Purpose as foundation for success
Sooner or later, each company faces the moment of rethinking. Old concepts and messages are no longer relevant, audience’s interest goes down. And here we face rather a logical question: what new do we have to offer?
I suggest analyzing this issue from the marketing perspective (surprisingly, innit? :) ), relying on the research Deloitte. Insights “2022 Global Marketing Trends. Thriving through customer centricity”.
More and more often, companies start to think over the purpose of their product or concept that should go beyond a simple profit acquisition. For many, it has become not only a temporary desire but a real strategic priority. Options are unlimited: eco-friendly, data privacy, feminism, equality, etc. According to the research, high-growth brands are 66% more likely to see purpose as a means to guiding employee decision-making.
While aspiring to satisfy the demand for business positioning, we face a question: what about traditional user criteria, such as price and quality?
The research shows that when choosing a specific brand in eight different categories (traveling, apparel and footwear, beauty and personal care, household equipment, banking sphere, and automotive), price and quality were among the top 3 purchasing criteria in between 61% and 86%.
These results suggest that there is no total shift to the dominance of purpose as a key purchasing factor. However, if we take another look at separate niches, the situation appears to be different.
- The third of customers younger than 25 are driven by sustainability when purchasing beauty and personal care products.
- Almost forth of respondents indicate data privacy as the main requirement for the banking sphere.
- 57% of clients appear to be more loyal to brands that raise the topic of social inequities.
3 pieces of advice on how to implement purpose
There are several steps that help to transform purpose into a competitive advantage for your brand. The given steps are the result of the research conducted, as well as my personal experience.
- Identify the identity of your brand and compare it with your target audience’s expectations
There are plenty of traits that characterize a company. Your task is to make a holistic picture with them, that will not only reflect the ethos of the company but also be relevant to consumers, investors, and employees.
Think about your strong sides to accentuate them and avoid entering a niche where you have no competitive advantage.
2. Hold the ranks
It’s not enough to outline the company’s purpose and declare it. The whole process, beginning with the estimation of the product quality and up to employees’ performance, should be strictly subjected and controlled to correspond to a stated policy. The establishment of clear and precise estimation criteria can help with it.
As former chief marketing officer (CMO) of Keds, Emily Culp, notes, it takes “humility and wherewithal to take a step back and take in every single touch point so you’re asking your warehouse employees, if you manufacture service and goods, all the way through reading social media comments [and] call log transcripts” to truly understand how your company is living out its purpose in the eyes of all stakeholders.
3. CMO’s role in delivering purpose
The marketer’s task is to deliver the client’s voice to the organization and make him be complicit in the process of purpose determination. The marketer thus influences brand messaging, product and service delivery, guiding the employees responsible for delivering these customer experiences.
Let’s not forget that the main focus of every business is commerce, since its task is to bring profit. However, with the market growth and the individual development of the society, every social topic becomes basic. Similar senses are implemented into our life and ascend from individual responsibility to corporate one.
This tendency results in the expectation of the consumer to see a certain social message from the company. Moreover, under the conditions of a hypertrophied capitalism, people want to see something besides the desire to sell behind any brand. And here we find another business focus — client orientation, but not in a formal state, but its practical implementation.