Campaign Staff
Jun 24, 2024

Brands have more power than governments to make a difference

How brands can leverage their influence to create meaningful societal change, ensuring authenticity and measurable impact in their initiatives

Back Row:(L-R) Gideon Spanier, UK Editor-in-Chief, Campaign
George Olexa, Senior Director of Global Brand, Creative and Media, Intel
Claire Miller, Global Head of Strategy & Analytics, Our LEGO Agency
Melodie Nye, Chief Growth Officer, Mars Pet Nutrition Europe
Greg Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Moneygram
Antoine Chapuy, Marketing Director for UK & IRE, Disney+
Front Row: (L-R)
Anja Spielmann, Global Brand Experience Director, Mars Food
Dr Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Reckitt
Jean Lin, Group President, Global Practices, dentsu (sponsor)
Ebru Ozguc, Global Head of Brand and Reputation, Vodafone
Back Row:(L-R) Gideon Spanier, UK Editor-in-Chief, Campaign George Olexa, Senior Director of Global Brand, Creative and Media, Intel Claire Miller, Global Head of Strategy & Analytics, Our LEGO Agency Melodie Nye, Chief Growth Officer, Mars Pet Nutrition Europe Greg Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Moneygram Antoine Chapuy, Marketing Director for UK & IRE, Disney+ Front Row: (L-R) Anja Spielmann, Global Brand Experience Director, Mars Food Dr Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer, Reckitt Jean Lin, Group President, Global Practices, dentsu (sponsor) Ebru Ozguc, Global Head of Brand and Reputation, Vodafone
PARTNER CONTENT
Marketing leaders believe that brands hold a unique position to drive societal change. At a recent roundtable, industry experts shared various ways brands can positively impact their communities. Initiatives mentioned include engaging with local communities, inspiring children through play, creating scholarships for underprivileged students, and promoting women in STEM fields.
 
Panellists stated that it is important for brands to “walk the talk” and invest in projects that truly make a difference. They also need to have a strong idea of who they are and what they stand for in order to make a real impact, or they risk not being credible.

Using data and insight to provide an impetus for positive societal impact is also becoming increasingly important. 
 
To illustrate this point, Dr Elaine Rodrigo, chief insights and analytics officer, Reckitt, said Nurofen had launched a gender pain gap report after a study found that almost 50% of women felt their pain was being dismissed by healthcare professionals. The brand also created a free app to equip women with the tools to talk about their pain.
 
What does impact mean for the C-suite?
 
Everything a business does, from setting goals to developing its products and partnerships, is reflective of what the C-suite wants, marketers said. The focus on driving positive impact has to come from the top down.
 
They highlighted the importance for a brand to be authentic and make sure its agency partners are buying into what it is doing. 
 
Naturally, the C-suite is looking for results and marketing can help drive performance. 
 
George Olexa, senior director of global brand, creative and media at Intel says the company is going through a period of transformation. Intel decided to renew its previous corporate narrative and focus on one single brand message.
 
“For the first time in 10 years we’re doing brand advertising and marketing that is purpose driven, we only did product messaging before,” Olexa said, adding that this strategy had led to a positive turnaround for the brand.
 
The panellists also discussed the importance for marketing to drive positive change
 when it comes to issues such as sustainability, and pointed out that it’s the marketer’s job to convince the management team to work on initiatives that drive societal change.
 
Ebru Ozguc, global head of brand and reputation at Vodafone, said marketers need to get the CEO involved in initiatives early on to make sure they invest in them. She explained that CEOs have many pressures and may not always have brand purpose top of mind.
 
Jean Lin, global president, global practices at dentsu, said the key is to find one symbolic action that can drive cultural transformation.
 
“Then it will be the CEO’s job,” she highlighted, “but it has to be the right symbolic action that represents the impact and ambition you have as a brand.”
 
The experts further agreed that data has shown that global brands are making more of a difference than governments and that people often have more trust in brands, which means brands have power. 
 
 
Melodie Nye, chief growth officer at Mars Pet Nutrition Europe, noted that focusing on sustainability can be a challenge because marketers are still expected to deliver business results, which creates a tension. "There’s a lot for us to do as a community,” she added.
 
Measuring impact
 
When it comes to measuring the value of effective impact, panellists said effectiveness analytics tools are getting better.
 
“New metrics have proven that the power and meaningfulness of the brand drive impact commercially, almost more than the product,” said Claire Miller, global head of strategy and analytics at Lego Agency.
 
Lin, who was Cannes jury president last year said she had learned from judging the Sustainable Development Goals Lions that if sustainability and impact isn’t part of a company’s strategy from the outset it will end up being “a nice-to-have”. She argued that this needed to change.
 
She said: “Good needs to be embedded in products and services and at the core, that’s how to make it work. With global companies, this impact could start from a locally relevant story where the brand can find a scalable factor for other markets to embrace. We must come together to innovate around this, otherwise the world will focus purely on financial metrics.”
 
Navigating impact
 
Marketers noted that it was important to find the right balance when it comes to issues such as sustainability and diversity in order to not come across as inauthentic. Brands also need to think about which groups they might be excluding in their communications.
 
Looking to the future, panellists highlighted the importance of analysing data and using AI to scale their businesses.
 
“Organisations need to be data inspired to really make impact work, because otherwise they’ll just do what they think is good,” Lin said.

 

Source:
Campaign UK

Related Articles

Just Published

2 hours ago

Asia-Pacific Power List 2024: Gaurav Gupta, ...

Gupta takes an “outside-in” approach to well-entrenched local brands, leveraging purpose-driven marketing to change social norms while capturing market share.

3 hours ago

Ready-to-deploy tools: The secret to engaging Gen Z

Executives at CONTEN.T suggest how brands can leverage creative tech, data unification, and first-party insights to engage Gen Z consumers.

3 hours ago

Can Netflix scale its advertising business?

In the coming year, when Netflix's user growth slows down as most predict, increasing ad revenue will become even more crucial. Campaign explores how the streaming giant plans to scale its advertising business.

3 hours ago

What the Microsoft-CrowdStrike outage means for ...

Friday's global outage disrupted critical infrastructure such as airports and healthcare systems, bringing entire industries to a standstill. So, how will this crisis impact the reputation of the brands involved?