FEATURE27 January 2022

Understanding purpose: Humans and AI

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Human stories and artificial intelligence can be brought together to help brands express their purpose in a more meaningful way, says Ansie Lombaard.

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Brand purpose is foundational. Yet, it is also one of the most misunderstood and misused business buzzwords today.

Purpose-led companies can make a tremendous difference in the world, and people increasingly expect such organisations to use this power for good. In Kantar’s 2020 Global Monitor survey, 66% of respondents said it is important to them that the brands they buy are committed to making our society better.

When brand purpose impacts brand choice, it follows that purpose impacts brand growth. Kantar’s BrandZ data shows that, from 2006 to 2018, brands with a stronger purpose grew their value by 175%, more than double compared with those with a weak purpose.

It is clear; brands with a purpose have always been more impactful – so, what has changed?

A higher purpose

The pandemic, along with the social justice movements of the past year, seems to have cemented, and even expanded, the importance of purpose. Concurrently, consumers are more discerning. Brand purpose must be relevant to ...