Purpose is the watchword of contemporary PR, with nearly every agency on the block talking about heightened expectations for brands. But most of what’s said on this topic fails to address the bottom line: how does a consumer brand strategically leverage its purpose to differentiate from competitors and win new customers?

Today’s competition between brands is fierce, with consumers of the future demanding more than ever. Consumers are forcing brands to go above and beyond providing top-notch quality at the lowest price. They are looking under the corporate hood and buying based on what a company stands for. 

  • APCO Insight research found that 93% of the most informed and influential consumers surveyed agree that the best companies do good for their shareholders while doing good for society. Consumers are looking for a company that shares their values and is doing good in the world.

But, what defines good? This can get tricky considering that doing good in the world is in the eye of the beholder. The way one person evaluates a company’s purpose can be vastly different from her neighbor, and while both might be interested in American manufacturing jobs, the one might prioritize better wages and benefits while the other focuses on a company’s supplier diversity initiatives. This is where it is imperative for companies to be aware of their consumers, their consumers’ influencers and the values held by each.  

When companies listen to and know their audiences, they can identify and harness specific consumer insights, leading to the development of tailored communications programs that align to the priorities of purpose-motivated consumers. In addition to driving efficiency in earned and paid media spend, we’ve seen this approach translate into both higher overall brand perceptions and increased differentiation from competitors. 

In short, the key to winning consumers of the future lies in matching your commitments and actions to the unique, values- and interest-based communities to which they belong.

Learn more about how companies can leverage purpose to differentiate themselves:



For more information, watch the following video:

Kas Rigas
Kas Rigas

Kas Rigas is a senior director in APCO Worldwide’s consumer practice and based in the firm’s New York office. Read More