Updated: Jun 24
Brand purpose marketing is a concept that we are seeing more and more of, as consumers continue to expect more from businesses. As a result, we are beginning to see a dramatic increase in the amount of purpose-led businesses that exist.
However, when it comes to marketing this purpose effectively, many businesses seem to fall short.
One of the secrets to effective brand purpose marketing, is allowing the actions of your business to speak for themselves. By actively and publicly pursuing your purpose, you are essentially marketing it.
But here's the catch.
Having a 'business purpose' no longer cuts through.
A 'why' that provides a nice, logical context for your products or services isn't enough.
For your business to stand out, it needs to have a social purpose- a reason for existence beyond the everyday pursuit of profit.
Through a Social Purpose, we begin to understand who an organisation is. It’s not just about what they do, it’s about what they stand for... their world view...their identity.
It's through that action, that you effectively market your brand purpose.
Here are three examples of companies that have done just that, and have nailed their brand purpose marketing
PURPOSE: To be the best travel company for the world.
Intrepid Travel was founded from the intention of wanting to create a style of travel that gave back to the people and places that were visited. 32 years later, it is now the largest adventure travel company in the world. Intrepid have aligned with 8 Sustainable Development Goal’s and are active in doing their part to achieve them. Highlights include achieving equal gender representation through their company spokespeople, applying science-based targets by the Science-Based Targets initiative in taking climate action and raising more than $700,000 for bushfire relief in Australia. The travel company have also committed to becoming carbon positive.
More recently Intrepid have sought to help everyone feel a bit closer together, despite not being able to travel as a result of the pandemic. The tour operator turned over its social media channels to 100% user-generated content, under the hashtag #BeTogether, encouraging people to share letters to people who made their past travel experiences special. Examples included homestay hosts, fellow travellers they met on group tours or their travel agent.
A statement on Intrepid’s website said: “We’re all still adjusting to the new normal. And it’s made us reflect on what has brought us together over the years: our collective pursuit of connection.
“Because, at its heart, travel is about people. And no matter how much the world around us changes, this simple fact remains the same.
“So to help us all feel a bit closer right now, we’re committing to making this time about you and your stories. To sharing moments that make for lasting memories, to overcoming distance with connectedness.
“Now, more than ever, we need to be together.”
PURPOSE: To help people feel like they can belong.
4 years ago, Airbnb was given the opportunity to use an expensive ad slot booked for Superbowl on 6th February 2017 to advertise their business. A few days before it was due to air, former president Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that banned foreign nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries from visiting the country. He suspended entry to the country of all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and he prohibited any other refugees from coming into the country for 120 days.
This directly challenged Airbnb’s purpose- ‘to help people feel like they could belong anywhere’. Suddenly, their Superbowl slot was seen as an opportunity to respond to Trump’s order and stand for what they believed in. Over three days and nights, an internal team at Airbnb pulled a new ad together in-house, expressing their purpose and in doing so, creating a statement of solidarity with immigrants, refugees and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Alongside the ad, Airbnb undertook a goal to provide short-term housing to 100,000 “people in need” over the subsequent five years, committed to contributing $4 million over four years to the International Rescue Committee to support the critical needs of displaced populations globally and established a new terms of service that integrated non-discrimination rules for Airbnb hosts.
PURPOSE: Create the beauty that moves the world
Historically, the beauty industry has been one of the most detrimental to the environment. But as expectations as to what the role of companies should be, continue to change dramatically, L’Oréal is looking to take on greater responsibility.
L'Oreal's commitment to creating the beauty that moves the world, includes a commitment to fight climate change...
"We are committed to preserving our planet’s beauty. As global beauty leader, we have enormous capacity to take real steps to safeguard biodiversity and look after the climate."
With their new sustainability program, they want to demonstrate that companies can be part of the solution to some of today’s most pressing environmental and social challenges.
The L’Oréal for the Future program is based on the two complementary dimensions of what corporate responsibility means to the brand: transforming their company towards an increasingly sustainable business model and contributing to solving the challenges facing the world.
L’Oréal for the Future’s strategy is built on three pillars: ‘Transforming ourselves with respect to the nine planetary boundaries; empowering our business ecosystem, helping them transition to a more sustainable world; contributing to solving the challenges of the world, by supporting urgent social and environmental needs.’
L'Oreal is putting their money where their mouth is, by allocating 100 million euros to impact investing dedicated to the regeneration of ecosystems and the development of the circular economy, and 50 million euros to a charitable endowment fund to support highly vulnerable women.
By 2025, all of the L’Oréal Group’s sites will achieve carbon neutrality by improving energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy. In 2030, 100% of the water used for industrial purposes will be recycled and reused in a closed loop. By 2030, 95% of the ingredients in formulas will be bio-based, derived from abundant minerals or from circular processes. 100% of the plastic used in packaging will be either from recycled or bio-based sources in 2030.
These brands were able to successfully execute their brand purpose marketing through living it, and actively pursuing their purpose or social purpose.
What impact can you create with your business?
Get in touch with us to find out...