What’s the Purpose of “Purpose Marketing?”

The purpose of “purpose marketing?”

In a nutshell: to make you feel good about buying a company’s services or products.

Purpose marketing (also known as “pro-social marketing,” “advertising for good,” and “conscious capitalism,”) woos consumers with information about the values, behavior and beliefs of the companies that sell the products.

The goal is to convince potential customers that the companies operate in a socially responsible manner, and seeks to go beyond tactics like making charitable contributions or selling a product in recyclable packaging.

As a new subset of shopper marketing, purpose marketing is becoming popular on Madison Avenue because of the growing number of shoppers who say that what a company stands for makes a difference in what they do and do not buy.

Consumers are seeking “authentic emotional connections” with brands, said Mandy Levenberg, vice president and consumer strategist for cause and sustainable living at CEB Iconoculture, a consumer research and advisory firm that is part of the Corporate Executive Board Company. Among marketers, there is a gowing perception that certain “shared values” can increase loyalty and drive basket size.

Such consumers, frequently referred to as socially conscious shoppers, are assiduous in their research of corporate policies. That means a company doing something deemed at odds with its purpose-based mission statement or high-minded advertising campaign runs the risk of eliciting disappointment — or even a sense of betrayal — among socially conscious shoppers who consider themselves misled.

Panera is the latest corporation to jump on the socially conscious bandwagon and use altruistic acts to sell more (flavorless) sandwiches and (watery) coffee (in the humble opinion of our Charlotte advertising agency).

Read all about here in this NYT article.

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