CANNES: HP, the technology company, is activating its brand purpose both for strategic reasons and to help it navigate an increasingly complex sociocultural environment.

Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing and communications officer at HP, referenced this subject at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“I believe that [purpose] has become more important than ever,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: HP message to Cannes: Brand purpose drives enterprise.)

“The only way you’re able to navigate all the social, economic and cultural issues that we’re facing today – whether it is in the UK, or the United States, or China – is by having a very clear and well-articulated sense of purpose.”

HP’s purpose is to “create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” he explained. And this philosophy both helps the brand pick its strategic priorities and steers the enterprise about when to enter controversial debates.

Marketing chiefs at big companies, he continued, are now “constantly figuring out” which hot-button topics they should wade into – be it immigration, gun control, climate change, gender equality, and so on – and those to avoid.

“The only filter that you actually have to be able to articulate the ones in which you are going to lead, the ones you are going to [push] as an industry, and the ones you are going to leave behind is by having a clearly-articulated sense of purpose,” said Lucio.

That mission, in turn, constitutes an invaluable guide when analysing profound sociocultural discussions. More specifically, it feeds into two “filters” that shape the firm’s decision-making process when it comes to taking action.

“What are the issues that are critical for the survival of our business? And what are the issues that are critical for the survival of our culture?” Lucio said as he described the lenses that HP applies. “That created a very clear plan of action for when to engage and when not to engage.”

The first “critically important issue” that HP has identified via this route is sustainability – primarily because looking after the planet coincides with its aim to “make life better”.

Similarly, driving diversity – within its own four walls, and also in partner agencies and production companies – is a core priority for HP.

“We fundamentally believe … that diversity is a source of innovation. Without it, we will not be able to deliver the types of products and services that we are delivering,” said Lucio.

Sourced from WARC