Communicate ‘how’ a brand is purpose-driven

Consumers are smart; they want to know 'how' a brand is purpose-driven

By Jalaja Ramanunni

Sarah Curtis and Zainab Imichi Alhassan Alli

As the global consumer base becomes increasingly aware of social and environmental issues, brands are recognising the need to communicate their purpose beyond just profits. Purpose-driven communication has emerged as a powerful tool to connect with consumers who want to engage with companies that share their values and beliefs. It goes beyond traditional marketing approaches.

POP Communications launched a new division dedicated to purpose- driven brands, Earthling & Co. It offers brand-building and communication support services to companies that want to speak to global, informed and responsible consumers in the Middle East.

Consumers are smart

Alongside greenwashing, buzz words and phrases such as sustainable, green, eco-conscious, mindful, and animal-friendly, have become standard marketing vocabulary that raises a skeptic’s eyebrows.

Sarah Curtis, Co-Founder, POP Communications and Co-Earthling. comments, “Just talking about a brand’s purpose is losing its meaning unless it becomes a way of doing business at every interaction throughout the entire organisation. Talking about the specifics of a firm’s process is way more impactful than saying it operates in a particular manner. Today’s consumers are smart and brands are competing for market share. Brands need to authentically engage to grasp consumer buy-in. For example, if a chocolate brand is committed to ethical farming and practices, communicate and demonstrate the strides the firm has taken to support these beliefs,” Curtis adds.

IBM’s findings reveal that consumers choose products and brands based on how well they align to their values. Purpose-driven consumers now represent the largest segment, 44 per cent of consumers. The numbers are based on a global survey of more than 19,000 respondents across 28 countries.

On creating a separate division

25 per cent of POP Communications’ client portfolio consisted of brands that are committed to changing the world. They decided to create a new division within their firm to cater to these needs. Curtis comments, “The decision to transition to a separate decision supports our firm’s overall growth development and plans but was also considered a strategic tactic to further engage in this space”.

MENA’s focus on sustainability

Sustainable and environment-friendly practices have been common practice globally. Curtis shares that the MENA region, and particularly the UAE, have made immense strides over the last few years. “It has picked up in recent years across the region and has become a practice that entities need to engage in to tick a box or compete with their peers. Unfortunately, this often contradicts the intent, leading to consumer skepticism. The region’s f&b sector has made a conscious and determined effort towards sustainable practices due to the gap in resources. Technology is also playing a big role in the f&b industry’s sustainable operations. Alongside delivery services, platforms that support and manage inventory and operations management, facilitate efficiency by saving, time and resources,” she says.