At the heart of every brand is its purpose: an articulation of why a brand exists and how it makes a positive impact in people’s lives and the world they live in. Purpose is foundational to building brands and driving consistency across the brand experience, imparting direction for both global meaning and local nuances.

At Kantar Vermeer, we help develop and embed purposeful brand positioning as well as clear brand architecture strategy.

The Purpose practice leverages the power of storytelling to uncover purpose territories, build brand purpose and codify positioning. Moreover, the Purpose practice helps bring Purpose to life inside and outside the organization. When developed effectively, Purpose will engage employees, customers and consumers to promote storytelling, and spark a movement that becomes an engine for sustainable business growth.

Case Study: Dulux

Back in 2006, AkzoNobel was a heavily decentralized business, structured around local markets. The business owned dozens of professional and consumer brands around the world, yet failed to use its scale in order to deliver synergies. Control of these brands resided at  the local level.  As AkzoNobel continued to globalize, the need to differentiate their consumer paint brands, against their strengthening competitors in key markets, became greater and more pressing.

Kantar Vermeer was consulted to help AkzoNobel find their new global purpose territory for their consumer paint brands. Dulux was one of the biggest brands in this portfolio. Our first step was to get a sense of the purchase drivers and relevant consumer insights in the category. Using existing and commissioned research from across key markets, in order to identify the most important human truths behind the success of Dulux, the team discovered that there were powerful and common consumer insights across said markets: Our home and surroundings have a powerful influence on how we think, feel, and live; we feel good when they reflect who we are and who we want to be – and by changing them we can even become who we want to be. This insight provided us with a powerful platform, from which to ladder up to the new global brand positioning for Dulux. The positioning was fuelled by a global brand purpose: Adding color to people’s lives, by selling tins of optimism, not just tins of paint.

A ‘roadshow’ for the new positioning, these sessions were conducted in each of the Dulux key markets, where local marketers, whose job it was to deliver the brand promise to consumers, would be inspired by the ‘show & tell’. Each program consisted of an airing of the Brand Manifesto and Brand Film. It also included interactive exercises that further clarified the positioning and helped define what copy and visuals were on or off brand. Furthermore, a review of the current marketing mix was performed, in order to identify opportunity gaps with the new brand vision and purpose.

After establishing a global purposeful positioning, AkzoNobel was for the first time able to roll out a globally aligned communication campaign for Dulux – ‘Let’s Colour’ – that aims to transform and revitalize rundown neighborhoods in major cities across the globe. The response from consumers, municipalities and corporations has been enormously enthusiastic. This could not have been achieved under the former brand positioning.


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