Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Brands with Purpose and Authenticity

Purpose. Authenticity. Brands either have 'em or they don't. And that makes all the difference in today's global marketplace, where consumers have more power and more choices than at any time in the past.

According to a recent Edelman study, purpose will tip the balance in favor of a particular brand when the quality and price of that category's brands are perceived as being equal. In fact, a majority of consumers expect businesses to do something for society, not merely ring up sales and profits. Employees who work for companies that market brands with a purpose--brands with authenticity--are more likely to go the extra mile.

Case in point: Unilever, which has won praise and publicity for its international initiatives promoting sustainability, social responsibility, and transparency. Its Lifebuoy brand posts this vision on its website:

As the world’s No. 1 germ protection soap, our vision is to bring health and hygiene to a billion people.

In line with this vision, Lifebuoy provides handwashing education to fight disease in India, Kenya, and other areas.

Unilever also owns Ben & Jerry's, an ice-cream brand built on the purpose and authenticity of its cofounders. When ice-cream lovers choose Ben & Jerry's, their purchases enable the brand to continue buying from local dairy producers and to support ongoing social responsibility activities.

Despite being under the Unilever umbrella since 2001, Ben & Jerry's has now become a certified B Corporation, showing its dedication to purpose while advancing Unilever's sustainability agenda.

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