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The three H's of brand purpose

How times have changed for marketing? Not too long ago, reaching out to customers was easy and accessible. All you had to do was to take your product to advertising platforms like TV, radio and print and our job was done! Organisations "saw the ROI" and measurability was never in question. It was just the right thing to do.

Today, well, it is not so easy. We entered the generation and since its introduction, we face many challenges. The frequent introduction of new platforms from social media to apps, not to mention the increase of media consumption across multi channels, give consumers the opportunity to jump from one new platform to the other; multi-tasking between three screens, leaving us marketers with just a three-second concentration span to grab their attention. It has become visually noisy with every company advertising their own products. To add fuel to the fire, “the solution” that corporates embrace, is to be in more and more places, and their competitors follow suit. This has become a massive challenge and it is affecting every corporate.

Fear not fellow marketers, there are ways to combat this, but you really need to be aware, sincere and willing to make a change. This brings me to my three H’s of brand purpose.

Let’s unpack this now:


The head of brand purpose represents awareness. With so much controversy and pain in the world, it has become impossible to ignore this. Our consumers face so many personal challenges in their day-to-day life. The last thing they are interested in, is a promotion to “buy 1 get 1 free”. Brands need to investigate these daily challenges, and see where their brand values and purpose meets. You need to use intellect and do proper research, to see where you can fit in and drive a purpose that is close to everyone’s heart. I think a brand that really does this well, is Dove. Dove targets women. Women of all shapes and sizes, probably one of the biggest challenges in society. You are defined by the way you look… Dove stands up to this, and finds ways to make society aware that this is not how beauty is defined. Throughout their journey they address all of these insecurities in a positive and nurturing way. Your journey with brand purpose starts with an insight that makes you different, but importantly, something that your consumers can relate to. See it almost as a pitch when you present a new idea to your superiors or clients - you “sell” the dream! Show them where the insight came from, the stats and realities around the cause. Make consumers aware of why you are behind this cause.


The heart of brand purpose represents emotion. Now that you have the purpose, you need to drive that purpose into the heart of the people and you do that with emotion. The heart makes decisions! Humans are emotional beings. We love, we hurt, we cry, we laugh, we stress, we explore, we make mistakes. All of these are conceived by an emotion. Emotions are contagious. If someone is crying or laughing, you want to know why. If something makes you happy or sad, you share it with people. That is how you drive a purpose. Sometimes corporates are so defined by their CI, that they calculate the colour, font and words so carefully, that they forget to calculate emotion that drives the force of consumption.


The hand represents action. When you are in a relationship, you are in a relationship not because of what you are told, but because of actions. Sooner or later if you hear the words, but not the action, you will eventually end the relationship and seek a new one. That’s human behavior. This is exactly what happens in marketing. By standing behind a purpose or a cause, it is the brand’s responsibility to work hand in hand with the consumers or associations, to make a difference, whether it is to improve the life of your consumer, or society. Ever heard the saying: “If he treats his mother like a queen, he will treat you like a queen?” You are defined by your actions.

I want to close off, by saying that sometimes doing good, is good business; but it is not a decision to take lightly. All organisations that have taken the plunge have seen growth within their revenue, but it did take risk and investment. Remember, a low budget is always the mother of invention!

Carmen is looking forward to your call to share in her passion for mobile and show you how to do smart marketing in Africa!

Office: +27(0)11 022 9621
Mobile: +27(0)73 224 6126
Email: az.oc.tnemniatibom@nemrac

30 Jun 2016 10:45


About Carmen Murray

Carmen Murray is one of the most influential modern marketers in South Africa. Her strong background in content, digital, mobile, innovation, and data analytics allows her to identify emerging trends and conceptualise disruptive communication strategies deployed with precision. The customer and their needs are always at the heart of her approach.