Getting noticed in a crowded marketplace is a challenge for many businesses and brand purpose is regarded as an integral component of business growth.

There are some developing themes relating to effective use of brand purpose and the need for authenticity and ‘brandstanding’ is a phrase coined to describe the notion of a brand having deep values and a moral code. Brands can no longer grandstand or appear too ostentatious. To be relevant they must love, support and care for their stakeholders and communities of interest.

Developing a tone of voice that conveys honesty, positivity and a sharing and caring persona, can be engaging, informative and targeted and provide a person-centric approach that helps develop and nurture lasting relationships.  However, brands must have to be able to delivery demonstrable actions that evidence their statement of authentic intent.  This maybe via their corporate social responsibility campaigns, approach to sustainability, social issues or charitable involvement. 

Ben and Jerry’s is an example of a brand creating shared values and managing a corporate social responsibility programme designed to create a better environment in which to live and work.  It is actively involved in the procurement of Fairtrade ingredients, and community engagement projects.  It donates a portion of its pre-tax profits to corporate philanthropy as part of its efforts to be more socially responsible and its Foundation’s broad interests in social justice, environmental justice and sustainable food systems, work alongside its grant programmes to encourage social change.   

Partnerships and alliances can often deliver good returns and empower brands to find routes to communicating in new ways via third parties.  Some organisations are tapping into gender fluidity and grassroots campaigns, to present an inclusive approach.  Recent work from Gillette and Barbie which sought to address these issues and demystify gender stereotypes has been lauded as ground-breaking transgender campaigns that champion gender inclusivity.

Having a clear sense of purpose has the benefit of nurturing trust. Building trust in the content of the brand needs to be meaningful and not superficial.  However, unless the purpose has relevance and connects with a product or product categories in the markets and geographical areas of interest, consumers will be suspicious and what could be a hit, will inevitably be a miss. Once trust is betrayed it will be very difficult to restore.


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