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Brand purpose is dead? Get real.

I read recently that brand purpose had died. This point had been punctuated with an image of the recent Oasis ‘togetherness’ campaign; a tongue in cheek point of the finger at those worthy brands who pollute the ad world by begging consumers to change feminism forever by using their exfoliating shower gel, or to stop innocent dolphins being killed by drinking their mid-strength lager.

But within that very Oasis campaign is the contradiction – it represents a clear brand purpose, one which they established in 2015 when they waged war on ad-nonsense and have committed to ever since; to be ‘refreshing, entertaining and distinctive’. Oasis are unafraid to say what their audience are thinking, a great demonstration of a brand with a clear purpose, well executed.

The truth is consumers are becoming wiser and seeing through the bullshit, they’re tired of it. They don’t want to be patronised, they see through that, they demand transparency and if they doubt something they can go online and find out – they know where you make your trainers, what you put in your sandwiches or how much you pay your staff.
With more information available than ever, markets becoming increasingly crowded and consumers more interested and aware of the impact brands have, brand purpose isn’t dead, it’s more vital than ever.
The difficult thing for many brands, and advertisers, to accept is the need for authenticity. Brand purpose must be routed in a brand truth, it must be real – Look at Toms (shoes) and ask again if brand purpose is dead?

Brands who have a genuine purpose, to which they are committed and communicate well will gain stronger connections with likeminded consumers than those that don’t.

- Ben Norman

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