The purpose paradox
“The word purpose got hijacked. It just means having a role and a reason to exist.” These are the cogent words of Marketing Week columnist Helen Edwards. She was talking to us for a feature unpicking what purpose means in 2023, linked to below.
It’s been a challenging year for purpose cheerleaders. Brands that make sustainability claims are coming under greater regulatory scrutiny, Bud Light received a viscous and materially consequential backlash after highlighting D&I, and then, in October, the new CEO of Unilever, Hein Schumacher, said it would no longer “force-fit” purpose to its brands. “For some brands, it simply won’t be relevant – and that’s ok,” he added.