A common theme at the first Mad//Fest was the importance of brands not just having a positioning statement but acting on it at all times. Never has it been more important for a brand to have a purpose.
At Mad//Fest former Red Bull marketer Huib van Bockel spoke about how the brand had created a lifestyle, not just an energy drink. The brand actually gives people wings, it doesn't just say it will. There are lots of examples of this by Red Bull; of course there's sporting events but the company also invests in projects like Red Bull Amaphiko, which champions social entrepreneurs. It gives wings to people's ideas and makes them happen.
We no longer want to shop with brands who say they are good, they have to be doing good for the world around them.
For example, Nike's Community Impact programme brings sport to children around the world whilst Unilever's "Every U Does Good" campaign is the hub of numerous initiatives. For example, “I'm Wall’s” provides training and equipment to unemployed young people so they can discover what it takes to become an ice cream vendor.
The importance of social purpose is something we explored at our own event recently alongside Disruption. Laurence Kembell-Cook, founder and CEO of Pavegen, spoke about the power of footsteps to bring about real change to communities around the world. When people walk on Pavegen they generate energy to power the area around them. This has helped power airports to soccer pitches in Rio, helping the environment and people at the same time.
Thomas Kolster of Goodvertising brought the value of brands doing good to life, citing findings from The Good Life Report which show 80% of customers globally want to buy from companies they believe are doing a good job in the world.
When building a communications strategy brands need to put purpose at the centre. Soon it will be a prerequisite rather than a way to stand out. Currently only 6% of people think the companies they buy from are doing good - let's change that!
“Whether our customers are getting happier over time [is how we measure success]. That’s something that’s embedded in the business. We should be wired around the customer,” he concluded.