Learnings Dwyane Wade
Written by Laura Donaldson
Here is what I knew about Dwyane Wade before today’s session: he plays basketball and he’s married to Gabrielle Union. To say that I didn’t know a lot about him was an understatement. I never knew the length of his NBA career or even that he had retired, but more surprisingly, I didn’t know anything about any of his personal accomplishments. He may be known for being an extraordinary basketball player – but he is more astonishing as a human being.
Today, he spoke specifically on the opportunity that he has on influencing social change and the ability to be able to use his platform for good. There are so many diverse and unique challenges that people are currently faced with around the world and for some, they can often feel as if they have no voice and no chance of being heard. Wade spoke about the ability to be that voice for many who are muted. He has created a commitment to people to encourage those who need it.
This approach should be the same for how brands connect with their consumers – use your fame for good. To create a sustainable brand purpose, this needs to be rooted in believing in good and supporting those who may not feel heard. This can be done directly through supporting local communities and establishing individual branded charities or it can be done indirectly by ensuring that the communication in market around your brand is inclusive, supportive, and representative of all people.
Brands have the platform to be able to provide this voice and have an opinion for the greater good. They have an ability to be relevant and influence change. They can be personable. It’s about listening. It’s about creating an impact for people, no matter how you can through time, money, or effort. Brands need to invest in their consumer, in order for people to feel that they have been seen and heard.
For Wade, he has changed the game both on and off the court.