As per a recent study by Accenture research, 63% consumers prefer to purchase products and services from companies that live by a bigger purpose that goes beyond their corporate bottom line. Up until recently, brands were basking in the glory of successfully articulated brand values, but it’s a different ball game now on. Today’s consumer preferences are shifting more and more towards brands with purpose. Brands now behold the additional responsibility of making a positive difference to the world. As per a Harvard Business Review study, 64% of consumers who associate with a brand do so if the said brand shares their own beliefs and values. It’s no surprise then that brand marketers are increasingly viewing their social commitments as integral to winning customer loyalty. As a result, traditional businesses and companies too are rethinking their idea of brand marketing, to one that reflects authenticity and greater risk-taking.
Here are some brands that are setting a great benchmark in this regard:
– Levi’s: Late last year, Levi’s dared to do what few American brands would it launched a campaign propagating better gun control in America. In his open letter featured in Fortune, Levi-Strauss CEO Chip Bergh said, “We simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work. While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.” Levis definitely ain’t all talk no action. The brand has set up ‘Safer Tomorrow’, a $1m Fund to “fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America.” That’s not all; the company is also working on tackling this issue by getting business leaders to encourage their respective employees to get more politically active.
–The Body Shop: For most part of the last 18 months, the cosmetic retailer has been working on revamping its brand purpose in order to put “activism at the heart of its brand strategy”. True to their aim of being a feminist brand, their reinvented brand purpose will be gender-equality focussed. As explained by their head of global activism, Macneil-Brown: “We’re seeing our way into the women’s rights space because at the heart of our activism we want to work towards gender equality”. In an effort to ensure activism remains at the core of their stores, they are up-skilling their store teams to run local activism projects as well as organizing periodic workshops conducted by grass-root activist groups.
–IKEA: Swedish company, IKEA has launched its ambitious urban farming program in collaboration with British designer, Tom Dixon. The idea of this partnership is to explore the future of urban farming by encouraging patrons to explore innovative means to utilize their home space for agriculture. It was kick-started with a show providing a futuristic look into how urban dwellers can use their kitchens and rooftops to grow food with least amount of energy consumption and minimal carbon footprint. It has already started integrating urban farming techniques in its own stores – case in point, in March IKEA announced they were growing lettuce in their shipping containers, only to use the produce later in their store restaurants!