The superhero ‘algorithm’ repeats itself over and over in modern day story telling. Afflicted young boy or girl grows up with often no parents or siblings and stumbles into friendships which flourish into a brotherhood of sorts. These friends lean on each other to do something amazing, fight evil or solve a mystery fraught with peril along the way of course – often saving the world as we know it.
Is this narrative confined to fiction? No, of course not. In fact, the superhero algorithm represents the approach countries, communities and companies need to take to make positive change and come out the heroes.
Take the 2011 London riots as an example.
The city was living in a fraught time because a small, but measurable group decided to upset the gentle equilibrium of one of the world’s greatest cities. Shop windows smashed, shops looted and general unruliness in certain districts – even Pound Shops were looted. Yes, really.
However, the London riots produced one of the most positive and inspiring images I’ve certainly seen in my London-life. This shot from Clapham Junction captures the community volunteering to clean up from the riots. It shows the good people can do when they unite and do their part to make the best of a bad situation.
In 2020, communities and companies face a difference challenge. Though the choices are similar:
Be reactive and hope things go back to normal soon enough
Be positive, raise your broom (metaphorically) and get to work to get ahead
Hopefully, choosing the second option is a no-brainer.
We are all braced with an insurmountable challenge which has no end in sight – not yet anyway. But, there is hope. And there is opportunity.
Brands are faced with huge challenges, which IF they have the fortitude to think a little bit longer term and propagate a message now of positivity and overcoming strife, then the long-term could be like a modern day gold rush.
What and how?
Many companies have been taking tough decisions to lay off almost all their staff. Yes, this is a decision some companies must take. But, if a company has been unjust to its employees, the public may play avoidance to them once lockdown is lifted. Equally, if a brand is propagating positive stories and showing it cares about workers, and customers then this is a company that could thrive in the long-term. We’ve seen it from industries of all sorts, finding an authentic way to approach connecting with customers.
What is your brand’s broom stick moment in 2020 and what can you do now to come out ahead?
Positive is as Positive does.
Your broom stick moment may not be sharing feel-good stories. What else could it be? That’s the secret sauce. What we can say is it’s about finding the short-term work with the best long-term pay off. Even if at first glance it doesn’t seem to make sense for your industry.
Train companies may not seem like a top candidate to be working on their digital presence given well, limited to no rail service. However, the train operating companies we work with all recognise that now is tough – really tough – but most crucially it’s time to invest in key activities that will position them as the #1 brand of choice through positive brand positioning and tactical digital activities that elevate their position for the long-run. The best part? There’s the data to prove the pay off.
Indeed, things are tricky. Though it will get better, and brands who have ensured people feel good about doing business with them will surface the winners and conquer evil in the long run. Whether that’s improving their user experience, shifting your communications or finding another niche opportunity.
So, grab your brooms, lean on one another, and find your solutions for the greater good. You’ll be thankful to emerge the hero.