Why brand purpose is just the tip of the iceberg!
Updated: May 25, 2020
I recently attended a Zoom roundtable hosted by hospitality thought leaders. A team of panelists came together to discuss trends, tactics, the changing landscape and a vision for the new ‘normal’, which inevitably includes intense hygiene standards and social distancing strategies.
Although the online meeting was well-presented and insightful, I couldn’t help but note that the topic of CSR and brand purpose was only mildly covered. And while I agree that our current priority is to drive revenue and develop new marketing strategies, I firmly believe that the brands who intertwine purpose with profits will be the businesses that thrive during and post COVID-19.
Countless studies show that Millennials and Gen-Z now hold the buying power, and since the global pandemic these savvy segments are more inclined than ever to purchase from brands who stand for something more. This generation demands better. Better decisions, better products, better companies, better brands, better service, better standards, and all for a better world.
While COVID-19 has disrupted the playing field of a game we once understood, brand purpose and purpose-driven marketing strategies are coming to light as the driving force for business growth and success.
Arising from the crisis are important brand purpose led questions. Many businesses are now asking, how can we operate as a better community, what are our sustainable commitments, are we fair to suppliers, what are our strategic goals other than profits, what is our ‘why', does brand purpose matter, what are we doing to contribute to the world as a whole?
It’s clear that businesses embracing this new wave of consumerism and that understand brand purpose and purpose-driven marketing strategies, are the ones to watch.
Tides have turned. You only need to take a quick look at how COVID-19 has affected economies, people and politics to understand that life has changed - dramatically. Consumers will always love luxury, but they want honesty. They still desire experiences, but they need authenticity. They want quality, but not at the wrongful expense of others. People want to buy from business and people who genuinely care. They want brands and businesses to honour brand purpose and brand promise. And above all, they want their personal decisions to contribute to society and the planet as a whole.
A special report on ‘Brand Trust and the Coronavirus Pandemic’ by Edelman released March 2020, identified a new expectation for brands. The study, based on 12,000 participants from around the world including US, UK, German, India, Japan and South Korean, confirmed that we are entering a new world and there is a new role for brands.
An overwhelming majority confirmed that ‘Trust’ is the new black of how we do business. 81% of consumers agreed that they must be able to trust the brand they are purchasing from and are no longer driven by brands simply selling passion or image.
71% confirmed that brands and companies that place profits before people during COVID-19 will lose their trust forever and 1 in 3 people have already used word of mouth to spread messages about brands that failed to do the right thing.
A staggering 90% believe that brands must do everything possible to protect the well-being and financial security of employees and their suppliers during the pandemic.
The expectation is for brands to help address social challenges, stop putting profit over people, focus communications and actions on solutions and start protecting employees and suppliers.
84% of respondents said they ‘want brand advertising to focus on how brands help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges.’ They want communications that show emotion, compassion and the fact.
In this difficult climate there is an overwhelming feeling from consumers that brands have a responsibility to bring people together through genuine emotional connection. They're looking for brands with authentic purpose at their core.
And while this new demand for brand purpose and purpose-driven marketing strategies may seem like a tall order for some companies, in reality, the approach to the importance of brand purpose many not only help consumers and businesses through COVID-19, but could be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving our future, protecting our planet and the way we work as a society as a whole.
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If you’re looking for more marketing strategies and brand purpose ideas, check out these other Outsourced imagination posts and pages:
Stay safe, stay healthy.
Lindsay Grace Kinniburgh