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From Purpose to Profit: A Fresh Perspective on Brand Advertising

Darpan Sharma - November 17, 2023 - 0 comments

Brand Purpose: A Fresh Perspective

In today’s ever-evolving marketing landscape, the concept of brand purpose has surged to the forefront. Companies, both large and small, are increasingly adopting brand purpose as a means to forge a deeper connection with consumers and advocate for various causes. However, navigating the integration of purpose into advertising is a nuanced journey, particularly when viewed through the lens of an Indian audience.

Balancing Purpose and Profit

The idea of ‘purpose’ in advertising is a potent tool, yet striking the right balance is crucial. Not every product or campaign seamlessly aligns with a purpose-driven approach. Several prominent brands have shifted away from the forced inclusion of purpose in all their products, a response to criticisms raised by investors. One might question whether every product, from household condiments to basic necessities, can genuinely contribute to a higher purpose.

Finding the Right Equilibrium

The trend of purpose-driven advertising continues to grow, with many Indian brands emphasizing causes and values in their marketing strategies. However, for a diverse market like India, finding the equilibrium between a brand’s core promise and its purpose can be challenging. India’s vast landscape, teeming with diverse demographics and consumer preferences, calls for a multifaceted approach. Brands must identify where they fit along the spectrum between brand promise and brand purpose to resonate effectively with the Indian audience.

Purpose Beyond ‘Goodness’

Indian consumers, like their global counterparts, appreciate brands with a purpose, but not all purposes need to be synonymous with ‘goodness.’ While some Indian brands have successfully incorporated ‘goodness’ into their purpose, others have distinct missions. For instance, Nike motivates athletes worldwide, while Uber seeks to expand transportation accessibility. This showcases the flexibility of purpose, which need not be confined to altruistic goals, especially in a country as diverse as India.

Indian cases of Purpose-Driven Advertising

In India, several brands have effectively implemented purpose-driven advertising. Take, for instance, Ariel’s #ShareTheLoad campaign, which aimed to address gender equality by encouraging men to share household responsibilities. This initiative struck a chord with Indian audiences and resulted in a significant impact on both brand perception and sales.

Dabur, a prominent Indian brand, has demonstrated that purpose can extend beyond ‘goodness.’ Their brand Sanifresh, a toilet cleaner, found room for growth in a low-involvement category. Dabur took the initiative to build toilets, a move that garnered attention and accolades. It showcased a commitment to improving the lives of Indian consumers, aligning with the brand’s primary purpose and resonating with the audience.

Surf Excel’s ‘Daag Achhe Hain’ campaign, which celebrated the innocence of children, also reflects a purpose beyond traditional ‘goodness.’ It tapped into the emotional quotient, leaving a lasting impact on Indian consumers.

Purpose-Driven Advertising in India’s Diverse Market

The diverse nature of India’s market calls for brands to adapt their purposes to cater to a wide range of consumers. Some may align with altruistic missions, while others may focus on practical solutions. The key is authenticity and relevance. Indian consumers are discerning, and they value brands that genuinely address their needs and aspirations.

Avoiding ‘Woke-Washing’

In India, as in the rest of the world, it is imperative for brands to prioritize authentic purpose over ‘woke-washing.’ Merely paying lip service to a cause without genuine commitment can lead to skepticism among consumers. Brands should ensure that their purpose is deeply intertwined with the problem they aim to address within the Indian context.

Sustaining Purpose Over Time

Committing to a cause is a long-term commitment, not a fleeting marketing tactic. In India, where consumers are discerning and value-driven, short-lived, and half-hearted campaigns can quickly lose their relevance. It is essential for brands to select causes that genuinely resonate with the Indian audience and align with the brand’s image.

Balancing Purpose and Sales

In the diverse Indian market, finding the right context for a brand’s purpose is crucial for sustaining its relevance and making a genuine impact. Effective communication plays a pivotal role in influencing consumer choices. Indian consumers are inclined to support brands that address their specific challenges and priorities. Brands that achieve this balance between purpose and profit can establish a deeper connection with the Indian audience.

In Conclusion In conclusion, the concept of ‘goodness’ in advertising necessitates a delicate balance between a brand’s core promise and its purpose, particularly in the context of the multifaceted Indian market. While purpose-driven advertising can be a powerful tool, it should not be imposed on every brand or campaign. Authenticity, commitment, and thoughtful execution are paramount for making a meaningful and lasting impact in India’s diverse and dynamic marketplace.

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