The debate about whether brand purpose is an effective growth strategy has been rumbling since the launch of Jim Stengel's book 'Grow' in 2011. The argument flared up again in 2021 after Peter Field presented new findings at IPA’s Effworks (https://lnkd.in/dcdUipzK). You can catch up on the full story here: https://lnkd.in/dnhKSapb.
Here's a quick summary of what Peter said:
1) Brand purpose campaigns are, on average, less effective than other campaigns.
2) The best brand purpose campaigns are reasonably effective, so this is a viable strategy if you execute it well. Unfortunately, many of these campaigns are executed poorly and have little or no impact.
3) Great execution means having a clear link between the cause your brand is supporting and product delivery (e.g. Waitrose focussed on how ethical farming results in better tasting food).
4) There is evidence that brand-purpose campaigns are reasonably effective for certain brand objectives including impact on suppliers and distributors, employee satisfaction, media coverage, brand trust, brand commitment and brand distinctiveness. See also Byron Sharp's counter arguments (https://lnkd.in/dQR_DM9p) and this LinkedIn thread for further discussion.