Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer and president, healthcare business forMastercard, in an exclusively chat with Brand Equity’s Amit Bapna said “purpose is not just about going green or giving to charity”
“The way in which consumers perceive and interact with brands has greatly changed in the last few years. We are in the age where brands today are defined by their impact on the world. A large number of people believe that brands can make the world better. They want their favourite brands to stand up, have a point of view on issues that matter, and express it proactively. In fact, 86 percent of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own. The evolution makes it imperative for brands to understand that a good product or service is only the starting point. To become a brand that matters, marketers need to identify the brand purpose and live true to it. They need to be authentic, consistent and play for the long haul. While I see some brands are taking conscious view of these evolving consumer expectations, the collective shift will take considerable time. Purpose is not just about going green or giving to charity. Those things are important, but purpose needs to be embedded into the business strategy of the company and felt by consumers as they touch and experience the brand across the world.”
Alan Jope, CEO Unilever – “Purpose is one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve seen for this industry in my 35 years of marketing. Done properly, done responsibly, it will help us restore trust in our industry, unlock greater creativity in our work, and grow the brands we love. However, purposeful marketing is at an important crossroads. Woke-washing is beginning to infect our industry. It’s polluting purpose. It’s putting in peril the very thing which offers us the opportunity to help tackle many of the world’s issues. What’s more, it threatens to further destroy trust in our industry, when it’s already in short supply. There are too many examples of brands undermining purposeful marketing by launching campaigns which aren’t backing up what their brand says with what their brand does. Purpose-led brand communications is not just a matter of ‘make them cry, make them buy’. It’s about action in the world.”
Jope said, “Unilever will not be part of false purpose and will not work with those who are.”
Two weeks ago, the company announced that Unilever’s 28 Sustainable Living Brands, including Dove, Knorr, Persil/OMO, and Rexona, grew 69% faster than the rest of the business in 2018, compared to 47% in 2017.
64% of global consumers say they choose brands because of their stand on social issues
91% of millennials would switch brands for one which champions a cause
Brands recognized for their strong commitment to purpose have grown twice the rate of others over the last 12 years
Jope cited Edelman and Kantar reports
BE’s snap chat with Madonna Badger, CCO and founder of Badger and Winters
What is the next wave of change you foresee (or plan to bring about) at Cannes Lions after your path-defining ‘Women Not Objects’ Movement and its seminal impact at Cannes?
Our campaign, #NoKidsInCages that launched a few days back was in protest to children being separated from their families at the US/Mexico border. The US government is violating every international human rights‘law. It is a tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Our goal is for Congress to pass the “Keeping Families Together Act” There is a link between #NoKidsInCages to the many “Borders” there are in the world besides the physical ones. The color of someone’s skin, if they are LGTBQ, their name, their address, the school they went to. There are so many borders in this world. The question is “What are you going to do to change the world, the system, your company?” Because we all need to Rise Up and make change, no one will do it for us.
Your one big grouse with brands?
For All Brands, All Agencies (as they are their own brands) inclusion, diversity and equality are not just topics. The value systems by which these companies hire and promote (for the most part) are antiquated and broken. The people within these companies need to ‘Rise Up’ and stop accepting the status quo.
Wellness Goes Mainstream
“Health is now everyone’s business,” Matt Eastwood, global chief creative officer at McCann Health, tells BE. He cites the example of Swedish retailer Ikea that won the Health and Wellness Grand Prix at Cannes Lions for ‘ThisAbles’, a line of specially designed furniture add-ons. “Four or five years ago, you would never imagine that a mainstream brand like Ikea could win this accolade. But we are entering a time when Health & Wellness is going mainstream. I think both sides of the marketing communications business, traditional and health, are coming together. The next few years will be amazing as brands start to really focus on the consumer and patient.”
Is it time to re-calibrate? Views from Rajesh Mirchandani, chief communications officer, United Nations Foundation (Grand Prix jury for Good in Health)
“It is getting clear that doing good is not only the preserve of charities or the public sector. Consumers increasingly demand the brands they buy from offer them value, and reflect their values as well. We are seeing more and more brands step up and align themselves to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, because they understand that if they do not act sustainably and responsibly now, their future business models may not be viable.”