“Purpose branding is the central competitive advantage of SMEs over corporations. Unfortunately, this advantage is hardly used.” This view was explained by speaker Ralph Edgar Bennewitz to the participants of the working group for those responsible for marketing who spoke on the subject of “Brands with Purpose – Do companies have to become more social and how do you implement this?” met. Using brand models and best practice examples, Bennewitz explained how purpose branding works.
But what is purpose branding and why are small and medium-sized companies predestined for this marketing strategy? “When it comes to purpose, that is, a purpose in the sense of determination, then it is about values, and therefore it is about people. This basis is only fulfilled where companies begin with a person. With an entrepreneur,” explained Bennewitz. The most important tool for implementing a purpose branding strategy is the head. Because purpose branding also has a lot to do with personality.
Most of the time marketing practice looks like this: “Everything you control your brand with is extrinsically oriented. How does a market work? How a company? Why do people buy this, why that? With purpose branding, the challenge is to develop a strategy It is about the “want” and less about the “ought” and that has a lot to do with values and meaningfulness.
Bennewitz named the natural cosmetics company Weleda as an example. There has been consistently working out of “wanting” for 100 years. The company has also defined target groups and USPs, but the perspective for action comes completely from the conviction that you want to do something in a certain way. In the case of Weleda, this is anthroposophy and the consistency in every single step. “The difference between Weleda and what other companies do in marketing is that marketing at Weleda does not begin with the finished product, but with the point at which the seed enters the ground,” explained Bennewitz. At Weleda, communication begins at this point.
The manufacturer of outdoor clothing, Patagonia, is another good example from practice. “Patagonia has an excellent communication strategy, full of conviction, clarity and straight sentences, just as people say to people. Every single sentence is also meaningful and logical,” said Bennewitz. This communication leads to a high level of authenticity of the brand and is ultimately responsible for the great success that outdoor clothing has on the market.
Bennewitz advised the participating company representatives who wanted to embark on the path of purpose branding: “Don’t wait until the big thing is done. Take small steps and talk about it. The important thing is that you tell about every step you take Do you.”
At the end of the lecture there was still the opportunity for discussion and exchange, which the participants actively took advantage of.
Bennewitz said of the working group for those responsible for marketing: “In marketing practice, an exchange like the one you have in your working group is rare.” In his opinion, learning from one another and with one another is one of the most valuable ways. Because this not only increases the knowledge of each individual, but also creates a valuable community. And that in turn enables ideas that have a fundamentally new quality. Ideas that a single person could not have – and which could not be implemented as a single person. “I was particularly impressed by the mutual trust and common curiosity. These are the prerequisites for making a difference for an entire region. This is exactly how something can be achieved that both individuals and everyone can benefit from. And that’s called: sustainability. ”
Ralf Edgar Bennewitz is the owner of the Neuspur agency in Berlin, which deals with brand consulting and sustainable campaigns, among other things. Before starting his own business, Bennewitz worked in large agencies with clients who primarily came from the corporate landscape. After some time he realized that there was potential dormant in the SME sector that was hardly used and combined this with his sustainable thinking in order to be able to support such companies strategically and creatively with Neuspur. Since then he has been a sought-after expert, for example as a speaker at last year’s International Eyes & Ears Award Show.