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WHAT AM I DOING HERE?

Lee Ramsay
Lee Ramsay (former) Head of Innovation

There you go. For my first piece of commentary, I’m slamming down the gauntlet by posing a question we all ask ourselves in contemplative moments: What is my purpose in life?

Of course, my own purpose in life is to help bring brilliant ideas and media strategies to my clients (ahem). But here at Initiative UK, we’ve recently turned our thoughts towards brands with a social purpose. It’s a theme we’re going to be exploring over the coming months in a number of ways, thinking about the role media plays, and how it can ultimately impact a client’s bottom line.

So, why is it important?  Well, the world has changed since the recession. Trust in corporations and institutions is at an all-time low, and it has left us in a state of detachment from the things we once saw as integral to our life and community. As a result, consumers, client partners and clients alike feel an ever-increasing need to play a role in society. And CEOs are putting it to the top of their lists for ‘future proofing’ their companies and brands.

Media has always played a major role in facilitating brands with a social purpose, in particular during the social and digital explosions over the past decade. Social purpose lives well on social channels; messages can reach us in an environment where we’re considering other aspects of our lives and communities. It helps us feel part of a bigger story. What’s crucial, though, is that brands going down this route are completely transparent about what they are doing and why. A good story travels fast, but a bad one travels even faster. And in the current climate of mistrust, it doesn’t take much to make a brand fall out of favour.

Having a strong social purpose obviously makes us feel better about ourselves.  Thus, we feel better about investing in brands that have one, too. This is all well and good, but what we want to investigate is whether or not this leads to increased sales or stronger brand loyalty. Does social purpose actually play a role in increasing consumer engagement? I have come across many studies on the topic – but none have provided a clear answer as of yet.

That’s why we’re doing it ourselves. Over the coming months, we’ll be engaging the industry with content and research, and we’ll be creating a range of thought pieces around the theme. Visit again if you want to know how it’s going – or indeed contact us if you have an opinion or question.  We’ll let you know what we find out, and hopefully it will spark some ideas for your own business.

There you go. That’s our purpose for the next few months.