HBR: Three Manifestos of Purpose-Based Positioning
Effective Brands, in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, The World Federation of Advertisers, Spencer Stuart, Forbes, MetrixLab and Adobe have interviewed 350 CEOs, CMOs and agent heads, as well as conducted surveys of 10,000 marketers from92 countries for the Markteting2020 survey.
The study concludes (again, things we've all thought about before but love to see supported with a great study): High performing organizations excel in their ability to leverage consumer insights, communicate a societal purpose, and deliver a rich customer experience.
According to the study, top brands excel at delivering all three manifestations of brand purpose: functional benefits (cost of entry), emotional benefits (finding that emotional velcro point with consumers really does matter) and societal benefits (the post-recession consumer wants to know their investment has a benefit for the greater good).
Companies who increasingly view their employees as front-line brand ambassadors (Starbucks Barista's for example), must work hard to educate them about their brand purpose. There are tangible benefits for employees, customers and profits when companies invest across disciplines- from product inception to launch- to inspire emotional connection to the brand purpose by all involved.