In this guest post, GPJ’s strategy lead, Jessica Quiney (main photo), says it’s no longer good enough for brands to do good, it’s now compulsory…
Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones’ book Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn was written to serve the world changers: the innovators and provocateurs that believe in using business and culture as forces for good. The movement is growing and has hit Australian shores, with hundreds of people attending their recent events in Sydney and Melbourne, turning up to hear inspiring speakers and thinkers from UNICEF, IKEA, Cotton On Foundation, Global Citizen Australia, Microsoft and many more.
Aziz and Jones revealed how doing good is not just cool, it’s good business. Purposeful brands outperform the stock market by 134 per cent. Just this month, the Business Roundtable, which includes the CEOs of leading U.S. companies like Apple and Walmart, issued an open letter titled “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” acknowledging that companies need a purpose beyond profit. Consumers are demanding this, saying they would not care if 77 per cent of everyday brands disappeared. Only meaningful brands will survive and thrive. Purpose is not a fad or a craze; the brands that disregard it risk extinction.
I went along to the first Good Is The New Cool event in Australia – a one-day conference in Sydney that brought together attendees from the worlds of brands, non-profits and culture – to find out more about the relevance of purpose to experiential marketers.
My three key takeaways for marketers are:
- Brand activism is shaking up the world of brand strategy
Millennials and Gen Zs make up more than half the world’s population and account for most of the global workforce. Millennials have a global annual spending power of $2.5 trillion and nearly two-thirds of Millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a clear point of view and stand for something.
Anne Lappe, a writer and activist, said: “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the world you want.” People are increasingly using their product and service choices to create a positive impact on the world, rewarding brands who want to make the world a better place and who reflect their values. Therefore, identifying and articulating your purpose will be crucial for developing a compelling brand strategy.
- Not an add on, purpose should be baked-in
Author Lesa Ukamn said: “We are moving beyond Corporate Social Responsibility into Corporate Social Opportunity.” NGOs and governments can only do so much. Think about the money, reach and resources available to the world’s biggest and most influential brands and businesses. It is time for more brands to recognise their potential impact and step up, framing action as an opportunity, rather than a responsibility.
Instead of thinking of CSR as a last-minute add-on, consider how to embed purpose into your marketing strategy. Don’t assume others have it covered. Look around and identify opportunities to act, to forge partnerships, to start something impactful. What if every brand committed to doing more good in the world, now wouldn’t that be pretty cool?
- The most creative ideas come from unexpected briefs
We love briefs that challenge us to break boundaries, shift perceptions or make a bang. The best briefs move beyond “our sales are down”, “we need to get better leads” or “we need to launch a new product” and challenge us to also do some good in the world. This kind of springboard sparks epic creative ideas.
If you consider the toughest challenges that people and the planet face, and the role you as a brand might like to play in solving that challenge, the springboard for creative thinking becomes extra springy. You never know, throw us a challenge like that and you might just find we come up with an idea that changes the world AND improves your bottom line.
The Good Is The New Cool movement is thought-provoking, inspiring and currently making waves from the boardrooms of Fortune 500 corporations to local marketing agencies in Australia. Are you ready to join in?