A vision is the ability to think of the future with imagination and wisdom. In the social media era, brands must be visionary to be successful. The reason? There are just so many brands. A marketer must do something to make their brand stand out. To stand out a brand must be visionary and it must capture our attention. To create a world class brand, a marketer must create brands that create a sense that the brand will make the customer “more than themselves”. A brand is something that sets a product apart. In the social media era, great brands have the ability to be more than the product itself. Brands have to be individualized.
A case in point is President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. He is trying to create a brand for his nation, to attract investors. President Kagame is trying to make Rwanda a middle class economy. To do this, President Kagame must make Rwanda a visionary brand. To do this he is going to have to create a brand that captures and captivates the minds of both western investors and Rwandan citizens.
People want their brands to make them feel something. They want to be moved and inspired. They want to believe in something bigger than they are—a noble purpose, such as the recreation of a nation. To create world class brands, successful leaders outline big, bold and noble visions to cultivate a culture of innovation. This unleashes the collective imagination of their teams.
In the study of psychology, the Pygmalion effect refers to a phenomenon in which the greater the expectation of people, the better they perform. In other words, when challenged with a grand purpose, people will rise to meet the challenge. This is what President Kagame is banking on as he creates the Rwandan brand. Researchers have found that great expectations act as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If a leader communicates a compelling vision and holds his or her team to high standards, subordinates will respond to meet those expectations.
Anything is possible when a team of committed individuals are inspired by a grand purpose. They will work harder, dream bigger and find ways to make the impossible possible. Visionary brands move people in this direction. Visionary brands capture people.
A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation and encourages perseverance. In doing so, it transforms great talent into exceptional accomplishment. This is President Kagame’s goal in his branding of Rwanda. He hopes to create a brand for both investors and Rwandan’s that will transform his country.
In every man and woman’s life, there is a defining moment. Social media brands create this moment. Brands create an intersection of circumstances and choices that define a person. Modern brands create great passion for the differences they can make in our lives. President Kagame is hoping that he can brand Rwanda in such a way to attract western investors with a passion to remake Rwanda.
Brands provide a commodity that sustains life. They provide the most important commodity of all—hope. President Kagame provides hope through his brand. Hope for a nation. On a personal level, isn’t it hope that a certain basketball shoe was branded? The brand of this shoe is that if we put it on our feet, we will win world championships. When we see and hear, “It has to be the shoes”, isn’t this creating hope for the wearer? The sneaker brand is visionary. The vision is if the shoes are placed on our feet, we will be world champions. This is why this brand is so iconic. It creates a vision of ourselves that goes beyond ourselves.