Purpose? What purpose? | WARC | The Feed
You didn’t return any results. Please clear your filters.
Purpose? What purpose?
The purpose-driven marketing efforts of businesses are not standing out in the memories of many Americans, new research suggests.
A study by GfK, in collaboration with Goodvertising Agency, found that more than half those surveyed* could not, unprompted, name a single company that was making a difference in one of three key areas – the environment and climate change, diversity and inclusion, and giving back to the community.
Even those brands strongly identified with purpose (eg Ben & Jerry’s) did not get “extra points” from consumers for their efforts when prompted.
Why it matters
Purpose-driven efforts and campaigns appear to have become commonplace, says Eric Villain, client solutions director for marketing effectiveness at GfK. “If a brand were to completely shun causes, that would likely be noticed; but supporting them is not a differentiator anymore.”
There are no quick wins to be had when it comes to purpose: brands need to invest for the long term and to explore new creative ways to stand out and build a lasting legacy.
- Americans who make over $125,000 a year are much more likely to remember at least one brand supporting a cause, compared to those earning $30,000 to $60,000.
- Among those who could name at least one brand that is giving back, the overwhelming majority of mentions went to two retail giants – Amazon and Walmart; Tesla was the only other brand to break the threshold of 100 mentions in a category.
- Previous GfK research has found that brand purpose ads generally underperform mainstream ads when it comes to grabbing and holding viewers’ attention.
This is another example of the gap between what consumers say (they’ll tell researchers they are more likely to buy brands supporting good causes) and what they do (in this case not noticing marketing that tells them about those same causes).
Is the problem with the marketing? Or do consumers’ real interests lie in their wallets? But maybe not all purpose-driven marketing needs to be seen through the eyes of consumers: as the CEO of Mars pointed out recently, addressing social and environmental issues is important in attracting talent to a business.
*2,024 interviews were conducted among a US online population in October and November last year.
Sourced from GfK, WARC
Email this content