What is a Purpose-driven strategy? It’s the natural evolution of four converging cultural changes, the first is when social, cultural, and environmental issues became more visible and urgent, followed by consumers who expect brands to connect with nonprofits or social impact, driven by a lack of confidence in government to solve big problems, and finally, institutional investors evaluating environmental, social governance (ESG). Purpose puts a movement and impact first. Purpose-driven companies understand when society, the environment, and our collective well-being are doing well—businesses do better too.

Purpose-Driven Strategies have Three Key Pillars:

Employee and Systemic Engagement, Externally Virtuous, Meaty Measurable. 

These pillars of purpose require a company to be engaged in a systemic way, are independent of sales, and the impact should be both audacious and measurable. While purpose-driven strategies may give way to recruiting advantages, brand valuation, and competitive advantages, those are not the driving outcomes behind purpose. Purpose-driven PR is not the driving motivation behind purpose-driven implementations. The defining commitment of purpose is when it takes precedence over profitswhen internal culture is SO strong, so empowered, that decisions at all levels are made with a purpose in mind.

These Purpose Driven Strategy distinctions are important—because consumers—AND Investors are savvier than ever: They see through cause marketing campaigns with little authenticity. They’re alert to saying one thing, but doing another -greenwashing is so common it had a name.  Distrust in governments continued to decrease, while expectations of businesses continued to increase.

Purpose-driven strategies differ from the historical ways brands engaged with movements and nonprofits.

The Difference Between Purpose Driven Strategies and Philanthropy

The difference between purpose-driven strategies and philanthropy is based on the level of engagement the company commits to. Traditionally philanthropy was a broad term used to describe when a business contributed to a cause – anything from a social nonprofit to fundinga building or a program at a college. This type of giving required very little else from the company outside of the donation. Companies often used philanthropy to attract other monied investors or achive other strategic goals, but on the surface, having a philanthropic donation very often align with a marketing campaign or a PR campaign. Philanthropy also usually had very little to do with employees and customer activism or interests.

The Difference Between Purpose Driven Strategies and Corporate Giving

That gave way to CORPORATE GIVING –programs. The United Way is an outstanding example of corporate giving, this is when an organization encourages its employees to unite behind a single cause to create a greater donation scale. At this stage, companies get more involved as multiple departments such as PR, or HR to create systems and messaging around corporate giving. Companies whose employees give a lot receive recognition in the community. Corporate giving gave employees the opportunity to easily give to an organization; some corporate giving programs allow employees to choose a cause that was important to them, but in the most traditional sense, the executive team partnered with a nonprofit to create a corporate giving program.

The Difference Between Purpose Driven Strategies and Cause Marketing

CAUSE MARKETING are initiatives that tied sales to a corporate donation  – started in 1983 when Amex donated a penny to restoring the Statue of Liberty every time someone used their card—cardholders grew 45% and card usage increased by 28%. By 2013, 76% of consumers thought it was OK for brands to support good causes and make money at the same time. Before we knew it, there was a cause marketing campaign everywhere we looked, from pink ribbons to yogurt lids. Enterprises like Hersheys even had internal positions that combined marketing & corporate social responsibility.

If you’re interested in implementing purpose-driven strategies at your company, check out our free guide to implementing purpose. 

Today’s brands are looking for ways to differentiate. Brand storytelling trends for businesses and especially emerging industries or hyper-growth brands are an important strategy, especially those in competitive industries. Brand storytelling is an outstanding way to separate from the pack and it’s likely your competition hasn’t even tapped into this data.  Macro-trends for 2022 can provide insight into the brand stories you tell, what purpose to highlight, and even what platforms and channels you advertise on.

Fast-growing companies and industries in their infancy (drones and cannabis, for example) especially need to tap into these trends. Brand storytelling makes all the difference in public perception and brand superiority, especially for early movers who need to expand upon their advantages.

Whenever we’re looking to help our clients differentiate in PR, especially for fast-growing companies, one place we turn is Trend Hunter to see where brand values, initiatives, and ideals fit in with the trends of now. Regardless of pandemic status in 2022, the world is in flux. Where your customers and clients fall on these post-pandemic tensions may be a differentiator or a way to increase loyalty through your brand storytelling.

Now is really the time to think through your brand storytelling strategy for 2022, because effective storytelling is multi-faceted and requires commitment from the inside out.

The Big Box vs Local Trend in Brand Storytelling

One post-pandemic tension Trend Hunter touches on is the new push-pull between Big Box and Local shopping. Big Box includes huge online sites like Amazon, by the way, at least in the mind of the consumer. During the pandemic, many Americans woke up to realize the importance of supporting local restaurants and retail. Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of small businesses populate Amazon. If you’re in the retail space, be thinking about this tension and how you will incorporate this consumer choice into your brand storytelling. Emerging industries and fast-growing brands seeking VC funding should absolutely tap into this trend, as it’s likely to be a defining trend for some time.

Big Box vs. Local reflects another macro-trend, and that’s a distinct distrust of the 1%, and especially the .05%. The pandemic only highlighted the enormous differences between the haves and the have-nots. While one portion of the U.S. population worried about keeping the heat on and long-term unemployment, another portion of the population was buying second homes, and banking the savings staying at home afforded them, and got on a plane to a remote island vacation at the first opportunity. This has led to a deepening sense of distrust for the super-rich.

Where are your customers on this tension and how can your storytelling reflect their current frame of mind on this issue? If you’re in the travel industry, you probably want to appeal to the portion of the country that’s feeling flush, unless, of course, you’re a discount brand. In either case, a humble origin story could be a well-placed media and advertising strategy.

 

The Robots vs. People Storytelling Trend

This one has been brewing for a while, but it’s really coming to a head as AI becomes more integrated and the country confronts global supply chain issues. This is an interesting trend because there are so many stories to be told on both sides of the equation. Even technology companies can tell stories about people, so now is a great time to think about how the technology trend is affecting your customers and where your brand storytelling can tap into this trend.

A brand storytelling trend for businesses subtrend is  “Made in America” may take on higher importance from a branding perspective. The issue, with the “Made in America” storyline, is authenticity. Most products have at least a component or two imported from elsewhere. Ironically, if you’re a foreign company operating in the U.S. you can incorporate both these trends by highlighting your commitment to people. But if you’re a U.S. brand, this story, tread lightly about how you use this trend in your brand storytelling.

 

How Big Media vs. Creators will Affect Storytelling

This is a trend started by influencers, but today’s influencers, at least the big ones now have agents and are more closely associated with the elite than your neighbor. Naturally, for every rule there are exceptions, but today’s consumer looks at an Instagram influencer with 10 million followers and imagines they live very different lives; there is an aspirational value to that, so by all means, brand accordingly because luxury marketing is still incredibly relevant.

Meanwhile, influencers aren’t the only creators in today’s global marketplace. Illustrators, artists, and writers are all finding places to hone and monetize their craft. For example, Substack made a brilliant play by tapping into BOTH these trends. On one hand, Substack contracted with content creators and creatives who are well-known or famous because of their associations with major brands. For example, journalists who write for huge publishing companies, but have their own following, have found Substack can be a fruitful side hustle (in 2020, the top 12 subscriptions averaged over $160K). Meanwhile, all these famous names exposed readers to fresh voices as well.

You can think about this push-pull as you consider ad buys as well. Are your consumers more responsive on big platforms like Facebook or in the niche communities of TikTok?

 

Monitor these 3 trends and others as you think through your 2022 brand storytelling for businesses. Tapping into the macro trends helps you understand whether you should “zig” or “zag.” Brand storytelling trends for emerging industries or hyper-growth brands requires a particularly deft touch and emotional intelligence. Do your research to be sure you’re using these trends in ways your customers can relate to them.

Ways for Startups  & Hypergrowth Companies to Inspire Radical Employee Loyalty

This presentation will take you less than 5 minutes to get through but will make you re-think your startup marketing efforts permanently.

In today’s world where disruption is everywhere, it’s never been more important for hyper-growth companies and their executives to think holistically about their marketing and PR – inside and outside.

Leaders at even the fastest growing companies can create empowered, full-filled employee advocates that supercharges every single business goal. 

How can CEOs of today’s fastest growing companies create thriving cultures where employees are your best advocates?

 

Download the presentation here:

Employee Advocacy for the Startup for Hypergrowth CEO

 

PR WITH PURPOSE


A modern digitally forward agency that combines emotional intelligence with strategy and data to enhance reputations and credibility. From startup to IPO, we build brand value. We’re a team of big thinkers with an eye for detail. We dive straight into your purpose to find the connective tissue your clients or customers respond to. We’re fiercely protective of your reputation, tenacious in securing press coverage, and nimble enough to service the needs of growing businesses.

SERVICES

PUBLIC RELATIONS

CONTENT STRATEGY

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

BRANDED JOURNALISM

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

MEDIA RELATIONS

WORD OF MOUTH ACTIVATIONS

PAID STRATEGY + EXECUTION

CRISIS & REPUTATION RISK

CAUSE PARTNERSHIPS

CONTENT AMPLIFICATION

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS

CONSUMER & MARKETPLACE RESEARCH

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT

EXECUTIVE POSITIONING

EVENT MARKETING

SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY

PRODUCT LAUNCHES

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

PR AREAS OF PRACTICE

NONPROFITS

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY

GOVERNMENT

Cutting Edge Drone UAV Technology PR Case Study Sets The Stage for Tomorrow

THE PR CHALLENGE

Our client, a publicly-traded drone company, has been groundbreaking drone development for 8 years already. As they enter the next stage of growth including defining new verticals and lines of business, our team manages press relations, reputation management, and provides strategic analysis into emerging industries. We also collaborate with the Investor Relations Firm.

THE PR SOLUTION

We develop a strategy that meets the needs of this dynamic commercial drone company through a managed approach to press relations with an owned/earned/paid campaign strategy towards verticals of importance. We navigate our client through a new CEO, partnership announcements, and the dynamic media and business environment created by the pandemic.

DATA DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS


With media monitoring, we provide insights and strategies which increase reputation and authority.

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT


We develop ongoing campaigns which meet the needs of this growing & publicly-traded company.

STRATEGIC ADVISEMENT


We evaluate industry trends through the lens of goals & opportunities and provide strategic insight to manage the brand reputation.

THE PR RESULTS

101% 


Increase in Share of Voice versus key marketplace competitors.

31% 


Share of Voice throughout entire industry conversation.

142%


Increase in share price within first 4 months.

150%


Increase in audience size over previous year

343%


Increase in media inclusions over previous year

$4.6 Million


Estimated earned media value

32 


Average media inclusions per month

149%


Increase in earned media value over previous year

B2B Tech Drone PR
commercial drone media coverage
Aviation Week Drone Coverage
Commercial Drone Media Coverage

A GLOBAL WELLNESS CPG BRAND FINDS PR SUCCESS IN AN EMERGING MARKET AS IT PREPARES FOR AN IPO

THE PR CHALLENGE

To normalize hemp-based products to the general consumer market while establishing the brand as an international consumer packaged goods leader in the vertical, increase consumer awareness, and prepare for a successful IPO.

THE PR KUDOS

“Nearly solely responsible for the development and implementation of our public relations campaigns, offerings and promotions, and media management…an excellent feel for gauging public opinion and projecting public reaction to certain campaigns. Best of all, the  campaigns were universally successful, providing significant and measurable growth…comes with my highest recommendation.”


Chris H.,
Marketing VP

THE PR SOLUTION

Engage scientific, lifestyle, vertical, and business journalists on a weekly basis with timely, newsworthy storylines, tied in with announcements, conferences, and media calendars. Ensure global reputation management with media monitoring and on-going strategic counsel. Ensure key messaging consistency through internal training and on-going media training.

GLOBAL REPUTATION MANAGEMENT


Our international brand and category monitoring inform corporate decisions including partnerships, product development, and U.S., European, and Asian consumer trends in the lifestyle and wellness category.

ON-GOING COAST-TO-COAST MEDIA ENGAGEMENT


Activate media calendars with personalized review opportunities for selected journalists quarterly, which increased journalistic coverage as well as word of mouth.

SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT


On-brand owned media, including organic social media and blogging content calendars that support PR & branding initiatives through inviting copy and engagement tactics.

EXECUTIVE BRANDING


Reinforce executive thought leadership through media profiles, speaking engagements, and custom content development including paid, earned, and owned content.

SPORTS CELEBRITY ACTIVATION


Activate athletic spokespersons including a former NFL player, as a spokespersons and faces of the brand in social media, owned content including, earned media and in-person appearances.

THE DTC CPG PR RESULTS

200+


Pieces of press coverage over 3 years, averaging 5 pieces of coverage per month.

10+ Billion


Earned media impressions over 3 years, with an earned media value of over $5 million.

300% 


Increase in the stock price of an over subscribed IPO.

Consumer Product PR Firm
National Media PR Agency Los Angeles
Business PR Firm California
Wellness PR Firm
PR Agency Los Angeles