NEWS14 October 2021

Data needed to make brand purpose more prominent

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UK – Brand purpose needs to be transformed from a “fluffy subject” to one where the positive impacts can be demonstrated using data to executive teams and embedded in long-term company strategy, according to speakers at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA’s) EffWorks conference.

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Speaking on a panel session in London on Tuesday ( 12th October) about proving the effectiveness of brand purpose, Dipika Saggi, head of brand and marketing at the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), said that evidence could help make conversations with brands about brand purpose much easier.

“There is still a long way to go, but I think we are getting better at integrating purpose into long-term strategy, rather than looking at it as a tactic,” Saggi said.

“Anything we can lean on to take to brands to talk about long-term engagement and how it needs to be part of the DNA of the brand really helps. It is a much more difficult conversation to have with the wider organisation.”

She added that staff could be attracted and retained at companies through strong brand purpose, but stated that its impact needed to be better measured. She added that brand purpose could be seen as less of a “fluffy subject” using data to support its effectiveness.

“When we are talking about purpose, and buying into values and beliefs, that is not something that will change overnight,” she said.

“We have to be open at looking at the foundational levels of what success looks like, and maybe revising that a little bit and thinking about where not-for-profit or brand purpose integrated pieces can compete against huge budgets and instant impact.”

Jacinthe Brillet, global vice-president of brands and marketing transformation at Danone, said that brands were at a “pivotal moment” where they needed to build trust with consumers.

“We need to invent even more purposeful actions, and we need to understand how our ambitions can best generate value for consumers and our brands,” she said.

“That is how we secure continuous improvement of our brand models and make a true difference.”

While Brillet accepted that shoppers do not always follow through on positive intentions when purchasing goods, she said this need not be an argument against brand purpose.

“Purpose doesn’t always have to be the explicit reason for shoppers to prefer brands,” she added. “It can also be leveraged as a means to gain physical or mental availability or to improve effectiveness.”

Consultant Peter Field said in a separate session that brand purpose could help increase market share growth and new customer acquisition, adding: “It is not the case that all consumers are always indifferent to all of these messages. If we frame them correctly, we can have strong impacts on trust and fame.”

He showed figures that demonstrated that brand purpose campaigns saw market share growth rise of 15% more than marketing campaigns that did not centre on the subject.

Also appearing at EffWorks, James Hankins, consulting strategist at Vizer Consulting, said his research with Les Binet on ‘share of search’, which was published last year, had demonstrated that there was an 83% correlation between share of search and share of market.

Share of search is defined as the online searches for a particular brand divided by the searches for all brands in its sector.

“You have access to a dynamic measure of competitiveness. When one moves, so does the other,” Hankins said.

“Share of search gives you the opportunity to do some really interesting analytics. There is generally a relationship between spend, share of voice, extra share of voice and share of search.”