BW Summit: To have long term growth, brands must have purpose: Preeti Reddy

At the BW Marketing Whitebook Summit, Preeti Reddy, CEO, South Asia, Kantar highlighted five important mind markers that define a brand's purpose

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 30, 2019 9:22 AM
BW Whitebook Summit Preeti Reddy Kantar

It was a day of deep insights and brand lessons for marketers at the BW Marketing Whitebook Summit. Weaving examples of brands that stood out as Brands with Purpose, Kantar CEO, South Asia, Preeti Reddy enlightened and enthralled the audience as she explained why ‘purpose’ was the new buzzword in the marketing world. In her words, “One of the most important things that a company or a brand must have is purpose, if it is to have long term growth.”

What followed was a passionate and thought-provoking presentation of brands and campaigns that have imbibed the philosophy of purpose and also serving and celebrating the greater good.

Reddy explained how purpose itself was nothing new but had simply evolved over time and moved from being defined as Corporate Social Responsibility to green marketing, sustainability and now as conscious consumption.

The basic premise, according to her was simply that companies can do well by doing good. Further adding, “There is proof that purpose leads to profitable growth, I'm going to refer to a study that we have done at Kantar called Purpose 2020 which surveyed more than 20,000 consumers and carried out 100 deep-dive interviews with leading brands. One of the major findings was that brands that have a high sense of purpose have seen their brand valuation increase by over 175%, over the last 12 years versus a median growth rate of 86%.”

Making an interesting pitch for the inclusion of purpose in brands, Reddy explained how there were three steps that take purpose from a tactic to a movement. She delved deeply into the two concepts of –articulation and infusion, saying that, “articulation is really about defining what you stand for and the role you want to play in the world.”  

The five important mind markers that define one's purpose, she explained were – about being meaningful through societal tension and localisation, being true to the brand character and the company, being unique within the category, being coherent on a company and brand level and being business proof for long term growth and impact. To better understand the mind markers, Reddy cited several examples of brands such as Airbnb, Body Shop, Tata Tea, Asian Paints, Lego and Savlon that according to her were brands with a deep purpose and brands that had understood the true essence of this philosophy.  

Elaborating further on the concept of infusion she explained how it meant moving beyond the brand and the company to have a greater impact. She said, “Take Nike for example, their sustainable business and innovation departments say that every dollar that is spent on a sport saves 3 dollars on health care, Nike believes that the future of humanity depends on physical movement, and with this belief, Nike has identified the domains that its products will contribute to like sport, health and it focuses on that. But it is clearly going beyond just the brand and the company.”

Reddy wrapped up the engrossing session by explaining how purpose also has a greater impact if it is leadership-driven, has a 360 degree executed approach and impact -measured. Her parting advice, ”Your purpose should be embraced by everybody in your organization, and executed in every proposition, it should influence every decision that the company makes.”

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