Frank Cooper III, global chief marketing officer of BlackRock, an American global investment management company, shared in his presentation at the 2020 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference: A Virtual Experience, how brands can effectively be purpose driven. To succeed in business right now and in the future, “a brand needs integrity, social license and commercial opportunity,” said Cooper. The “tectonic shifts” of COVID-19 means that brands have to work harder to meet consumer expectations.
Brands Should Strive To Be Good And Great When Meeting The Complex Demands Of Consumers
“I'm not saying that product and customer experience don't matter. In fact, they matter immensely. But the reality is people expect more. They want brands that truly matter and that represent not just greatness, but goodness,” asserted Cooper, citing Facebook as an example of a brand that is outstanding at what they do, but which is having difficulty maintaining the “social license” that brands need to gain the trust of the public.
According to Cooper, consumers today want convenience and privacy plus the best products and services, but preferably from brands that are helping (or at least not harming) their communities while providing inside-out brand transparency. Consumers are the stakeholders. For that reason, according to Cooper, brands need to be purpose driven to compete in a global market in which brands and businesses are increasingly embracing more corporate social responsibility (CSR), more meaningful diversity and inclusion policies and a deeper reckoning with how their brands navigate a changing world.
Being A Successful Purpose-Driven Brand Includes Emphasizing People, Processes and Culture
Cooper outlined the principles that he believes are the keys to being a successful purpose driven brand:
Find purpose: Cooper asks, “What is the ultimate goal of the brand? Why does the company exist? And, how can brands demonstrate this purpose on a day-to-day basis?”
Merge brand and reputation: The rise of social media means communications must be managed in a way that is inclusive of transactional and philanthropic endeavors. Cooper believes it is no longer possible to keep brand and reputation separate.
Go beyond product: Treat people, processes and culture like brand assets. “Open the aperture,” especially with diversity and inclusivity programs and employee programs. Meet and exceed the expectations of employees and customers.
Merge art and science: Set aside the civil war between brand marketers and performance marketers, which Cooper believes is a distraction anyway, and put data next to a creator, letting the collaboration serve the brand’s purpose.
“Brands that serve people, society and the planet will endure,” said Cooper, noting a new set of winners that emerge when brands find a principled purpose they can execute on every day. “Customers, suppliers, communities and shareholders are all winners when a brand finds their purpose.”
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