Purpose Incorporated: A primer for brands in APAC

A three-part series tackling the complexities and nuances of how brands can go beyond profit to do good and do better in the Asia-Pacific region.

About this series

A three-part series tackling the complexities and nuances of how brands can go beyond profit to do good and do better – for themselves and others – in the Asia-Pacific region.

It seeks to offer a curated collection of world class expertise, evidence and examples to help brands with strategies, actionable insights and practical steps they can implement today to begin the journey to reorient their business to truly contribute to people and planet through profitable solutions.

Read the full introduction

Chapter one: Mindsets and management

Purpose incorporated: A comparative review of the Asia Pacific region

This companion report is a part of WARC’s special series on sustainability, social impact, diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) issues in Asia Pacific.

This comparative review offers an overview of what the landscape looks like in the region. It aims to showcase the breadth of initiatives in APAC and the businesses, local and global, already constructing ecosystems, building circular economies and serving their communities.

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Much purpose-talk but little purpose-action

Economics of Mutuality Solutions’ Alastair Colin-Jones and Yassine El Ouarzazi discuss what is it about the notion of purpose that makes it so different from sustainability or responsibility.

Embarking on a purpose journey is a whole-company endeavour involving strategy, finance, sustainability, HR and marketing. What is needed in a company-wide transformation is an orchestrator, someone that can see how the different teams can work together, what they bring and what they don’t.

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Chapter Two: Diversity and Inclusion

Skin deeper: How brands can get advertising representation right for growth in APAC

To grow a brand across Asia Pacific, Irene Joshy says it is imperative to establish consumer trust by demonstrating how the brand engages in DEI authentically.

As advertising actively shapes cultural discourse, the pandemic has thrown socio-economic inequalities into sharp focus. The proliferation of social media platforms has given consumers a bolder and louder voice to talk diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI).

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Putting purpose into practice

Economics of Mutuality Solutions’ Alastair Colin-Jones and Yassine El Ouarzazi introduce their practical five-step iterative process for organisations to embark on the purpose journey.

In light of purpose, success for marketers must be about driving behaviour change that helps to address the meaningful challenge of the business.

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Chapter Three: The purpose in profit

How to put purpose into practice effectively

Economics of Mutuality Solutions’ Alastair Colin-Jones and Yassine El Ouarzazi examine three examples of businesses that have put purpose into practice effectively with their meaningful challenge purpose, ecosystem focus and holistic performance.

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More on WARC

Case studies

Hindustan Unilever Limited: The Shower

Brand Hindustan Unilever
Agency Ogilvy India
Country India

Lenzing: Enabling the fashion world to “Feel So Right” with Tencel™ brand strategic communication campaign

Brand Lenzing
Agency BCW
Country Global

Clear: Encouraging millennials to Come Back Stronger

Brand Clear
Agency MullenLowe Group Singapore
Country Global

Janssen Asia Pacific: Taking mental health out of the shadows – Launching the Asia Pacific integration index

Brand Janssen Asia Pacific
Agency Weber Shandwick
Country Asia Pacific

Hanwha Group: Solar Boat - Clean Up Mekong

Brand Hanwha Group
Agency Innocean Worldwide
Country Vietnam

Uber India: #JerseyKnowsNoGender

Brand Uber India
Agency Dentsu Webchutney
Country Global

Senco Gold and Diamonds: Jewellery beyond gender

Brand Senco Gold and Diamonds
Agency Adfactors PR
Country India

Rexona: Gerak Tak Terbatas (Unlimited Moves)

Brand Rexona
Country Asia Pacific

Eisai Korea: Who Sprinkled Salt on My Cake!

Brand Eisai Korea
Agency Weber Shandwick / McCann Healthcare
Country South Korea

Save the Children: 100 Words Pain_ting

Brand Save the Children
Agency Overman Seoul
Country South Korea

Mind Hong Kong: Breaking the HK Mental Health Taboo

Brand Mind Charity
Agency Sinclair
Country Hong Kong

Rinso: Let's Be Plastic Responsible

Brand Rinso
Agency MullenLowe Group Singapore
Country Indonesia

WWF: How WWF began to turn the tide on plastic

Brand WWF
Agency Grey Malaysia, Petaling Jaya
Country Global

Dove: Not Just One Brand of Real Beauty

Brand Dove
Agency PHD Hong Kong, Secret Tour Hong Kong
Country Hong Kong


Responsible business

At WARC diversity, equity and inclusion is core to us. We are committed to building an inclusive and tolerant culture for our colleagues, customers, partners and the industry; regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, age, religion or belief.

Read more about WARC's commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion

Partners and Associations

Uncommon Kind

Uncommon Kind is a global leadership consultancy that helps executive leaders who insist on a legacy defined by meaningful outcomes for business, people, and planet. Using a unique hybrid model of wrap around support (coaching x consulting x training), we enable leaders to architect strategies for holistic solutions that matter. To find out how to you and your business can benefit visit www.uncommonkind.co

Economics of Mutuality

The Economics of Mutuality is an independent public interest foundation with a strategic management consultancy arm. It advocates and applies a management innovation that empowers business to thrive by meeting the needs of the world. This platform operates globally from Maison de la Paix in Geneva with offices in Washington, D.C., Brussels, and Hong Kong. Find out more: https://eom.org/

Want a more bespoke approach and support for your DEI goals?

Contact our WARC Advisory team for more