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Best of 2015: Purpose gains currency

News, 04 January 2016

The idea of brand purpose is becoming more prominent, and the most-read article on this subject on Warc in 2015 went back to basics to explain what purpose is, and why a brand would want one.

In pursuit of brand purpose made clear that marketers should never confuse an objective with purpose or positioning. It's about defining the values that drive a brand: people are buying into the 'why you do it'.

The second most-read article took this idea a stage further. Why should marketers care about 'purpose'? explained how purpose can help with differentiation and liven up a dull product.

The litmus test of whether a company is truly developing purpose, said the article, is whether its social, ethical, HR and environmental activities are integrated into, and expressed by, the marketing plan.

An alternative view was put forward in the third most-read article. Debunking brand purpose dismantled the "flawed" methodology of the study that gave birth to the idea of brand purpose and argued that "there is no proof that ideals deliver success".

While purpose by itself may not deliver success, the fourth most-read article on the topic in 2015 suggested it has an important role to play in helping brands respond to changing situations.


Agile marketing: Purpose keeps a brand agile suggested that, to be agile, a brand needs a high-level, emotionally engaging idea or purpose that can easily be adapted into multiple speedy campaign executions.

The fifth most-read article on brand purpose moved from the abstract to the specific. How General Mills muscled up its marketing with a purpose showed how the food giant has applied the idea of purpose across its portfolio of brands.


For more details about the most read papers on Warc in 2015 on other topics, visit our Most Read page.

Data sourced from Warc