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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Brand Purpose as the Next Marketing Paradigm

Published: May 27, 2020


Belén Derqui, IQS Universitat Ramon Llull; Teresa Fayos, Instituto de Economía Internacional/University of Valencia


Communication; Sustainability; Purpose


Companies nowadays face the challenge of communicating their sustainable initiatives, due to consumer scepticism and poor or even negative commercial impact of initiatives to date. While literature is scanty in analysing the challenge of communicating sustainability, the goal of this paper is to shed light on how brands can take advantage of the ever increasing consumer focus on sustainability. Methods include 14 in-depth interviews with top management of multinational firms in the Spanish FMCG sector. Results highlight the importance and difficulty of communicating sustainability benefits that are relevant to the consumer. A relevant implication of the study is that Sustainability Communication (SC) must start internally, transforming employees into brand ambassadors. SC addressing consumers needs to be genuine and product-specific. “showing” the sustainable benefits without the sales goal being evident. Brand purpose must be in the DNA of the corporation to be successful.