Changing Perception: 3 Branding Lessons You Can Learn From Pope Francis

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Are you trying to brand yourself or your business? If so, check out these three branding lessons from Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has turned the Catholic Church on its head.

He wanted to make it more relevant to the average person. He wanted to change perceptions of it.

Despite it being the heart of a major world religion, it still has a brand to maintain. It’s not going to maintain its followers if it doesn’t observe the way its brand is utilized.

The newest pope has done more than any recent pope to repair the image of the Catholic Church and to alter perceptions throughout the world.

And you as an entrepreneur can learn a lot from that. This guide is going to introduce you to the three branding lessons you can take away from this major public figure.

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1. Humility

To begin with, you have to have humility. Pope Francis has demonstrated himself as someone who’s genuinely humble and kind. He doesn’t flaunt the considerable power he possesses and he doesn’t try to use his privilege to gain preferential treatment.

One of the big events that demonstrated his humility is when he turned down a meal with the United States Congress. Instead, he hosted a meal with the homeless. While this may be great, how does an entrepreneur use humility to their advantage?

You can improve your image by eliminating the bravado and the arrogance. Stop having an inflated opinion of yourself and stop being pretentious. This can help you because you will be a better individual, but at the same time, you are going to improve what your team thinks of you.

And they will give you more. That humility will offer a competitive advantage regardless of the market you are in.

2. Authenticity

Pope Francis is known for being authentic in everything he does. Previous popes have been criticized for the fact that they don’t practice what they preach. The Pope himself realized this and so he turned down the usual luxuries afforded to Popes. He still drives a Fiat 500L, rather thanthe long black sedan that the Pope normally rides around in.

He aims to have as little impact on the environment as possible. And that’s something absolutely every business should be thinking about. In everything they do they should be authentic. If they live by certain values, they should embrace those values, and then show that they are embracing those values.

It’s all about trust, and 54 percent of people don’t trust brands. If your customers don’t trust you, they are not going to buy from you. It’s about good management of your brand.

Related Article:5 Branding Strategies Small Businesses Can Use from Big Companies

3. Empathy

You may think that Pope Francis is somehow doing something revolutionary. Everything can be boiled down to having empathy. The reason it seems like something entirely revolutionary is that the society we live in today focuses on the individual. It’s all about ego.

Time and time again Pope Francis has demonstrated that he has empathy for others. For example, he once tended to a boy with cerebral palsy and visited prisoners in a facility in Philadelphia. When he meets people, he makes an impression that people remember. And that’s because he can identify with their problems.

Entrepreneurs need to be able to demonstrate that their company is about the greater good. The Millennial generation genuinely cares about these things. They want to know that the organizations they support are doing their best for society as a whole.

It’s easier than you think to manage. Think about how your products give back to society and how they improve the lives of others. Create content that tells people how you have changed the lives of ordinary people. And if you can’t do this you should think about corporate philanthropy.

Consider how you can help others and you will be able to reap the rewards. Even the smallest businesses are focusing on corporate philanthropy in this day and age.

Related Article:Build Your Tribe: How to Make an Audience Loyal to Your Brand

Last Word: Learning From Others

Through learning from others, you can improve your company’s brand. The bottom line is that the business world is no longer about just making money. It’s one of the startup mistakes you need to rectify. You have to do something more than that if you are going to create a brand that the average customer can identify with.

By learning from major public figures, you can understand what people want and then apply those lessons to your own business. How will you improve your brand’s image today?

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