Why Brands Must Integrate Purpose Into Their DNA

Last week, Times Square hosted more than just the typical array of Sesame Street costumed characters and Broadway show attendees. A major marketing event also took place there: Social Media Week New York. I had the pleasure of attending and got the opportunity to hear from experts on topics ranging from influencer marketing to blockchain technology. Yet the session that stood out to me the most was on a slightly more meaningful topic: “Brand Purpose 2.0: When Doing Good Drives the Bottom Line.”

More and more, consumers are only supporting brands whose values align with their own. According to eMarketer, 58% of US internet users surveyed in 2017 did not make a purchase because they didn’t believe in what a company stood for. So, it’s critical for brands to build “doing good” into their DNA. This was a key theme of the session I attended, which featured three marketers representing a range of purpose-first brands: Sonos, Peace First, and Absolut Elyx of Pernod Ricard. By the end of the discussion, one thing was clear to me — brands can no longer rely exclusively on CSR teams to carry out community outreach and sustainability efforts. Instead, they need to integrate purpose into their business models from the start.

For example, Digital Director Jeremie Moritz, the representative from Absolut Elyx, illustrated how sustainability and philanthropy are core to their business model. Not only does Absolut Elyx use only exceptional raw ingredients in production, but they also use sustainable techniques (think: paper straws instead of plastic) and recycle whenever possible. Additionally, with water being an essential component of vodka, Absolut Elyx is partnering with Water For People in a five-year mission to provide access to safe water to over 100,000 people worldwide.

Following Absolut Elyx’s lead, brands should focus on taking a comprehensive approach to social responsibility. At Cuebiq, we have taken steps to achieve this through our Data For Good initiative, which we launched in 2017. By sharing our anonymous location data with researchers at top universities and nonprofit organizations, we are able to help them identify patterns to improve quality of life in underserved communities, aid with natural disaster planning and relief, and develop smart cities. Finding opportunities to use our data for the greater good is part of our responsibility as a leading location intelligence company. In this way, purpose is paramount to us.

social media week sign displayed on screen

Isabel Sperry

Manager, Brand Marketing

Isabel is a digital marketer with a background in blogging, graphic design, and social media management. A graduate of Yale University, she majored in American Studies and is passionate about American literature and art history.