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The importance of Brand & Corporate Purpose has grown over the last decade.
Companies have understood the importance of Purpose as a growth driver and have been working on eliciting credible and relevant purposes that would allow consumers to relate to their Brands on a deeper and more meaningful level.
At Sevendots we have looked into it – within our Growth Series studies – and have uncovered some important insights when embarking on this journey. We know that Brand Purpose (1) “takes years to nurture. It cannot be forced or ‘manufactured’. It is a long-term shot in a short-term world. In short, it is the heart and soul of a business and the greatest route with which to engage consumers”.
Developing Purposeful Brands is one of the toughest jobs yet and as we speak Brands are continuing to measure themselves with building, nurturing and communicating their Purposes correctly and consistently.
However as Brands & Companies are still becoming accustomed to sharing their beliefs and acting upon them – ensuring that all is resonating credibly with consumers perception of the Brand – we are already witnessing some pockets of change with Brands moving one step further and experimenting a bolder approach.
In fact Brands are now aiming to become real “engines of change” and to inspire people to take part in an authentic revolution. Brands are taking a stand and participating in the political and societal debates that are taking place in the world.
In brief, we are seeing more and more Brands that are not afraid to move from Brand Purpose to Brand Activism… Brands that believe in taking a stand on important topics like Equality, Immigration, Women’s rights… even at the cost of alienating consumers that do not share their views.
Some examples include The Body Shop that “has been working for the past 18 months to ensure that activism be at the heart of its brand strategy” (2) and more specifically gender equality and womens´ rights. The company has recently announced wanting to turn Body Shop stores into activist hubs.
Another example comes from the Diesel Brand. The Brand publicly celebrated losing 14.000 followers (3) – after their July Pride month posts supporting LGBTQ+ community – showing how taking a stand and expressing who they are and what they believe in is worth more than a few thousand followers. As stated by the Company the decision to celebrate the followers’ departure is because “Followers are important, but love is more important.”
Brand Purpose, Brand Activism and what is meant to come is and will be the strongest and longer term engine of growth, because it is consumers demanding that their Brands be committed and not afraid to have beliefs and take a stand, when and only if – obviously – it is true and at the heart of their DNA.
At Sevendots we will continue to answer questions like What new roles will Companies and Brands play in the future in society? How will Companies and Brands be credible and relevant when taking a stand in Societal and Political issues and Which limits/barriers will Brands and Companies have to overcome joining in?
(1) Sevendots, Brand Purpose – The secret weapon of the bold
(2) Marketing Week, January 2019
(3) Ad Age, July 2019