Purpose is the name of the game and consumers are all in. It’s not enough just to sell products anymore. The advertising industry must do better, because consumers demand more. That’s where brand purpose steps up to the plate.
Consumers want brands that share their values, care about them as individuals, and strive to make the world better. When younger generations learn that a company supports a social cause, they are 62% more likely to purchase the company’s product and 66% more likely to pay attention to a company’s advertising and marketing.
However, just having purpose is not the answer. The purpose needs to align with the brand and be part of its mission, because consumers can sense inauthenticity. Kirsten Ludwig, President and Founder of In Good Co, points out that consumers can tell the difference between brands that care and brands that just want consumers: “Do it because you believe in the purpose and making the world a better place, or don't do it at all. If you are doing it for the buzz of a campaign, it will backfire.”
Companies like Levi’s, with its waterless jeans, and Airbnb, housing refugees, are winning consumers by making a difference that stems from the core of the brand. Max Lenderman, CEO and Founder of School (a purpose-driven agency), knows taking action results in positive reactions. “Talking about purpose and messaging purpose tends to be really, really dangerous and almost beyond ineffective; almost ‘reactionarily’ negative. Acting on your purpose in the real world seems to be the way that most successfully transitioning brands tend to do it,” said Lenderman.
As purpose continues to trend among consumers, brands with empathy and authenticity will lead the industry. Brand purpose is more than advocating for a cause, it’s taking action for a cause. It should be built into the core of your company, or your brand will strikeout.