The commercial value of purpose in advertising

This article examines the potential value of purpose-driven advertising to brands and how Dove, the consumer goods brand, has delivered great economic and societal value.

The concept of 'brand purpose' has become ubiquitous in marketing discussions. As a result, there is a risk of the idea falling into disrepute through misunderstanding and misapplication.

So it's probably best to start with a definition of what I mean by 'purpose'.

To my mind, one of the best articulations of what 'purpose' in the world of commerce means is Simon Sinek's rightly admired TED talk, 'How great leaders inspire action', in which he distinguishes between the 'what you do' (product features) from the 'how you do it' (positioning and benefits) and the 'whyyou do it' (values,...

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