What’s the point of an inspiring brand purpose if it doesn’t translate into meaningful action? The key is moving beyond words and theory, embedding your purpose in your core business to deliver quantifiable, sustainable business and social impact. We explore strategies to get there, including purpose-to-action pointers you can implement now.
Your marketing team has, no doubt, done a stellar job of defining your brand purpose. It’s embodied in a bold, well thought out purpose statement, which illuminates the real societal need you’re going to address. It’s woven into your organisation’s marketing and CSR strategies, too.
Now, however, is when the hard part starts. How do you action this purpose beyond words and theory, in the communities it’s designed to impact?
Here, we take a look at three ways brands can move from pure purpose to meaningful action — with case by case examples from our team.
1.Activate for resonance: use big data to gain specific understanding
Your purpose-led initiative needs to be rooted in relevance — for your brand and for the communities you’re aiming to benefit. A data-driven approach to defining the what, where and how of your purposeful action is a vital start.
A leading sanitation brand works to close the hygiene gap in high-potential markets
With the Covid-19 outbreak, our client was highly motivated to deliver its “health through hygiene” purpose. They turned to our team for data-crunching to steer their strategy and focus their action.
From global public health and development data sets, our team developed a hybrid indicator to quantify the health/hygiene situation across the brand’s potential implementation countries. From internal business metrics, we then devised a single indicator to objectively rank the brand’s markets by commercial performance and opportunity.
Combining these data sets enabled the client to action their purpose strategically. They prioritised budget and roll-out in markets with the greatest health/hygiene needs, combined with the most significant brand responsibility and commercial opportunity. From big data, to granular insights, to relevant country-level action.
Long-term, the brand now has a replicable data-driven methodology for future purpose-led projects with maximised geo-specific resonance.
2. Join forces with social innovators and entrepreneurs
From grassroots entrepreneurs to major foundations, social innovators are a vital resource for major brands actioning their purpose.
By strategically partnering with impactful innovators, you’ll access on-the-ground expertise to implement informed, relevant and sustainable initiatives. Short-term, there’s potential for quick communications sharing your purpose-led actions, as innovators and entrepreneurs are used to moving fast.
Long-term, though, is where we’ve seen significant value and impact. We use bespoke criteria to identify mutually beneficial, lasting collaborations between brands and social innovators, moving away from one-off campaigns to create ongoing purpose-led impact.
A major dairy brand builds brand awareness through the power of kindness
Initially, we supported this brand to define its purpose: cultivating kindness through its products, in the families and moments in which they were consumed. As we love to do, our team then rapidly moved from statement to action.
Identifying parent social media influencers aligned with the brand’s purpose, we ran a pilot initiative showing mothers teaching their kids the value of kindness. Overall awareness of the brand and its purpose increased, and the company also gained a shedload of quality content in a few weeks, at a fraction of a usual marketing budget.
3. Collaborate with research partners who know your target geography
Multinationals have global experience — but nuances can sometimes get lost in the bigger picture. Specialising in complex, emerging markets (where other consultancies are rarely found), Archipel&Co supports clients in reaching and responding to their high potential.
A major haircare brand leverages product loyalty for a feminist initiative in India
Unclear on why their brand — targeted at professional salons — was underperforming in tier 3 Indian cities, the company got our team on the case.
Through wide-ranging interviews, we found that the brand hadn’t previously appreciated the ‘career or no career’ inflexion point of these young women’s marriages. The vast majority were looking forward to getting married and stated without animosity that, if their husband or mother-in-law was against them working, that would be that. Many, however, were driven to ensure that the business they had built would endure alongside happy family life.
Geeta and her team at Premi Hair Dresser, Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
In response, the brand introduced gender-specific coaching and support for emerging female hairdressers, enabling them to convincingly pitch to their new husbands and in-laws exactly why they should continue their profession.
The result: a gender-specific go-to-market approach to drive both commercial and social impact within our client’s core B2B business, from rapid ethnographic methodology.
Moving your major brand from purpose to action: 3 steps to implement now
1 Clearly define your company’s purpose
Address a real societal need, using methods and in regions relevant to your brand. A data-driven approach creates change where it’s most needed
2. Forge long-term partnerships
Find social innovation partners working on your purpose issue. Partner for agility, flexibility and awareness short-term; long-term, to co-create ongoing purposeful impact and value.
3. Measure rigorously
Data-gathering and consistent analysis are vital to communicating and enhancing your company’s impact as you channel purpose into action.
Read more articles on Purpose here.