From purpose-driven to purpose-doing

Purpose is more important than ever, and it needs to involve action as well as direction. What unique social contribution are you making as a brand?
15 July 2020
Hot air balloon being inflated
Robert Jan d’hond
Jan d’hond

Managing Partner, Consulting Division North America

Sarah Capers

Head of Brand, Consulting Division, North America

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The power and importance of brand Purpose are well researched and it has been widely adopted. Year-on-year, there has been a growing trend among consumers expecting brands to make a positive contribution to the world. In 2019, 65% of respondents considered it important for brands to be committed to making society better (Global MONITOR 2019). That includes brands playing an important role in social conversations like #MeToo and race relations (U.S. MONITOR 2020).

People are actively looking to brands to step up and start tackling social challenges with tangible solutions (this in tandem with waning trust in governments and large institutions). Welcome to the marketing era of the Public. We are moving past the era of product and person and into a time when brands have an imperative to society. What unique social contribution are you making as a brand? How are you helping?

The big pivot today is that it is no longer enough for Purpose to be a compass. It must be a catalyst for action.

This piece is intended to be a pathway to Purpose Doing. It grew out of a study we completed with the ARF, Cracking Purpose, that aimed to unlock best-in-class strategies for Purpose campaigns. We recognised that the framework that emerged from Cracking Purpose — YOU, THEM, THE WORLD — could be applied to Purpose Doing more holistically. It begins with YOU, actioning internally and getting your own house in order to build a foundation of credibility. From that place of authenticity, we can partner with THEM — fans and fellow-fighters on the ground — to truly amplify our cause. And lastly, we help build THE WORLD in the vision of our values by making sustainable impact through commitment, measurement and re-upping.

We hope this tool, packed with case studies and examples and featuring a series of reflective questions, proves useful to your Purpose Doing and brings us all closer to the society we want to see.

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