Making mental health stigma a thing of the past — and improving brand perception at the same time (VB Live)

Presented by Latana

To build emotional connections with their customers, many brands are weaving mental health into their campaigns. Learn how to do it authentically, and what consumers really want from brands in this space in this VB Live event in partnership with Latana Brand Tracking.

Register here for free.

The COVID-19 pandemic put mental health front and center in public awareness. The struggle has been real, but so is the opportunity to raise awareness for the importance of talking about mental health and normalizing discussions around self care.

In their private lives, consumers are increasingly taking a careful look at what’s really important to them, and considering how they can actually balance those priorities throughout their lives and their careers. That’s meant that companies have had to change the way they consider mental health both internally, for their employees, and externally, in their marketing campaigns for their consumers, says Angeley Mullins, CMO and CGO of Latana, a brand tracking software company.

“Especially in the tech community, it’s no longer about ping-pong tables, beanbags, and offices stocked with drinks,” she says. “Employees want to be able to balance their mental health with their careers.”

In the marketplace, the importance of mental health is taking center stage in the minds of consumers. They’re beginning to prioritize buying from brands that support mental health awareness, not only for their own employees, but also for their customers. For example, consumers notice when a brand chooses to close their doors on Black Friday so people can be at home with their families, notes Mullins.

“If you build the importance of mental health into your brand strategy, you connect with consumers and, of course, that will drive consumer purchasing decisions. That is what is front and foremost to them right now. We have seen this in our own work with brands as we help them gather consumer insights,” she says.

She points to some companies that have done it well, including Maltesers, a Mars-owned chocolate brand. Its campaign, #TheMassiveOvershare, brought maternal mental health front and center, and was founded on the results of a study commissioned by the company. They discovered that one in six moms often feels overwhelmed, while a quarter said they don’t want to burden others, and over a third reported trying to not overshare. The campaign urged mothers to be open about their struggles, and ask for the support they need.

With smart timing, coinciding with Mother’s Day in the U.K. and International Women’s Day, plus a history of putting its money where its mouth is with donations, the campaign is a wildly successful example of how important it is to be authentic, sincere, and have a real connection with your customers.

“It’s really about connecting with consumers and understanding the myriad of things that their customers might be going through, that’s what resonates,” Mullins says. “In everything you do, but especially with a mental health strategy, be genuine. Use real-world stories and issues that are near and dear to people’s hearts.”

It’s up to business leaders and brand and marketing leaders to take a good look at how they’re putting themselves out into the marketplace and in the world, and really understand how consumers perceive them, she adds. This is what will make the difference between companies whose brand campaigns connect with their audience and drive growth and those who do not.

“Internally, marketing and brand leaders can create a campaign that everyone thinks is wonderful, but sometimes it doesn’t connect with the consumer audience at large, because they’re not looking at things from a consumer perspective,” she says. “That’s the heart of the matter.”

The fear of stumbling in this brief is often what holds companies back from tackling these issues in their own brand strategies, but Mullins notes there’s also still a stigma that keeps brands quiet — but these conversations are more important than ever.

“Mental health is something that should be focused on even more,” she says. “This is an issue that affects everybody in the world. Given the times we live in now, it’s something that’s at the forefront more than ever. Connect with your audience. Connect with your consumers. Don’t be afraid to bring up these key issues.”

What business leaders are going to find is that not only are they going to connect with their consumers even better, but within companies they’re going to connect with their employees as well. Doing this will go a long way to help make the stigma clouding mental health a thing of the past.

“I think you’ll find that not only will brands have better perception, but I think everyone will start to appreciate how mental health topics are being incorporated into campaigns,” she says. “It can become something that we talk about every day, something normal and okay. I think that’s one of the most important things for business leaders to consider. It’s okay. Be bold. Take a stand.”

Register here for free. 

You’ll walk away with:

  • Exclusive survey data on how mental health influences consumers’ purchase decisions in 2021
  • A deep dive into how focusing on mental health improves brand perception, loyalty, and trust
  • Tips on successfully integrating mental health into your brand strategy to improve brand image
  • A look at the latest mental health brand campaigns that are making their mark on consumers

Speakers:

  • Angeley Mullins, Latana, CMO and CGO
  • Alex Brands, Head of Brand Marketing, Madhappy
  • Will Allen-Mersh, Partner, Spill
  • Stewart Rogers, Moderator, VentureBeat

Latana is an AI-Powered brand tracking solution, designed to help brands make better marketing decisions and allows users worldwide to understand key brand insights for both themselves and their competitors, while enabling them to zoom in on the audiences that drive their business.

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