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17 August 2022
Three principles for activating pragmatic purpose
Having a purpose isn’t enough for many sectors, it’s now about what you do with it – and that creates a need for pragmatism when planning purpose: We Are Rival’s DuBose Cole lays out a model for positive brand action.
Why it matters
These days it seems like every brand wants to have a purpose, but rather than instantly jumping on the bandwagon, measured action and a realistic long term plan is advised.
Be realistic about what you can achieve. Adopt a pragmatic approach to purpose by aiming to outperform the ‘moral average’ in your sector. This allows a brand to understand where the ‘floor’ is for business impact.
Plan an authentic purpose that is reflected in your product. An integrated product / purpose story helps to wrap product benefits and features in additional value, elevating their importance and value. Purpose integration multiplies value in and out of an organisation, as it provides a north star for product development and a goal for employees to push towards.
Incremental brand action can help businesses build towards the best way to activate a brand purpose. Establish initial actions and developing further towards where impact or consumer engagement is being created can help break down the complexity of purpose into clear steps and tests.
“Change and sustained impact come from a series of actions, not one off gestures or announcements – and this requires building a realistic plan for the long term. Brands that set out to become activists on day one risk creating a negative, not positive impact – feeding into cynicism and disbelief that business can’t be a force for good amongst a worried consumer base” – DuBose Cole, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, We Are Rival.