In retrospect, 2018 will be regarded as the year purpose went mainstream, says the chief marketing officer of IKEA in a new WARC report that highlights brand purpose strategy trends for effective marketing.

The Effective Use of Brand Purpose Report 2018 is based on an analysis of the winners of the Effective Use of Brand Purpose category of this year’s international WARC Awards and identifies common themes from marketing initiatives that have successfully embraced a brand purpose and achieved commercial success as well as a benefit for a wider community.

“Purpose, product and profit have a symbiotic relationship: they work together,” said Claudia Willvonseder, chair of the judging panel and IKEA CMO. “There are more than enough studies now available that show how strong, purposeful brands enjoy positive results, not just in terms of profit, but also in terms of positive impact on the world.

“In 2018 so far, I have heard ‘purpose’ being discussed more often than ‘positioning’ in marketing circles,” she added. “I expect that, in the future, this year will be seen as the tipping point when purpose went mainstream.”

The themes identified in the report include:

  • Purpose needs participation: Grand Prix-winner Bodyform/Libresse increased its share of voice in the feminine hygiene sector through having its message amplified by a vocal community supporting the brand’s boldness.
  • Caution is needed with ‘empowerment’ campaigns: female empowerment campaigns are becoming so common they are in danger of blending into each other.
  • Purpose can demonstrate dual impact: a clear commercial benefit as well as a societal benefit is crucial in proving that brand purpose is a sustainable business strategy.
  • TV is a popular channel choice for purpose: online video and social media play important supporting roles in the media mix, but TV remains the preferred channel for brands looking to establish a purposeful position.
A sample of WARC’s Effective Use of Brand Purpose Report 2018 can be downloaded here. The full report is available to WARC subscribers and includes chapter analysis with views and opinions from the judges, as well as summaries – objectives, insights, strategies, results and takeaways – of the winning case studies.

Now in their third year, the WARC Awards 2019 are open for entries, with the deadline for submissions being 19 February 2019. Free to enter, there is a $40,000 prize fund for the winning papers. Full details are available on the Awards site.

Sourced from WARC