Leading With Purpose

In times of uncertainty, the core of companies and brands is exposed as consumers ask more questions and demand more transparency.
What does this mean for marketing and communications efforts? Past and emerging research is clear – as we move forward into a new reality, audiences and consumers will be more cautious about who they trust.

As audiences and customers look for value, the values at the heart of brands will matter more than ever.

Lead with purpose.

Research shows that “purpose” is the third-most important element when it comes to a brand’s reputation. Awareness of a brand’s purpose breeds loyalty and engagement, particularly among audiences who want advocates for a cause, care for the world around them, and show responsibility for larger cultural and global issues.

That’s even more true in economic downturns, where audiences – particularly younger ones – are concerned with what an organization stands for as much as what they sell or offer.

For leaders at purpose-driven organizations, this might not seem to be much of a leap – you know who you are and what you represent, after all.  But it is a time to make sure that what you’re saying and doing matches who you are.

React Quickly.

A clearly articulated purpose enables organizations (and their employees) to evolve and transform quicker than those without core values.

Take two examples of very different purpose-driven brands that adapted in ways authentic to who they are:

National Geographic Partners, already a leader in science education, pivoted to offering remote learning resources

Air Co, a sustainable vodka producer, temporarily shifted their entire production to make carbon-neutral hand sanitizer

Assess and take the next step.

View this as the perfect moment to look at your communication, messaging, and marketing systems, and make adjustments. What’s working? What’s not? And are you ready for what comes next?

Ask the following four questions as a basic organizational self-assessment:

  1. Who are we at our core?
  2. Are we telling that story to our audiences and employees?
  3. Do our brand and visual identity reflect who we are?
  4. Is our messaging prioritized correctly, and is it aligned with our vision and mission?

Nimble brands are embracing our new realities and setting precedents for audience engagement strategies. How will your organization rise to the challenge?