April 19, 2023dotNiels Kramer

Redefining Success: How Purpose-driven Marketing Transforms Business and Society

Since this is our first article here, it will be an introduction to the topic of purpose-driven marketing. In future articles, I’ll dig a little deeper and provide tools and inspiring stories that will help you implement purpose-driven marketing in your own brand.

As a marketer, it’s been eating at me for a long time that I’m sometimes asked to promote behavior that I know is not good for the world or the customer/client. I’ve come to realize that what I once thought to be a success is actually harming stakeholders and the world as a whole. Now, you might be thinking, “Here comes another tree-hugging leftie who’s lost touch with reality.” And you might be right on the tree-hugging leftie part, but I don’t think I lost touch with reality. So, give me a chance here to explain how you can do good, set yourself apart from competitors, and make a higher profit while you’re at it.

In this article, we will explore a new wave of marketing which is called purpose-driven marketing (AKA impact marketing or conscious marketing), which is transforming the way businesses and consumers interact. This approach prioritizes the purpose behind a brand, making it a guiding light in the marketing process, and emphasizes the long-term impact on society and the environment. We will discuss the importance of purpose, stakeholder integration, and how conscious marketing creates value by promoting culture and fostering positive change.

The Importance of Purpose:

Purpose-driven marketing is the belief that a brand’s purpose should be the guiding force behind its marketing efforts, acting as a lighthouse directing where and how to market.

It’s amazing to feel how a purpose makes marketing a lot easier. Suddenly the road ahead is clear; you know what to do, what to say, and to whom. If your purpose is connected to your passion (which is most likely the case), you will find yourself working energized and with contagious joy.

By clearly defining their purpose, brands can attract like-minded customers who resonate with their message and story. This connection goes beyond mere transactional relationships, creating a strong bond between the brand and its customers. As most marketers know, customer loyalty and low churn rates are the strongest drivers of increased revenue there are.

A purpose-driven approach enables businesses to focus on long-term goals, rather than short-term gains. This is in stark contrast to traditional marketing, which often encourages overconsumption and causes pollution, disease and mental disorders. Impact marketing is about promoting a culture of sustainability, social responsibility, and creating value through innovation.

Marketers can be Healers!

Marketers should see themselves as healers. Think about what drives customers and how your brand can help them, on a social, environmental, physical, and spiritual level. Really help…not sell!

Examples include a restaurant encouraging customers to personally deliver meals to the elderly in need in the neighborhood. Or a shampoo brand that organizes annual hair donations in order to make wigs for cancer patients.

Stakeholder Integration:

In conscious marketing activities, businesses go beyond considering only their customers and shareholders. They prioritize the well-being and interests of all stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, communities, the environment, and the planet as a whole. Conscious leadership is key to achieving this integration, as it involves making ethical decisions that reflect the brand’s purpose and values.

By treating all stakeholders with respect and fairness, brands can cultivate loyalty, trust, and long-lasting relationships. Employee empowerment, for instance, can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity. Suppliers who share the brand’s values and are treated as partners will be more likely to deliver high-quality products and services. Clients, on the other hand, will appreciate the brand’s dedication to social and environmental responsibility, which often results in higher customer retention rates and customers who are willing to pay a premium.

Suddenly, you”re not stuck anymore in the vicious circle of price competition! Also, word-of-mouth marketing will become a significant marketing driver, which is, of course, a lot cheaper than paid advertising.

Impact Marketing in Action:

Some well-known brands have already embraced the concept of impact marketing, using it to create positive change in their industries. Patagonia, for example, is a brand that puts the environment at the forefront of its business model, donating 1% of sales to environmental causes and promoting sustainable practices throughout its supply chain. TOMS Shoes is another brand with a strong social mission, donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold. And there are so many other examples.

As more brands adopt impact marketing, we can expect to see a shift in how marketing is perceived and practiced, ultimately benefiting consumers, businesses, and the environment alike.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, take a moment to think about how your company could become more purposeful. I believe that every company can be purposeful and can have a positive impact on its surrounding.

Remember that we’re here to help guide you on this journey toward making a meaningful impact while staying competitive and profitable. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and let’s create a better future together.

By Niels Kramer, Founder of human, brands & marketing.