The topic of brand purpose has never been hotter – and also more misunderstood. The power of purpose to energize a brand’s consumers, ignite passion in its employees and drive growth that impresses investors has never been clearer. At the same time, the road is littered with examples of brands that have attempted it and failed. We asked a selection of some of the leading agency leaders in the space a simple question.
‘What one piece of advice would you give to clients who want to do purpose-driven brand work?’
“Purpose is the new digital. It has the same amount of transformative power on brands and business as digital did only 25 years ago. Or more specifically, marketing that is led by purpose will change consumerism in equal ways as digital marketing.
The easiest way to explain it is like this: digital marketing allowed consumers to activate their personal preferences in choosing brands; purpose-led marketing allows consumers to activate their personal values in choosing brands.
Before the advent of digital power, traditional marketing relied on perfecting and controlling a consistent message and communicating a well-crafted image. It created a brand promise (real or not) to create a transaction. Modern marketing is much different. Brands are now built as an interplay of coherent ideas rather than a singular message. Brand trust is now created through transparency – a product of t the information age that digital technology enabled – and brands are much more interested in creating community rather than just a transaction. And most importantly, brands and businesses are moving away from delivering a promise and more on adhering to a purpose. They are not answering the question of “why should anyone buy us?” but fixated on answering the question of “why should anyone care about us?”
Being purposeful answers that question for brands. And if they can’t communicate their “why” in a compelling way, they will suffer similar fates to those brands that were too late to the digital party.”