Brands are learning that balancing growth with doing good is a fundamental consumer expectation, according to Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard.

“What’s important for brands to do is to be consistent about these areas, and stick with them for them to have an impact,” the chief global brand officer at the world’s largest advertiser said in an exclusive interview with WARC.

Consumers of all ages – “from Gen Z to Boomers” – are now expecting brands to take a stance on important societal issues, he noted. “People expect more from our brands and our companies.”

That means doing good for society and for the planet. “Nine out of ten consumers say they have a more positive image of a brand or a company when it supports a social or environmental cause,” he pointed out. (For more, read the interview in full: P&G’s Pritchard on balancing brand purpose and business growth.)

But, he cautioned, marketers need to back something that holds true to the brand: “If (the purpose) is too disconnected from the business, then it doesn’t work.”

At the same time, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that marketing campaigns should be designed to deliver growth.

Finding the right balance is key: “If you’re a force for good and not a force for growth, then you’re philanthropy,” Pritchard stated. “Philanthropy is good, but most of it is non-profit.

“If you’re a force for growth and not a force for good, then some of your consumers might think of you as being too much of a mercenary. You have to bring the two together and build in what we call ‘citizenship’ into how the business grows.”

And, he added, this can be a very cost-efficient approach when done well as culturally relevant programs get amplified.

“They get amplified by influencers, they get amplified by the media, they get amplified in social media. They ended up having an even higher ROI, in some cases, because you don’t have to invest as much.”

Marc Pritchard is co-leading the ‘society and sustainability’ stream of the CMO Growth Council, a collaboration between the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Cannes Lions (WARC’s sister company). Read the full CMO Growth Council report here: CMO Growth Council: How the world's top CMOs are reshaping the future of marketing

Sourced from WARC