Image Credit: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com
Purpose-driven marketing campaigns have been in vogue with marketers for years and justly so. Surveys have consistently shown that support for the health of the environment, equal access and equal rights are issues that gain favor from the vast majority of consumers. The next generations, those coming after the Baby Boomers, have consistently shown a willingness to deepen their loyalty to brands who support current social issues, particularly those issues that can be considered no-brainers. Crises affecting the whole of society tend to escalate the importance of a brand’s social response. Perhaps the most significant social and health issue of our lifetime is the COVID-19 Pandemic.
“During any crisis, it becomes really a test of the strength of your brand, and how well your brand understands what most matters to people right now,” says Alicia Tillman CMO of SAP. “If you were to define that and take it a step further, it really is about putting the purpose of your brand front and center.” The question is how to effectively develop and launch a purpose-driven campaign while remaining committed to the brand’s established identity and performance goals.
An effective purpose-driven campaign is authentic to the brand and makes sense to the targeted consumer. During the pandemic, companies need to be focused on how they can contribute to the needs of a society that is wounded by the impact of the crisis. The message needs to center on empathy, unity and positivity with long term goals and objectives. How well a campaign performs will be judged by consumers after the crisis is over.
Thus far, some of the most effective purpose-driven campaigns during the pandemic include: Verizon’s Pay it Forward ad, Honda’s Working Together ad and Anheuser-Busch’s One Team campaign. Each focused on helping those most impacted by the virus, honoring the healthcare workers who serve on the front lines and promoting a sense of “we’re all in this together”. A recent survey conducted by the Female Quotient, Google, and Ipsos on how inclusive advertising impacts consumer behavior found that “people are more likely to consider, or even purchase, a product after seeing an ad they think is diverse or inclusive.” The most successful efforts take into account that consumers are diverse, strongly independent and broadly opinionated, so it is critical to get the content and tone of the message right.
Companies large and small must be careful to realize that while it is beneficial to be focused on consumers’ appreciation for important social issues, proper messaging is critical. In the end, a company’s path to success lies in the fact that they are first and foremost marketers of a tangible core competency to a diverse and complex audience. Preachy, blame and shame the consumer messaging will have many customers heading for the door, seeking out other competing brands who are providing better and more acceptable messaging.
For more on how Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) can help build a positive, inclusive and responsible purpose-driven campaign, call 678-686-1125 today.