4 Questions That Can Help Brands Connect Vision, Purpose and Trust | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

4 Questions That Can Help Brands Connect Vision, Purpose and Trust

May 20, 2021

By Anne Kawalerski, Michelle Lynn

wenjin chen/Shutterstock.com

When purpose drives vision, companies are in a position of strength and can meet customer needs in a way that builds trust. Vision represents the promise of what the brand should deliver; purpose is where the real value of that promise, for the customer and the wider world, comes to life. Trust is how the promise gets delivered.

To help marketers build that pathway, we mapped correlations between the underlying drivers of vision (innovation, growth, momentum), purpose (social responsibility, transparency, sustainability), and trust (customer-centricity, relevance, ease of doing business with). We used data from the Bloomberg Brand Health System, our proprietary diagnostic tool for assessing a brand’s past performance and future potential. This robust system is based on the perceptions of senior business decision-makers and influencers; to date, we’ve measured 700 brands and surveyed more than 15,000 decision-makers in multiple countries.

Our analysis revealed four key questions that brands should explore in order to understand how the factors that define purpose, vision and trust interact to underpin performance:


1. What Actions Are Implied By Your Values and Positioning?

Audiences from consumers to the C-suite want to see brands do more than just market their stories. In fact, 76 percent of the C-level executives we measured say they prefer purpose-driven companies — that is, those with a role in society beyond just maximizing profits. Identifying the concrete actions that flow from your vision allows your purpose to be seen and felt.


2. How Are You Meeting Real Needs to Help People Succeed?

Purpose is highly correlated with customer-centricity for many brands and sectors. Getting to what really matters to someone helps build your brand for the long term. Connecting that with vision means more than just having a helpful message; it means delivering an emotional benefit that demonstrates you care about what your customers care about, what your employees care about, and what’s going on globally.


3. Are You Agile Enough to Learn And Change?

Purpose is also highly correlated with innovation for most categories. That may reflect the notion that purpose is a demonstration that a company is innovative. For the business influencers in our data set, progressive corporate values may signal a greater likelihood that a brand is Innovative. To get there, companies need to build the infrastructure to understand every touchpoint and interaction and how that in turn impacts performance and growth.


4. What Does Recovery Look Like for Your Brand, and Your Industry?

As the world emerges from months of disruption, some businesses will gain or lose relevance. Others will see a need to enhance their practices to stay relevant. For example, our data shows that most travel brands are ranked higher for purpose than vision, demonstrating the importance of focusing on customer service but perhaps also an indicator of lower relevance during the pandemic.

There’s increasing optimism, even as challenges remain. For marketers factoring in awareness of all these variables, bringing purpose, vision and trust together is more urgent than ever.

Anne Kawalerski is global CMO and Michelle Lynn is global head of data science and insight, both at Bloomberg Media.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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