A recap from #CommsCamp planning webinar with Muckle Media, Managing Director Nathalie Agnew and guest speaker, Caroline Fisher.
The Hot Topic!
It’s a conversation many comms teams are having at the moment; purpose led communications. In its simplest form, a purpose led strategy involves using the power of a brand to create a better world, and this often drives innovation in business.
A perfect example of a successful purpose led strategy was the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, which created cut through in an industry which traditionally has presented an ‘ideal beauty image’ as the holy grail for consumers to aspire to. Instead, Dove used real people as models, which Caroline framed as ‘category show stopping at the time’. They leaned into the issue that young teenage girls were experiencing diminished confidence as a result of these aspirations. It achieved distinctiveness with a purpose.
In one camp, people see purpose as a ‘silver bullet strategy’ and putting it at the forefront of everything you do will result in success. The other camp refutes the power of purpose and finds it difficult for consumers to connect with. Caroline sees the answer laying somewhere in the middle. She explains, ‘it’s powerful not just from a communications perspective but from an organisation point of view’ but advised against jumping on the bandwagon – purpose needs to come from the centre and run throughout the organisation, it can’t just be used for comms.
Caroline joined ASICS EMEA 18 months ago and wanted to put purpose at the heart of everything they do. By looking at the heritage of the organisation, Caroline unpicked their strengths through purpose and identified four key principles that help deliver success.
Four principles to purpose led communications
- Make your purpose distinctive. This is where companies can fall into a trap of ‘sameness’ so explore how your competitors are positioning themselves and find your unique purpose.
- Be credible. Build your purpose on a much higher level than just your product or service.
- Be relevant. Consider if the topic is something people care about, are you leaning into a trend or are you focussing on an issue? What you may see as important isn’t necessarily what the world feels so lean into cultural trends that already exist.
- Be prepared to commit. It’s easy to define and create a purpose but it won’t materialise unless you’re prepared to do something. As Fiona Milliken said in a previous #CommsCamp interview, think in years not months.
From this Caroline believes that there can be huge business benefits from having your purpose become your positioning and revolving everything around it.
Employees – the best brand advocates
Your employees are brand advocates from day one, so be sure to implement lots of training, activities, and benefits that feed back into your core purpose. ASICS’ purpose is ‘sound mind, sound body’ and they have a strong belief that the two are inextricably linked. With a healthy mind, we will be motivated to move and when we move our bodies, we move our minds to become optimistic, energised and clear.
Caroline also added that ‘it’s important to land your purpose internally before taking it outside, it your employees don’t believe in what you are projecting it could potentially backfire on you’. Try building partnerships you can go far with and who share the same purpose values.
And as Caroline concluded ‘be single minded and committed to what you’re working on. Don’t be afraid to put money behind it and do something different!’.
In our next #CommsCamp workshop we will be discussing steps you could implement to help interact better with your colleagues and employees and a core part of this is having a shared organisation and team.
If you missed the ‘planning’ session you can view it back here: https://fb.watch/1F1EJBOpal/