In 1890, Lever Bros’ founder William Hesketh Lever wrote his ideas for his revolutionary product Sunlight Soap that helped in popularizing cleanliness as well as hygiene. The philosophy was focused on the fact that business should exist beyond the economic transactions and that is to serve the society on a larger purpose. This concept is nothing but purpose driven marketing.
After a century, the need for the brands to have a purpose that was never important is coming up. In the digital world, millions of transactions take place every hour, and customers move from one brand to another. The brands are facing the challenge of diminishing attention spans and increasing media clutter. A brand without any great purpose might become irrelevant in the existing complex environment.
CRM (Cause Related Marketing) has addressed some challenges like this. But, it is time that the CRM is given a rethought. While CRM has some impact, the question is if the cause is relevant to the brand, why the brand should not be able the cause?
These days, the brands must recognize a purpose that impacts people they serve. This purpose must influence everything that the brand does. This is a sustainable way for the brands to create an impact in the society.
USLP (Unilever Sustainable Living Plan) offers a framework for the brands to know and define a purpose so that they engage with the society. Based on the purpose, business models are created and this will impact millions of lives. In fact, some pioneering work of HUL has been influenced by the same.
For instance, the Help a Child Reach Five of Lifebuoy emphasizes the necessity to adopt the hygiene of hand washing. India has recorded the highest number of child deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhea every year. Rin came up with the Rin Career Ready Academy that will provide skill development for the youngsters to improve their livelihood.
The trend of purpose driven marketing must go beyond brand communication and it should be the heart of business models and product innovation. The necessity for the brands to be purpose driven has never been this big. The impact is the development of scalable and sustainable development.