Embracing Movement Marketing with bestselling author Chip Walker (episode 342)

Chip Walker is a brand, business, and cultural strategist. He’s a co-author of the bestselling book ‘Activate Brand Purpose: How to harness the power of movements to transform your company’. As head of strategy at StrawberryFrog Chip’s recognised for his expertise in brand creation and brander-invention–working on brands as diverse as Goldman Sachs, Lexus, Jim Beam, and Heineken!

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Chip’s Beginnings In Marketing

Chip had the traditional training in marketing, working for a big ad agency when he started out.

Over the years, marketing strategies changed and became more about emotional marketing and emotional branding. Chris went to work for more creative agencies through this period, and ended up where he is now at StrawberryFrog.

In the early 2000s, he and his business partner Scott Goodson worked on a concept about a brand’s impact not just on rational or emotional thinking, but on the world at large.

It was from there that movement marketing was born.

What Is Movement Marketing?

Movement marketing is about taking a brand’s higher purpose and activating it with a movement out in the world.

This involves both the people inside and outside of the company, working with the brand and supporting its higher mission.

With movement marketing, the target is to answer how your brand is helping the customer and his life as a whole, and what the brand is doing to earn its place at the table in society.

More Than Just Lip Service

Creating a connection between your brand and a purpose becomes problematic on 2 fronts:

  • When the purpose you’ve identified is not a match to the core DNA of your business
  • When there are big holes in your purpose story, such as supporting Black Lives Matter movements but not having minorities represented in upper management

The advantage of having purpose and activating it through a movement is that it can build a strong, lasting connection with your audience, but be careful of the two pitfalls mentioned above.

Integration Between Internal And External

Ideally, movement marketing is targeted toward both your external clients and your internal people.

Make sure your employees are on board with your purpose and your movement because this ensures they become advocates and good examples of what you want to stand for. When this happens, customers who interact with your brand will know that this is not only advertising but something the brand genuinely believes in.

Adopting a higher purpose and activating it with a movement can be transformative for the whole business.

How Do We Start?

Chip says people can’t join a purpose, but they can join a movement inspired by a purpose.

To illustrate, Chip gives the example of a financial institution that, a few years after the recession in 2015, developed a purpose of providing financial wellbeing to its customers.

While the purpose itself was a good objective, it wasn’t dynamic and didn’t transform anything within the company and outside of it with its customers.

By creating a movement for the institution — which was helping people become financially confident again after a recession — the company was able to increase engagement not only with their employees but also with their external customers.

It was so successful that customers of the bank even asked for the program to adopt for their own businesses and employees.

Finding Out Which Movement To Work With

For Chip, the movement that you need to help lead needs to be at the intersection of something important you do as a company or a business, and something that’s important and needed out in the world.

Find that intersection, because there is always going to be that piece that’s important not only for your business but also for your customers.

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Interview Links

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