Reset: theme 2 – purpose, delivering promises and trust

| December 10, 2019

2020 marks the dawn of a new decade. Rachel Bevans of the Healthy Brand Company explores theme two of ten themes driving brands into the next decade.

Whilst purpose is here to stay in 2020, organisations and brands will continue to try to get this right – working out how it is communicated, if at all; recognising that savvy consumers don’t buy into woke washing so purpose needs to be driven across the whole organisation; including but not to be confused with CSR initiatives and standing up for issues.

Increasingly, employees and customers are expecting Organisations and CEOs to lead the way with positive change in conduct, social impact and even standing on political issues.

But this doesn’t mean a thing if the brand promise isn’t consistently delivered across every touch-point. As Edelman highlights in their 2019 Special Report “In Brands We Trust”, trust is gained by making a difference and delivering consistently.

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates in Australia that 72 per cent of respondents now agree that: “A company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates”.

76% of respondents say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it – issues such as equal pay, prejudice and discrimination, training for the jobs of tomorrow, the environment, personal data, sexual harassment and fake news.

We have seen this year, more businesses and brands taking a stand on issues: with 2600 businesses signing up to “not business as usual” for action on climate change; 80 advertisers boycotting Alan Jones’ mistreatment of women; and many companies cancelling lunches for Melbourne Cup for its mistreatment of horses, or replacing it with donation drives for horse rescue and rehab. It feels like this will continue.

With a defined purpose and values that are acted upon, leaders as role models and a brand promise that is consistently delivered against across the business, brands have the ingredients build trust.