowed us to capture real and touching stories, spontaneously.
C. Immerse in someone else’s world with Virtual Reality (VR)
The VR technology uses a headset to place the spectator in a virtual environment with a 360 view, providing a more intimate and active immersion. For some people, technology is undoubtedly the best way to step into other people’s shoes. Technology has been used in games, science and arts, to recreate the way autistic people perceive the world, and as an invitation to reflect upon the effects of global warming.
At CBA B+G, we have devised for Nestlé a VR Project – Consumer Connections – to immerse in the lives of the target-consumers of three major brands of the company. One of the project’s expectations was to give everyone in the company – regardless of work department or position – the possibility to get to know the daily lives of people from different realities. The tool made it possible, for example, to follow a typical day in the life of Luiza, a teenager who lives in São Paulo and loves KitKat and skating. To Cibele Rodrigues, Research Manager, at CBA B+G, “the project was enriching and powerfully delightful. It refreshed the target, putting everyone on the same page. Moreover, we escaped the traditional reports, showing more humane journeys. At the end of the day, the figures made more sense, allowing executives to take more assertive decisions, closer to the consumer”.
D. Blend consumers with clients, breaking barriers
Who says we cannot mix consumers and clients, spectators and artists, experts and laypeople? Breaking these barriers is also a powerful way to connect people and develop empathy.
We introduce this concept during our processes, joining clients and consumers to work face-to-face, without one-way mirrors and with no condescension. Today, we do the same remotely. Alex Espinosa, CBA B+G’s managing partner and Head of Innovation, explains that the objective is to “create ecosystems where clients, consumers, mentors and experts co-create together with a common purpose, enabling a multi perspective view of the challenge and incorporating experiences that boost the developed solution”.
E. Join virtual with real, using Augmented Reality (AR)
AR has also been gaining space in our lives. This technology make it possible to mix elements from the virtual and real worlds with the advantage of being much more accessible, since it doesn’t require a headset and can be easily developed in an app. It has been largely used, both by entertainment games (who remembers the Pokémon Go fever?) as by brands that provide a product trial without the need to leave home. That’s the case of Ikea, that simulates how your sofa would look in your sitting room; or L’Oréal, that offers the possibility to virtually try on different lipstick colors before choosing one.
But how is augmented reality used in research and Innovation? We have recently developed, together with one of our business partners, an app that used AR in a disruptive way, to make a survey about absorbent pads products. Consumers were able to try different shapes and sizes of new products, simulating real use by projecting them in their panties or bikinis. To Alex Espinosa, “technology allows prototypes and products to reach millions of homes without the need of physically producing any of them, in real-time tests that result in products that better fit the target-consumer. It is the fastest and most effective way to validate your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) with consumers and find the added value and possible improvements within minutes”.
We may safely assume that extended reality will continue to evolve and improve to achieve astounding results. We bet on the use of Augmented Reality and other hybrid formats that explore the best of technology to project reality as perceived by others without disregarding human contact. Definitely, digital and analog realities are complementary in capturing insights more sensitively.
To delve into this issue of empathy and its tools more deeply, we recommend watching the TED talk by the Australian philosopher Roman Krznaric about how to start an empathy revolution, as well as the New Yorker’s beautiful immersive animated short-documentary film about detention camps in China. If you don’t have a VR headset or cardboard yet, it’s worth buying one and start playing with these new possibilities.
And of course, don’t hesitate to contact us to understand better how we can help your brand use these tools on your behalf. And if this topic inspires you and if you are or know someone who is a business professional, strategist or designer interested in joining our team, write to email@example.com telling us about your expectations, objectives and history. We are always looking for talent!
This article had the contribution of: Carmen Beer, Ana Cerqueira, Giuliana Sanchez, Thaísa Miyahara, Ana Paula Moreno, Alex Espinosa, Cibele Rodrigues, Demer Santos, Mônica Fernandes, Josy Lamenza, Daniela Irrazabal, Rosario Maglione, Renato Storni and Luis Bartolomei.
Among the countless learnings that the year of 2020 has promoted, the greatest might be the realization that we are ever-changing. Facing an ongoing pandemic, looking back at the reality we were used to live, there’s no denying that a lot has changed and won’t be the same again. The needs we used to judge most important have now exchanged positions in the priority pyramid.
The branding projects we deal with are increasingly complex, since brands are continually developing in metamorphic environments, driven by generational and technological changes which reshape needs and foster the adoption of new consumer habits.
Therefore, our approach has always searched for solutions that consider different factors, in order to create a meaningful connection among three key viewpoints: the power of the brand, the market segment in which it is inserted and the people’s needs that relate to both.
The model is still extremely relevant. However, the pandemic has drastically changed people’s habits and needs, breaking or weakening the bonds that used to link these three elements, jeopardizing many businesses’ future prospects. Suddenly, brands, consumers and market found themselves in separate worlds, further apart and without the support of the previously possible interfaces.
The key to reconnect these three elements is the brand itself, standing as a powerful asset, responsible for guiding the companies’ relations with its numerous connections. As we see it, now more than ever, brands have the opportunity (and urge) to create networks that are capable of reconnecting the triad: customer, brand and market, in a unique way, for a new context. And how is it done?
To contribute to the answer, we have developed the playbook – Branding for the future – where we suggest straightforward questionings based on the understanding that the brand has to redesign the engagement strategy with individuals and markets based on four perspectives:
The objective of this playbook is to help large and small businesses to envision their brands under a new perspective, identifying new opportunities in the face of the new unfolding scenario.
A guide for everyone that shares the same interest about what the future holds for today brands.
Click on the link below and download the full playbook:
Brand activism is nothing new. The importance of having a clear purpose has been extensely discussed for decades. Aligned with this foremost intention comes the necessity to define which causes a brand wants to support, meeting the demands of an audience that craves for more humane and coherent stances. Nowadays, brands have to stand for more than just profit: they are expected to contribute to building a better society.
The uncontrolled pandemic, the polarization of society, the stronger presence of social media and the growing cancel culture have boosted the game. What used to be an opportunity, is now a requirement – at times, essential for the survival. Brands have to build a positive impact territory; the mere position of trading goods and services, coupled with the neutrality towards relevant issues such as racism, gender, feminism and environment, is no longer a strong enough offer. Not taking a stand may give rise to the impression of consent, while stating an opinion can be seen as hypocrisy – if the talk is not followed by concrete actions, aligned with the brand’s DNA – depleting the brand’s value.
Thus, brands must take a clear stance and genuinely commit to one or more causes to remain competitive. The challenge faced is how to approach it constructively, being faithful to the brand’s values and not sounding self-serving, besides being careful to minimize the risks of boycott in an increasingly demanding environment where one slip can be fatal.
Bearing this challenging and intriguing setting in mind, we propose some reflections to help brands understand the different possible types and levels of activism, the risks and benefits of speaking up. Paths that, when followed with truth and transparency, can lead to a real and long-lasting commitment.
We all know, there is no single way to engage, and there is no right or wrong. We suggest below an ‘activism profile classification’ based on the brand’s DNA and its intended relation with its stakeholders, more than on the company’s size or category. Here they are:
Brands that are activists since foundation, deeply engaged with causes related to the brand’s core values, and supported by the founding partners or CEOs themselves. They believe that action speaks louder than words, and they take to the streets with its public to be heard and actually aim to achieve social change. They create a strong emotional tie with its fans, so much that they usually become brand ambassadors.
Innovative brands, pioneers in their respective businesses since foundation. Their own core products or services are their flags, since their proposal is to change patterns and break a category status quo. They usually forge an emotional bond with their consumer base, for meeting previously unmet needs.
So, when is it worth to engage and get political about a current cause or issue? For Carolina Barruffini, CBA B+G Branding director, brands have to be more daring: “No doubt there are some risks involved when brands engage in relevant causes. However, many real examples have showed us that taking action is better than not taking a stand, even if there’s little impact – provided that the action is driven by truth and transparency.”
We listed below the pros and cons that every brand must consider before taking a stand.
How then, can brand activism be a long-term, authentic and minimal-risk commitment? We suggest 8 steps to make it happen. It is a long journey, however it can surely put you on the right track to remain relevant in the future.
The 8 steps for achieving Positive Impact are:
1. Define a clear and powerful brand positioning
What is the brand reason for being, its beliefs? What is the brand’s DNA, its personality, its target audience? Branding for the future – a playbook with thoughts on how to reconnect brands, consumer and market – the three fundamental business spheres (which are still more importante in times of pandemic) – is a way to help you understand the brand context and its actions. Learn more about it here.
2. Choose your battles
Based on the brand core values – and aligned with them –identify the causes that the brand has credibility to support.
3. Define the stakeholders
Besides the target audience and brand consumers, who else does the brand impact, directly or indirectly, externally or internally? Stakeholders include employees and their family, board and investors, influencers, specialized media, government and social agents.
4. Look at the brand’s track record (and its present moment)
Although the brand purpose may have evolved over the years, the brand’s past cannot be ignored. It’s important to revisit previous actions, statements and campaigns to assess the credibility of engaging on a topic. And, sometimes, make a mea culpa (Skol has done this in 2017, who remembers?). Also, reputation must be considered; if it is fragile, spotlighting your brand may not be the best move.
5. Define the brand activism profile
Among the different profiles – superactivist, paradigm breaker, daring, responsible – which makes more sense for your brand today and which it aspires for the future?
6. Identify potential risks
The more renowned the brand is, the more important it is to assess the risks and benefits of taking a stance – or of staying neutral.
7. Walk the talk
Promises, great speeches or fierce campaigns are not enough to guarantee a brand’s survival without significant and real actions to support them. Consumers expect the brand (company) to engage in a realistic and tangible way, and if it doesn’t, they will ask for it.
8. Listen to feedback
Stakeholders feedback deserve attention. The brand must learn from its mistakes and successes and act quickly. Monitoring the brand’s “promises versus deliveries” can be decisive for the brand’s health and reputation.
Would you like to delve deeper into the topics of activism, brands and branding? We recommend: watching the interview with Rose Marcaria – Patagonia President and CEO – for Stanford students; listening to the episode Ativismo nos dias atuais (Today’s activism), from the podcast “O Tempo Virou” by Giovanna Nader, with the social activist Alessandra Orofino; and last but not least, reading this excellent article on the importance of taking risks, written by brand strategist Jasmine Bina.
You can always get in touch with us if you wanna chat about the challenges and opportunities for your brand. And if this subject inspires you and you are or know business professionals, strategists and designers who are interested in being part of our team, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with expectations, goals and stories. We are always looking for new talents!
The content of this article had the contribution of: Carmen Beer, Ana Cerqueira, Giuliana Sanchez, Thaísa Miyahara, Carolina Barrufini, Ana Biselli, Renato Storni, José F. Ramirez, Fabiana Quiroga, Josy Lamenza, Daniela Irrazabal, and Luis Bartolomei.
This month we want to inspire you with contents that speak about activism
Brands & Activism
Citizens & Activism
The concept of business by women, for women lately applied in the world of brands has been calling our attention. Of course we are intrinsically interested in approaching the topic from a branding, design, research and innovation point of view, but in this case, what makes our eyes sparkle is more the women share than the business one.
If on one hand we are living a chaotic situation, when feelings of radicalism and neglect seem to reign – and we are not speaking (only) of politics, on the other hand we have to value the openness we are experiencing regarding gender issues, representativeness and empowerment of different groups in society. It has been, is and will always be the time to open dialogue on inequalities and let them take center stage in the debate.
Getting back to women, according to a research carried out by Kantar (WPP) in 2019, the brands are still not really listening to what women want. The survey, called What women want, analyzed Brazilian women’s self-esteem and classified it into five dimensions. The analysis guides brands to take a position, aligning their purpose so that they connect to the contributors of women self-esteem: freedom of thought/ expression, sexual/body autonomy, accessibility/visibility, social connections/network and financial autonomy. It’s a very interesting study. If you have already read it, take the opportunity to reread it – you can download the full file here.
Knowing that there’s much more to be done, but looking again at the bright side of this discussion, we looked for brands that are known for engaging with the female universe. We chose two lists that present brands created and managed by women who think, question, provoke and inspire. The first was drawn up by Obvious Agency, an inspiration in itself due to the revolutionary format of the content built about women – they have it all: women’s rights, maternity, self-care, sex, career, self-esteem, relationship, culture, trends. In September, Obvious shared a list with six small businesses created by Brazilian women and how their brands take a positive and affirmative stance. It is worth a look! The second is a list from an American magazine from California – Redbook, which highlights successful foreign companies run by women, which aim to wield a positive influence on other women. Learn the stories of these 13 business women and their brands.
Cristina Fernandes, the entrepreneur from Atelier Lady Brown mentioned in the Obvious list, told us a little about the adventure of owning your own business. In addition to her will to create, she counted with her qualification in fashion, her mother’s techniques and, joining talent and discipline, added one more element – a learning that can be regarded as a good piece of advice for other creators: “I have learned that we must not be afraid of pricing our product. Trying to please is not the way to go, but rather understanding the value and costs involved. The right clients will come and value our work properly.”
There’s also a growing and powerful movement around menstruation.
Many companies have been changing their brand language and products to keep up with a topic that, a short while ago, was considered exclusively a women’s issue. Now, they see the need to represent the diversity of experiences, when addressing people with periods. Therefore, apart from women, they include transgender and non-binary people – who have always been neglected by brands – generating a buzz, and affording visibility and demystification in campaigns such as How You Period, #TheWholeBloodyTruth.
With the same demystification context of the menstrual taboo, another Brazilian example of awareness campaign is the #ChegadeEstigma, by Intimus – Kimberly-Clark®’s brand of feminine care. “The campaign challenges society to break paradigms and negative perceptions about menstruation, which usually picture women in a fragile and limited situation”, explains the category’s Marketing Director Samia Chehab. “It is more and more my role to give voice and make room for these causes and also meet consumers’ current expectations about an active brand positioning in society”. Another woman, Thais Hamer, CBA B+G’s responsible for Intimus brand, shares Samia’s view: “the freedom I experience at work today and the purpose of the brands I assist, such as Intimus, in synergy with my values, fulfill me and motivate me to keep building a fairer world, where there’s room for all, men and women.”
And there is more! A recent collaboration of Pantone® with a Swedish brand of menstrual cups has resulted in the red hue Period, in a campaign to promote menstrual positivity, encouraging people, regardless of gender, to feel comfortable and at ease to discuss and normalize the topic.
Transcending business, the role of women in this pandemic – that is outlasting people’s patience – should be highlighted. As you must have already read, an important fact that deserves attention is that the UN High Commissioner has appointed that, from the 12 countries that have better coped with the Covid-19 pandemic, nine are governed by women. The positive role that the feminine view and handling can play in the leading of possible solutions with respect to the pandemic scenario, becomes clear.
Speaking of view, what do we see when we look inside? How are we behaving, in our CBA B+G community, towards women? From which stance are we discussing this struggle for social change and evolution?
Women are nothing short than 70% of our total workforce, and they hold more than half of the managerial positions (54%). Considering this large representation, simple but impacting initiatives have been sought and implemented. In 2019, we introduced an internal policy aimed at mothers, aware of the fact that during the first year of maternity it is hard for them to balance the roles played in their family, social and business life. In addition to the maternity leave time secured by law, a short-time and gradually restored work schedule – in a home-office regime – was introduced, allowing mothers to resume the regular work activities 12 months after giving birth.
Working on the assumption that we are all exposed to structural contamination, gender issues are being closely observed, beyond the figures. As for example at the Board of Directors, where only one of the four positions are held by a woman. “Balance is the key-word”, says Shirley Rodrigues, HR manager. “The search for equity is one of the reasons for the internal study we are conducting to understand, historically, how our recruiting process and career development program have been driven, so that we are able to realize, in the course of time, if we are promoting gender equality, for example. And if not, what are the factors that cause this imbalance, in spite of our mostly feminine management environment – which has an active voice concerning promotions and bonuses. We want to understand which causes are structural – and therefore invisible to the arguments; which are cultural – and must be reviewed; and finally which are contextual and temporary… an on-going analysis and adjustment motion which, in spite of the two decades of operation, we are examining in-depth for the first time.”
The 1970s motto #thefutureisfemale has been fighting for decades the misogynistic culture. More than just a simple slogan, the statement carries meanings that are renewed over time. Some years ago we have conducted a study to understand the power of feminine and its impact on the understanding of the brands’ role and positioning. Our analysis has revealed that the feminization of businesses would come to stay – and indeed it has – showing that the feminine view and attitude would not only attract and retain women, but also more people, regardless of gender, by achieving balance and the universal transformation of purpose. It is a comprehensive and detailed study*, built and discussed in forums in and outside CBA B+G, that still inspires us and is worth remembering:
* To view this content in English, click here.
From brands to products, personal stories to social policies, across countries and continents, and in all spheres, women carry the power of change in a world that longs for balance through pro-women solutions. Finally, we would like to indulge with a time capsule, recalling now and forever, some of the icons of feminism. To print and fix on your fuchsia, cyan, black, period – or whatever color you please – wall!
The content of this article had the contribution of: Ana Cerqueira, Cristina Fernandes, Samia Chehab, Thais Hamer, Shirley Rodrigues, Thaísa Miyahara, Giuliana Sanchez, Ana Paula Moreno, Josy Lamenza, Daniela Irrazabal, Renato Storni and Luis Bartolomei.
Nutrition for the mind, food for thought. We have asked the members of our team what is currently shaping their minds, what they are reading, listening to or studying to stay connected with the market movements.
“The Mom test”, by Rob Fitzpatrick
Asking the right questions, avoiding biased feedbacks and misunderstandings. The book helps to understand survey as a tool to validate business ideas. This website has it all.
“Building a story brand”, by Donald Miller
Branding, storytelling, simplifying the message? This book speaks about universal and powerful elements to tell a story. Learn more in this link.
Ailton Krenak and “Ideas to postpone the end of the world”
The book is an adaptation of two speeches given by the indigenous leader in Portugal in the years 2017 and 2019. He criticizes the idea of mankind as something separate from nature. Download the book here.
“Tomorrow is not on sale”
Another book by Krenak, this one about the pandemic that has stopped the world. Download here.
Clear Purpose Global
A network which defines itself as a leadership accelerator. It presents processes that help leaders, entrepreneurs, and agents of change to structure thoughts, develop vision and create impact with a clear purpose. On their website you can learn more; to listen to the podcasts, click here.
A philosopher already said: ‘There is nothing permanent, except change’. Indeed, the perpetual motion rules everything, and businesses must face this principle the whole time. As everybody knows (and can experience), it is challenging to embrace change and innovation and, nowadays, when economic and social aspects are being revisited, innovation demands our attention, more than ever.
Bearing these aches and pains in mind, we, from CBA B+G, talked to the clients. We surveyed executives from different segments, from more than 100 companies, about the attitudes and methods they were using to promote innovation in a smoother and more collaborative way.
From all the learnings, maybe the greatest finding was that nowadays, the biggest differential is to invest more in human values, such as user experience, brand purpose, and business sustainability. This would be the key to build a powerful strategy to create tangible and feasible products and services.
So, in this new context, a new approach to innovation is essential. Based on a careful analysis and with a more humane and agile look, we propose the Experimental Innovation concept: a process that combines strategy and execution synchronously, with the mantra ‘we do while thinking and refining’. A set of behaviors and processes that a company should adopt to achieve sustainable innovations. Through factor analysis we have mapped 54 ways of working and have divided them into five drivers. Check which are they and start using experimental practices to innovate and successfully address your business challenges.
Click on the button below to receive the paper with the full study: