How ESG Brands Excel at Purpose-Driven Marketing

The pandemic and following global issues gave society a renewed sense of social justice and caring for the environment. Brands see this shift in behavior as customers migrate towards companies that proactively share their values and build marketing campaigns around their purpose. As a result, ESG brands with a strong set of personal values are leaders in purpose-driven marketing.

Learn how to use purpose-driven marketing in your ESG brand and explore some of the most notable examples of ESG brands using purpose-driven marketing today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Purpose-driven marketing puts your company’s ESG values at the forefront of your marketing efforts.
  • Customers are more likely to purchase from a brand aligned with their values.
  • Some ways to align your brand with your values are hosting events, promoting a positive message, donating resources, and creating ESG compliant products.

Why Is Purpose-Driven Marketing Important?

Purpose-driven marketing is putting your values at the forefront of your marketing efforts. However, it is more than just collaborating with a cause for a single campaign, like with cause marketing. Rather, it’s a long-term commitment to those values in every aspect of your company and sharing that commitment with consumers.

Customers are becoming increasingly interested in what brands value. Today, 63% of consumers will buy products from brands that have values reflecting their own beliefs. ESG companies have an advantage in purpose-driven marketing because they already align themselves with a list of values supporting environmental, social, and governance issues.

Purpose-driven marketing is also vital for attracting employees. A study from Deloitte showed that 16% of millennials and 14% of Gen Zs believe that finding a workplace with similar values as your own is an essential characteristic of a successful business.

How You Can Use Purpose-Driven Marketing in Your ESG Brand

As an ESG brand you should make your values a central part of your marketing campaigns. This lets customers know where you stand to increase support for your purpose-driven brand and build awareness for your causes.

Examples of how a brand can reflect its purpose to customers

Image from Epsilon

Here are three ways to create a purpose-driven marketing strategy for your ESG brand.

Connect with Your Audience

What values are the focus of your purpose-driven marketing? The company values you highlight should connect to your target audience in a meaningful way. For instance, cosmetic brands might connect with their customers through causes like women’s rights and body positivity as a large portion of their clientele are females interested in fashion and beauty.

Back Your Words with Actions

Purpose-driven marketing is more than the words you use in your marketing campaigns. You must back up your claims with actions. Customers are four times as likely to purchase from brands with a strong purpose.

Transparency is key to the success of purpose-driven marketing. It allows your customers to see what actions you are taking to support your ESG values.

Some examples of actions you can take include:

  • Showing a diverse and accepting company culture
  • Hosting or participating in events related to your cause
  • Donating funds or products to your cause
  • Motivating customers to act in support of your cause

Relate the Cause to Your Products

The last part of purpose-driven marketing is bringing your cause back to your products and services to show how your values are reflected in your brand.

You can show your purpose and values in every part of your business and products. For example, if your company promotes eco-friendly work practices, it should also create recyclable products and biodegradable packaging.

4 Examples of ESG Brands Using Purpose-Driven Marketing

These four ESG brands are leading the way in purpose-driven marketing with campaigns that have caught customers’ attention from around the world.

1. Patagonia: Caring for the Environment

Patagonia pledges to care for the environment and backs its promise through sustainable products and campaigns to help protect the earth. Their website is transparent about their environmental impact because consumers want to see how they use less energy, water, and trash.

They back their claims with actions. For example, they have a used clothes and gear section of their website to help customers cut back on waste. They also give 1% of their sales to environmental causes.

In addition to their long-term marketing, they also run short-term campaigns for specific causes aligned with their values. A famous cause was their #CrudeAwakening campaign that raised awareness about offshore drilling by spreading the word about the Refugio oil spill.

2. Dove: Redefining Beauty Standards

Dove uses their platform as a leading beauty and health brand to promote body positivity. Their purpose is to make “beauty a source of confidence, not anxiety.” 

Their purpose-driven marketing includes:

  • Educating children and teens about positive body image
  • Partnering with children’s cartoons, like Steven Universe to spread their message
  • Promoting petitions, like their recent CROWN Act that combats race-based hair discrimination
  • Using real models with minimal editing in their product images and campaigns

Dove has also promoted several hashtags on social media that encourage positive behavior. One of their recent hashtags is the #NoDigitalDistortion campaign, which prompts social media users to post pictures without filters to celebrate their natural beauty.

Dove’s #NoDigitalDistortion campaign

Image from Dove

3. TOMS: Creating an Equitable Future

TOMS is striving to invest in people and communities by offering more opportunities for the future. They proudly display their Certified B Corporation score of 121.5 points, reflecting their high ESG standards. Their score is only slightly lower than Patagonia’s 151.4 points.

They also pledge to give a third of their profits to grassroots goods to help communities and businesses become more sustainable and diverse.

Their purpose-driven marketing combines environmental concerns with their products by showcasing products in nature, using natural colors in their fabrics, and sharing ways for people to get involved with environmental change.

4. Nike: Get the World Moving

Nike is an ESG brand that focuses on sustainable practices and a diverse organization. However, their purpose-driven marketing’s main goal is getting their customers to move. Their purpose wasn’t just to sell running shoes or workout clothes but that their customers would use their products to live healthier lives.

They expanded that cause further by motivating people to accomplish any task they put their mind to despite barriers, which is reflected in their slogan, “Just do it.”

Do More with Your Marketing

How is your marketing reflecting your ESG brand?

Use your business platform to support causes greater than your immediate business goals through a powerful purpose-driven marketing campaign. It’s time you are the change you want to see in the world.

Contact us to learn about our customer journey solutions that will help you reach a broader audience.

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