Learnings from Cannes: Purpose-Driven Brands and Businesses

One of the highlights in Cannes was OMD Oasis: drinks by the water late afternoon, catching up with colleagues throughout the day, meeting new ones from around the network and a brilliant line up of talks each day.

One of the talks I attended was called Purpose-Driven Brands and Businesses. Purpose-driven marketing was an emerging trend last year, this year is was everywhere in Cannes.  Still a PR girl at heart, I never get sick of talking about this. A line up of industry heavy weights discussed this hot topic. Here are my four key take outs:

  1. Brand Purpose is important for more people than you think: it is not just motivating for your customers but your staff and your suppliers as well. David Pemsel, CEO of the Guardian Media Group says that he has found millennials are asking what companies stand for before they take a job now.
  2. You can’t force fit or retrofit purpose: Nada Dugas from P&G says that purpose has to be part of the fabric of who the brand is and what it was based on. It cannot be retrofitted or force fitted. If you have lost your purpose, go back and ask yourself who you are as a brand and why you exist.
  3. We need to define new metrics for purpose: this is the next challenge businesses face moving forward. What are the metrics for purpose?
  4. Who are your Change Agents?: Pushing your organisation or your clients to be Purpose Driven can be an uphill battle. But one person can make a difference. You need those people: Change Agents. This phrase came up a lot in Cannes. Who are those people who care enough, who believe enough, who are tenacious enough to drive change? It might be you…!
OMD Oasis

From left to right: David Pemsel, CEO, The Guardian Media Group; Latha Sundaram, Global Account Director, OMD Mick Ebeling, Founder and CEO, Not Impossible Labs; Eugene Willemsen, Executive Vice President, Global Categories and Franchise Management, PepsiCo; Nada Dugas, Communications, Proctor and Gamble

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Claire Dean

Claire is Deputy Head of Strategy at OMD UK. She has a great passion for connecting brands with people and limitless curiosity to dig for rich consumer and cultural insights.

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