29th Apr 2022
Purpose led brands face many hurdles in their fight to end taboos. As they challenge certain cultural norms and values to drive societal progress, they can meet various degrees of resistance locally.
Let’s look into how they THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL?
Here are some of the key learnings from our webinar with UNICEF, Oatly and Essity on 24 March 2022.
UNICEF has launched a range of initiatives to raise awareness and aim to reduce the practice of child marriage in Africa, which is still prevalent in many countries across the continent. Essity wants women to feel more confident in their own bodies, yet women’s health is taboo in some countries like India, where 23% of girls drop out of school when their menstruation begins for the first time. Oatly’s mission is to raise awareness about plant-based products and their positive impact on climate change and sustainability, yet eating meat still plays a key part in many cultures.
Understand the local, cultural landscape and act local
Cultural norms vary significantly across markets, and so do local sensitivities around purpose and progress. Companies in that space need to understand those nuances to know what to expect and to adjust their initiatives for maximum impact. Additionally, as part of better understanding the market, there is a need to understand how to best reach their audience. For example, UNICEF partnered with Canal+, the largest provider of cable TV across Sub-Saharan Africa, to air their new thought leading mini series “Vaillante” to raise awareness around child marriage in Africa.
Challenging the status quo means initiatives will most likely be criticised and met with some resistance. By staying true to your own agenda, you will only amplify your reach with audiences who share a similar ambition and passion. Those who disagree tend to be in the minority and are usually the most vocal, particularly in the online world.
No matter what, always stay true to your core beliefs and don’t do things for lip service. Purpose should not just be about words but about concrete actions, it should shine through in everything you do, internally and externally.
Know the line between progress and offence
Facilitate conversations with people who are opposed to your ideas, to understand where they are coming from, and speak to your consumers to get their feedback. Essity has a rule that if less than 10% of people feel offended by their campaign or product, they give it the green light, as they expect a minimal amount of rejection; but if this threshold is exceeded they pull the plug.
KPIs and metrics will depend on your objectives but they could include product sales growth, satisfaction rate from employee surveys, reduction or eradication of taboos, PR coverage, global reach, engagement on social platforms and unique visits on your websites.
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