Purpose can drive brand creativity

I want to share some insights into the future of brand building.

I want to share some insights into the future of brand building based on a seminar with Procter & Gamble's global marketing and brand building officer Marc Pritchard. (Full disclosure, P&G is a client.)  

The discussion explored the question: How do brand builders adapt and innovate in today's world to rethink what brand building is all about?

Marc spoke of a necessary shift in the mindset of the industry from simply marketing to serving, inspired by a brand's purpose.

I found what Marc outlined of great interest and great relevance from a PR planning perspective. In fact, I was pleased to hear Marc call out PR as a powerful tool to help drive and/or lead a purpose-inspired approach to brand building.  

To start, you need to define why the brand uniquely exists to make lives better – its soul or purpose. Then, look at what the brand delivers to consumers – what Marc called the brand's heart. Only from there can you develop big creative ideas that touch people and inspire them to join the brand community.

When it comes to creating big brand building ideas, P&G considers four platforms:

  1. Innovative new products – an essential, and certainly an area in which P&G excels
  2. New services – programs or offerings that support the brand's promise and can help improve people's lives
  3. Entertainment – a powerful way to activate consumers to participate and reach their hearts
  4. Acts that support the greater good – actions a brand can take that people want to support and believe in  

I believe these are the key platforms that we, as PR professionals, need to consider when developing brand building programs, in addition to considering how to create news value, of course.

Marc said, “If we come out of the recession and return to selling and campaigning, then we may only survive until the next economic downturn. But, if we shift to serving, touching and moving people, inspired by purpose, I believe we will thrive and open up new sources of creativity for our brands.” I couldn't agree more! 

Diana Littman Paige is the MD of the health and well-being practice at Marina Maher Communications.

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