Sustainable business – why brands need a purpose

Purpose is emerging as one of our industry’s hottest topics and greatest challenges as we strive to better engage an increasingly discerning consumer. At Cannes Lions this year, everyone from Jamie Oliver to Pharrell Williams said unwavering purpose or intention was key to their success. Celebrities, non-profits and businesses alike who are getting this right are forging stronger, more meaningful relationships with their consumers, driving social movements, cultural change and commercial success. What does it take to achieve this?


Data2Decisions recently hosted a dinner debate on this topic with senior marketers and communications professionals from 12 organisations including Barclays, Virgin, HS2 and the Ethical Fashion Forum. They brought diverse personal and business perspectives to the table, making for a thought provoking debate.


The debate was reported by Marketing Magazine and can be read online and in the July print issue.  


Karl Weaver, the former CEO of Data2Decisions (pictured above) said the idea for the debate stemmed from an increasing interested in how businesses need a purpose beyond profit that both consumers and employees can align with.


“Marketing is often qualified by a narrow set of KPIs focussed mostly on financial growth. This is changing though as the wider business debate moves on to whether profit is the purpose or the result of what a business does”, said Karl.


“We are shifting from ‘valuing brands and valuing marketing’ to developing ‘brands that are valued’, putting more emphasis, rightly so, back on the start point which is the consumer.


“Our conversations with clients are also evolving. We are talking about new ways to measure the commercial value of being a brand with an unwavering purpose, whether that’s providing an essential service, entertainment or jobs,” he said.