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Can brands help unite a divided world? Deliveroo, Hiscox and Nomad Foods discuss how

The Drum 08 Oct 2019 03:14

Consumers are in flux: at a time when technology seems as isolating as it is enabling and an era where governments and governance feel more divisive than ever, they believe that brands can help bridge the gap.

Marketers are increasingly looking towards purpose-driven advertising and communications, as this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity highlighted yet, they warn, that purpose must resonate.

Senior marketers joined WE global marketing SVP Kristin Flor Perret and The Drum associate editor Sonoo Singh to discuss how prioritising humanity can be a powerful competitive advantage.

Steve Axe, chief marketing officer, Nomad Foods; Annabel Venner, global brand director and CMO for DirectAsia at Hiscox; and Alice ter Haar, senior manager, EU marketing, Deliveroo joined the panel event held at Shakespeare’s Globe on Thursday, September 19.

Driving purpose is not just a millennial trend, and it’s way beyond brand puffery

“There is a broad range of people looking to buy purpose-driven brands that reflect their values,” said Venner, adding that it was a myth that this trend was mainly millennial.

Purpose and a point of view had to be linked back to the business and its core, said Axe, or else run the risk of coming across as “inauthentic”. As a food business it was relevant for Nomad to have a point of view around issues such as sustainability and climate change, but less relevant for it to play to political or other macro considerations.

Earlier, WE’s Flor Perret outlined the integrated communication’s agency’s third Brands in Motion survey which polled more than 25,000 consumers and decision-makers across eight global markets.

A time for personal accountability

The findings chimed with the panel. Ter Haar said there had to be personal accountability: “We’re not all passive consumers. We know the risks of fake news and how it can change elections; do all sorts of scary stuff. But each of us does have such an important individual responsibility.”

Disruptor vs the disrupted

“When they were born they had a purpose, they were disruptors… the likes of Clarence Birdseye [an American inventor, entrepreneur, and considered to be the founder of the modern frozen food industry] were trying to do things socially, economically, politically,” he said. “Disruption has been at the heart of brands since day one. It might be a faster turnaround today, but there’s also a faster burn-around as well. The challenge when you get to a certain size is that people forget,” added Axe, urging such businesses to get back to storytelling the core of why their brands mattered and matter.

To further explore the growing expectation and opportunity for brands to bring greater stability to what has become an increasingly polarized world, WE and YouGov released its third iteration of Brands in Motion.

To download the free report complete the form below.

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Kristin Flor PerretSteve AxeAnnabel VennerHiscoxCannes International Festival of Creativity