Doing good with a brand’s fifth ‘P’. [By Lim Li Shan]

A recent study by Unilever shows that a third of consumers prefer brands doing social or environment good. People today are driven by the desire for meaning and significance. We are all in search for a way to give back to the society and leave behind a personal legacy. This has led to encourage many businesses to impact the greater good, and still make money – and it starts, with the fifth ‘P’, Purpose.

A brand’s purpose is a meeting point of what a brand is good at, what the brand is passionate about and what the world needs. A higher brand purpose addresses how a company intends to change the world for the better. It is about the marriage of customers and culture alike in the pursuit of that intention. In doing so, here are the different degrees of embracing a higher brand purpose.

Through its business model – TOMS

“With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need”. The business started with one intention in mind, to match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need. This simple idea evolved into a business model that is not only profitable but have reached out to 70 countries, giving over 60 million pairs of shoes.

Through its brand story – DOVE

Dove has been a strong advocate and a home for real beauty. Their brand purpose was to help women reconsider and redefine what beauty is. Addressing one of the key issues of the society today, they aim to help women develop a positive relationship with the way they look and believe that beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. With their Dove Self-Esteem Project, they reached out to over 17 million young people with self-esteem education – helping the next generation of women grow up feeling happy and confident about the way they look.

Through its marketing campaigns – TETRAPACK

A brand does not need to be in a B2C space to give back to the society and environment. Closer to home, Tetrapack rolled out a campaign called THE CAREton PROJECT specifically targeted to Malaysia, where recycling and litter is a big issue. Its aim was to turn used drinks packaging into roof tiles, which included providing newly built ‘recycled’ homes to several indigenous Orang Asli families in Malaysia. This initiative was covered across numerous media platforms and saw 7.2 million drinks packages collected for recycling, 40 per cent higher than Tetra Pak’s initial target.

Regardless of the different degrees of contribution, brands should always offer something more than just their products or services. It is important and almost expected for brands these days to define and serve a higher social or environmental purpose, and making sure it is authentic, delivered and upheld as the core of their brand essence. This is definitely a pivotal shift in consumers’ purchasing behaviour today and brands that embrace a higher purpose will drive product purchase, earn product advocacy (and when done right with creativity and humility), ultimately achieving brand love.

It pays to do good.

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