FEATURE12 February 2020

Building a framework for brand purpose

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Features Impact UK

Purpose is one of the marketing industry’s favourite buzzwords. Twitter’s Rob Turnbull shares research into what brands should and shouldn’t do when creating purpose campaigns.


I expect most readers will have already seen or heard ‘brand purpose’ discussed; the advertising industry seems obsessed with the topic.

But what’s changed is that large and established organisations have now started to embrace the concept fully. We’ve seen a mass of campaigns with purpose messaging run in the past year from the likes of Mondelez, Unilever and Nike. Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign with Age UK is a great example of how the biggest brands have invested in this approach.

At Twitter, the rapid growth of brand purpose marketing presented us with a new and interesting dilemma. As a small advertising research team, there had been an increasing number of water-cooler conversations with internal stakeholders on the topic.

Questions generally focused around three things: whether it worked and why; how it could work better; and what role would Twitter play. Internal stakeholders had their own hypotheses but little evidence available, and the most relevant insight was restricted to ...