ANA Launches Center For Brand Purpose

 Goal Is to Provide Strategic Guidance and Leadership on Purposeful Marketing

NEW YORK (Nov. 14, 2018) — The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) today announced the launch of a new initiative designed to fuel business growth by helping marketers create purpose-driven, strategic programs and solutions for their products and services.

Called the ANA Center for Brand Purpose, the new program will seek to become the marketing industry’s go-to source for education, guidance, and leadership on purposeful marketing. It will provide the content, tools, events, and professional development programs necessary to maximizing marketers’ understanding of purposeful marketing and its significance to driving brand growth.

"Leading national advertisers have come to understand that being a force for good can indeed be a game-changer,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “Research shows that purpose-led brands grow two to three times faster than their competitors. What these brands have in common is a commitment to making a positive difference in the world, which adds value to their customers’ lives and leads to sustained growth.”

In creating the Center, the ANA defined “purpose” in the context of marketing as a brand’s reason to exist beyond turning a profit. Purpose is a long-term business strategy tied to a societal benefit that guides every strategic decision and action, from product development and customer/employee engagement to marketing and hiring.

“Purpose is not simply a nice thing to have — it’s imperative in this day and age,” Liodice continued. “Consumers want to associate with brands that not only share their values, but create change for the greater good. The ANA Center for Brand Purpose will play a leading role in elevating the purpose discussion.”

A July 2018 ANA survey of senior marketer members, conducted in partnership with the Ad Council, found that while 78 percent of respondents said their company had a clearly defined purpose, only 18 percent agreed strongly that their organization’s purpose was part of a company-wide business strategy with specific goals. Moreover, none of the respondents agreed strongly that purpose is embraced internally across their organization, and 82 percent indicated their company needed help in defining and activating their brand purpose.

Initial plans call for the Center to offer several resources on purposeful marketing, including:

  • A series of CMO-inspired playbooks, feature articles, and video Q&As
  • White papers and research reports
  • Webinars, regional conferences, and training workshops
  • A self-assessment tool to address shortcomings and drive an action plan

Liodice added that brand purpose is one of the 12 leadership agenda items identified by the ANA’s CMO Masters Circle to help galvanize the CMO community and drive growth. The Center will work on purposeful marketing programs with the Masters Circle community and the newly formed Global CMO Growth Council, which includes among its five core priorities “Marketing for Society and Sustainability.”

Among the Center’s goals:

  • Undertake research projects to identify trends, best practices, and opportunities in purposeful marketing.
  • Develop content, tools, professional development programs, and events to help brands overcome the myriad challenges of activating purpose both internally and externally.
  • Work with the Global CMO Growth Council and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a partnership designed to support the international community of CMOs with a first-of-its-kind global leadership agenda.
  • Partner with The Internationalist, an organization serving the brand-building needs of the international advertising, marketing, and media community, to broaden the global conversation around purposeful marketing.
  • Elevate awareness of purposeful marketing in the media through the dissemination of new research, op-ed pieces, and strategic industry partnerships. 



The mission of the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.


John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663