BONN, Germany (Landscape News) – We are living in the age of movements and uprisings, says Scott Goodson, who has transformed the global marketing sector through campaigns that tap into the human need to engage with a community to generate change.
As chief executive and founder of movement making firm StrawberryFrog, Goodson, who will be a keynote speaker at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Bonn, Germany on Dec. 19, has realized a strategic vision that goes beyond merely promoting brands, to creating cultural movements around them.
Goodson will share his views on how the GLF can meet its goal to reach 1 billion people, developing a community around sustainable landscapes, restoring degraded land, ensuring land rights, gender rights and adequate finance, addressing the challenges posed by food insecurity and declining rural livelihoods.
“A movement needs an awesome strategy, but also the momentum and push so that it builds momentum over time and rallies the people,” Goodson said, adding that the GLF can engage a billion people if a united front to build the movement is established.
StrawberryFrog builds brands by looking out into the world and understanding what’s happening, Goodson explained. “Brands need to respond to this – build a movement that aligns with the ideas on the rise in culture consumers are passionate about and, in the process, connect them back to the brand in a meaningful way.”
Through some of his earliest independent work in Sweden, Goodson dipped into movement making by promoting a line of clothing launched by the country’s former tennis superstar, blond dynamo Bjorn Borg, who won 11 grand slam singles titles during his career.
Since then, Goodson has worked with such companies as Coca Cola, Emirates Airline, Google, Heineken, IKEA, P&G, the Smart Car and SunTrust Bank, honing and finessing his techniques through StrawberryFrog.
Goodson — whose parents worked in the marketing industry in Montreal where he grew up — built his strategy based partly on observations from his experience in Sweden where marketing companies at the time were intently focused on brand purpose. Domestic brands IKEA, Skandia and Pharmacia built their brands outside Sweden, innovating by making corporate social responsibility central to brand strategy, rather than peripheral, he said.
“The Swedes were naturally responding to market demands in the ’80s and ’90s from northern Europe where consumers demanded more from their brands and products,” Goodson said. “IKEA wasn’t just furniture, it was a movement to democratize style. Not only the rich deserve beautiful furniture, everyone does. This was the prevailing culture at the time, and many brands – both those I worked with and others – built their brands this way.”
Goodson’s firm, StrawberryFrog, which is headquartered in New York, launched with Smart Car as a client. Working with Swatch and its partner Mercedes, the firm helped define the movement for “smart,” Goodson said.
“It wasn’t just a b-segment vehicle adding to the urban congestion rampant in European cities,” Goodson said. “‘Smart’ was a movement to reinvent the urban environment – It was way ahead of its time but was prophetic and effective.”
Now, Goodson’s approach dovetails with what the millennial generation wants, he said, citing research on current trends published by business magazine “Fast Company,” which demonstrates that older brands are not aging well.
“Brand purpose, a statement to inspire employees is no longer enough in today’s age of movements,” Goodson said. “A brand needs to go one step further beyond a brand purpose. This is where brand movement comes in and why I brought this idea to the world.”
More than 40 percent of millennial consumers have recently taken concrete action on an issue they think is important, while 68 percent said: “Creating change in the world is a personal goal of mine that I actively pursue,” the research shows.
Engaging millennial employees in organizations requires creating a movement from within the company to change corporate culture rather than perpetuate a “command and control” mandate from the top down.
“Otherwise, people won’t engage as much as they need to engage to be fulfilled and, moreover, to deliver the results the company requires in the future,” he said, adding that traditional marketing messages directed at millennials and their younger Generation Z counterparts will not work: these generations “need a movement to move passions to move people to move product.”
Many of Goodson’s ideas are laid out in his book Uprising: How to Build a Brand and Change the World by Sparking Cultural Movements (McGraw-Hill, 2012), where he details about 50 companies that have based marketing strategies on social movement frameworks.
“Despite the differences between companies and society, those business leaders have succeeded in engaging and mobilizing in a MASSmovement,” Goodson said.
President Donald Trump launched the most effective movement during the 2016 presidential election, whereas opponent Hillary Clinton ran a traditional marking campaign, Goodson said.
“[Former President] Obama proved that you don’t need hundreds of millions to crystalize and lead a movement to the White House,” Goodson said. “Rather he used Twitter and pounded the pavement.”
Read the Q+A with Scott Goodson here
Register for the Global Landscapes Forum here
See films by Scott Goodson here:
And for pet lovers here is a movement that’s sure to activate you: Nature’s Variety
The Movement Goodson worked on with Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullman, Susan Sontag and Vanessa Redgrave called Open Road Sarajevo