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The Future Belongs to the Problem Solvers



Patrick Buckley, group director of research + strategy at SS+K, part of the M&C Saatchi Group, talks about the need for brands to serve as societal problem solvers, and three key ways to go about it

The Future Belongs to the Problem Solvers
The planet is facing unprecedented challenges. From the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, to global warming, to political and social instability, we’re facing a host of big thorny problems that need urgent solutions.
Unfortunately, this is happening at a time when many citizens have all but given up on government and traditional institutions who would normally lead the fight against them.
So who can fill the void? Maybe surprisingly, big businesses.
At this point there’s been a lot of data showing that Americans, Europeans and citizens of many other countries don't just want to see companies speak out on the issues they care about most, but actually trust them to lead on those issues.
Far from being seen as part of the problem, the longstanding stability and power of giant corporations has turned into an asset. As a result, this moment in time creates a unique opportunity for business leaders and brands to not only use their platforms and resources to make a difference, but to transform how they’re seen by their customers and the broader public.
There are a few keys to doing this successfully.
1. Identify your superpower. Every business – by virtue of their industry, footprint and unique expertise – has something they can do that no one else can. To have the biggest possible impact, identify what that is and put your energy there.

2. Do the doable. The issues that we collectively have to solve are enormous. And no one company can solve them. To make real progress – and demonstrate impact – focus on a specific element of the challenge that you alone can solve and then demonstrate progress.

3. Give motivated consumers something to do. There’s tremendous energy out there to solve the issues facing us. Some are too technical or complex for average people to have an impact, but many are not. To maximise your impact you need to tap into that energy. Provide simple, achievable ways for people to get involved.
The challenges facing the global community are immense. But there is a window of opportunity for brands to step up and make a difference.
If you can demonstrate an ability to use your scale and reach for good, you can provide much needed stability and support and transform how your brand is seen by consumers. 


SS+K is an integrated marketing & communications agency that combines the rigor of political strategy and the power of creativity to help brands navigate, create, and lead meaningful change. For over 28 years, SS+K has helped brands like Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and HBO build signature action programs that position themselves as problem solvers, convey their values, and elevate their brands. 

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SS+K, Fri, 18 Jun 2021 10:15:51 GMT