"Purpose-driven brands" is one of those buzzwords/phrases you see more and more lately, but the concept behind the phrase has some validity, I think.
Besides consumers' increasing awareness and expectations for the companies and organizations they buy from to have meaningful sustainability programs in place -- encompassing not just environmental consciousness and protection but also social responsibility and community involvement -- some marketing experts say building and marketing your brand on a foundation of a purpose or cause can help mitigate negative consumer perceptions.
"There's a lot of cynicism and distrust in the world of big institutions, and companies really need to share with people what they value, what they care about," said
Marc Pritchard, global brand building officer for P&G (parent company of Iams, Eukanuba and now Natura petfoods), during the Association of National Advertisers convention the week of October 11.
Even if you don't have to worry about negative perceptions, there's a financial benefit to cause marketing, too. "Purpose isn't just good for the soul, it's actually really good for the bottom line," said Dell's former chief marketing officer, Erin, Nelson, at the same meeting.
Plenty of petfood companies and brands
are embracing this philosophy. But there is a possible downside: a "cause-marketing bubble," with nearly every company jumping on the purpose-driven bandwagon and possibly leaving consumers jaded and desensitized, say Jeremy Heimans and Alnoor Ladha in an article
The article lays out helpful tips to ensure your cause marketing is authentic and will really resonate with your consumers.