Carlos Beirao da Veiga On Companies Embracing Purpose

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( — November 22, 2022) — 

Patagonia was an early adopter of what many brands now grasp: Customers expect a brand’s ethos to embrace purpose and authentic inclusivity beyond maximizing profits. Some marketing experts, including Carlos Beirao da Veiga of Portugal, have long championed what Patagonia and other firms were doing. 

“At the outset, I tell my clients their brands need to adopt authentically inclusive and purpose-centered mission statements,” Beirao da Veiga says. “It’s the foundation of any successful business today.”

Carlos Beirao da Veiga operates a Portuguese marketing agency, Da Veiga Consulting. Like most of his peers, he noted one of Patagonia’s mission-inspired moves. In 2019, it stopped selling co-branded versions of its sleeveless fleece vest to specific companies, including J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Such companies featured their small logo opposite the “Patagonia” logo on the vest, a status symbol in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street. But Patagonia’s message was clear: The company values purpose over profit. 

Purpose and its close cousin, inclusivity, are two game-changing factors that have been gaining traction for years. They’re worth pursuing, not just according to Patagonia’s gut, but because the data says so, including the April 2021 Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey. 

The report, prepared by Deloitte Insights, is based on research gathered from more than11,500 global consumers and 1,000 global executives. It outlines emerging and growing marketing trends and underscores that companies should communicate purpose and inclusivity in addition to profit. 

Marketing Expert Carlos Beirao da Veiga Endorses the Data

“The data is moving the needle, forcing companies to be more transparent about why they exist beyond profit,” Carlos Beirao da Veiga says. “Aligning a company’s mission with purpose influences everything, from product delivery to community engagement.” 

After Beirao da Veiga analyzed the Deloitte Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey, he was more confident that companies should modernize by adopting some revealing trends. 

“The data shows that consumers are consistently focused on price and quality,” Beirao says. “But high-growth brands cannot rely on those factors alone to remain competitive. These brands should communicate their responsibility beyond profit to consumers.” 

Deloitte Insights’ research found that consumers prioritize price and quality as their top-three purchasing criteria. At least one of the two reasons appeared between 61 % and 86 % of the time. 

However, cost and quality don’t tell the whole story – especially regarding high-growth brands that experience annual revenue growth of 10 % or more. Globally, 57 % of people surveyed indicated that, in general, they are more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequities. A third of consumers 25 and younger see sustainability as a top criterion when buying beauty and personal care products.

“The data describes a clear theme,” Beirao da Veiga. “Modern companies must deliver price and quality, but these are largely commodity features rather than differentiators for a brand for high-growth brands.”

Carlos Beirao da Veiga, Others, Explain How Purpose and Inclusivity Improve Marketing 

High-growth brands activate purpose in myriad ways that go beyond profit. Examples include supporting a healthy environment, as with American-Nicaraguan firm Masaya & Co.’s sustainably made furniture and Brazil’s consciously made Cariuma sneakers. Yves Rocher, a France-based beauty and personal care brand, says its purpose is to “reconnect people to nature.”

Yves Rocher global CEO Guy Flament explains, “Our founder was convinced that humankind, without nature, will disappear … The point is not to exploit nature but to manage our lives to be symbiotic with nature.” 

Guided by purpose, employees can become problem solvers and value providers, and they innovate better, say 63.4% of executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Like purpose-oriented marketing, authentically inclusive marketing is critical. Consumers, especially the youngest ones, question whether a brand supports diversity and inclusion publicly and behind the camera. As populations diversify by factors including race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, brands must authentically reflect this diversity in their messaging. Deloitte Insights discovered that among global consumers, those 18 to 25 years old – youngest respondents – were more aware of inclusive advertising when making purchase decisions. 

More statistics support the focus on inclusivity. Deloitte Insights’ U.S. results show that respondents’ awareness increased if they identified as Asian, Pacific Islander, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Alaska Native, multiracial, or biracial. When paying for a product or experience, these groups were up to two-and-a-half times more likely to be aware of a brand that prominently promotes diversity. 

As companies look to the future, they increasingly understand the benefits of purpose and inclusivity. These issues matter for businesses and their customers, but they also matter to the world. Diversity means employees from different backgrounds and cultures provide companies with a balance of voices. And more than ever, consumers want proof that a company’s purpose builds a better world.