Movements are the future of branding.

Brand movements are happening and I want minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to get on board with it. Pushing products and services won’t cut it anymore.

Folks care about their associations and attaching themselves to relevant movements that tell the world their story, who they are, and why they matter. This is brand belonging at its finest and no matter how big or small your business is, it has the potential to catapult to this level.

Here’s what you gotta do to get there.

TIP #1: Create a vision for a better tomorrow

eric thomas etthehiphoppreacher motivational speaker

Thank God It’s Monday!

Whoooo says that?

Eric Thomas (ET) does and it put him on the map.

ET made Mondays an opportunity to own the week.

You determine how the week responds to you and not how you respond to it.

Hustlers don’t give into Mondays. We own that ish. This mantra flipped the script and changed the paradigm for me. It reached my soul and filled me up like a hot bowl of grits (butter and sugar, please and thanks). The message made my tomorrows better and the phrase became a rallying cry for the #TGIM crew. We’re connected because we own our Mondays and made the decision to not let it own us.

Help your audience see a better version of themselves.

Identify their beliefs and magnify their vision.

TIP #2: Give them something to belong to

This is critical.

Belonging is a universal human need.

There are cultural shifts happening in our society causing a belonging-deficit. This is your opportunity to create a hub and bring your crew together.

You can generalize it for what it inherently is (a film), but Black Panther has undoubtedly created a global community for those of us in the Black diaspora. From crossing our arms into an X to labeling Wakanda a movement rather a fictional place is globally empowering the community.

Black Panther solved three problems:

  1. Internal: Representation matters. We need to see ourselves saving the day, too.
  2. External: We need a blockbuster film featuring a Black superhero.
  3. Philosophical: A predominantly Black cast with a Black director can make money when done right.

In the push of a single button it nailed all three—and the Wakandan revolution was born. We belong.

You don’t have to create a film (you can do this with a Facebook Group), but you do have to understand the internal, external, and philosophical problems your audience faces and the one-button solution that will rally them together under the banner of your brand.

TIP #3: Move with purpose

People don’t care what you do. They care about why you do it. You can thank Simon Sinek for that one.

There’s a difference between the following two statements:

“I make cakes”

“My love of baking comes from my grandmother. She was a woman of great words, but her love language came through baked goods. If she baked it, you know it was more than flour, eggs, and milk. It was a heartfelt gesture that brightened up the darkest of days. I hope to be half of what she was to so many others through my own baking.”

One of those is getting an “Oh okay cool.”

The other: “Where can I purchase?”

The story captivated you, but the purpose behind the business sold you.

Put your purpose on front street.

If you’ve already said it 100 times, say it 100 more—and then some. Communicating your purpose, values, and beliefs makes your brand human and accessible.

It also gives your people something larger-than-life to believe in.

TIP #4: Become part of your audience’s journey to a better version of themselves

Your audience has goals.

Understand their journey and define how your brand helps them become a better version of themselves.

Kim McCarter is THE sales funnel strategist and the gospel truth on business. Don’t mention your fave because no one else compares.

Her live streams are raw and the messages are real. She manages to hit all tips above, but also makes me believe the best version of me requires her help.

I’m good at what I do, but I’m striving for great.

Somewhere between God and Kim is where that exists.

Every hero needs a guide in their story. Your job is to become that guide and make their goal accessible and attainable through your brand.

TIP #5: Create in-person experiences

Michell C. Clark, a social media influencer, shines here.

His Instagram, Twitter, and email list are solid community builders and movement starters, but he takes his unique brand of hip hop culture, comedy, and love for cultural influences and transforms them into events.

Find opportunities to create experiences that connect your community offline in a way that speaks to their collective passions and beliefs. Digital communities are great, but there’s nothing like bringing those connections to the real world.

TIP #6: Be relevant and top of mind

luvvie ajayi awesomely luvvie i'm judging you

The world we live in changes unapologetically. It gives zero you-know-whats about what happened yesterday.

Pay attention to the culture shifts that influence your audience’s beliefs and actions.

Find ways to connect relevant topics and issues to your movement so it stays part of the conversation.

Don’t know how? Check the title of this blog and Tip #2 again. 😉

Luvvie Ajayi does this flawlessly.

Her community is engaged because she’s engaged. Her community is empowered because she’s empowering. Her relevancy is timely, connected, and encourages rich, deep engagement that further aligns her brand with her audience’s beliefs, making her an integral part of the conversation and an opinion you MUST hear from (which you should do anyway—she’s hilarious!)

Your movement starts when you understand your audience

This can’t be ignored, misunderstood, or understated.

You can’t create a movement if you don’t know how you’re creating it for.

Know your audience like the back of your hand.

That’s a defining element in business that most will not achieve because they don’t take the time to do this. I’m not talking about “Women between the ages of 25-46. African American. Single mother.” That’s a demographic.

Create a narrative.

Know them better than they know themselves.

Know their beliefs and hopes, and their fears and pains.

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