"Why" purposeful branding in South Africa?
Today is a new age of consumerism; increased globalisation, new technologies and disrupted category norms have empowered people to be more informed, connected and united than ever before. Consumers are demanding accountability and transparency from the companies they work with and forcing brand leaders around the world to answer fundamental questions: what business are we in? Why do we exist? And how do we organise to win?
Jim Stengel, the former Global Marketing Officer of P&G, provides evidence for this in his book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies. With the help of Millward Brown Vermeer, Stengel identified the top 50 brands globally that ranked highest on both consumer bonding and value creation over the past decade. Together, Stengel and Millward Brown Vermeer discovered that the best businesses are fuelled by ideal-driven brand growth. Whether public, private, B2C, B2B, well established or up and coming, every brand in the Stengel 50 leads with purpose.
BRANDZ STRONG BRANDS PORTFOLIO VS. S&P 500
April 2006 - January 2015
The strongest global brands as measured by BRANDZ Strong Brands Portfolio consistently outperform the market and command higher share prices.
So, what exactly does leading with a purpose mean? Purpose-led brands are defined not by a particular product or service, but by an Ideal: a higher-order reason for being that articulates "why" the brand exists and the impact it seeks to make in the world. By communicating on the "why", as opposed to the "what" or "how", purpose-led brands inspire consumers to follow it along its journey. In this way, purpose-led brands are able to generate mass appeal globally, form sustainable relationships with consumers and offer a truly competitive advantage over two-dimensional competitors.
Although purposeful positioning is proven to deliver significant brand growth, it has yet to make strong inroads among brands in South Africa. There is enormous opportunity for brands in South Africa to leverage this strategy and grow at ever faster rates. And this is the perfect time to do so. South Africa is an emerging economy on the cusp of a major societal shift - a haven for any consumer-centric brand strategy. Young people are hungrier than ever for new business knowledge, positive impact and self-discovery; social boundaries are diminishing as more people stand up for what they think is right, even if it means being provocative. Consumers are seeking inspiration in collaboration and forming new connections that promote new perspectives, insights, stories, and even skills. The quest for enrichment opportunities is ever more prevalent as consumers strive to fill their lives with purpose.
About the authors
Nicki Cunliffe, Senior Director, Millward Brown Vermeer Africa & Middle East
Nicki is a Director with Millward Brown Vermeer, and leads the Africa and Middle East team. Nicki has specific expertise in growth strategy development, customer experience, effective brand building, and segmentation strategy. Nicki is involved in all aspects of client engagements, and has supported leading global companies, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Procter & Gamble, Citi, Barneys New York, and British American Tobacco.
Marla Becker, Consultant, Millward Brown Vermeer Africa & Middle East
Marla Becker is a Consultant at Millward Brown Vermeer where she has worked on various brand strategy projects spanning industries from beverages to consumer, retail and technology. Marla has recently relocated to South Africa from New York to grow the MB Vermeer practice in Africa and Middle East.