Create “Word-Of-Mouse Advantage”

October 26, 2021

Jennifer Cawley, Barkley

Session Recording and Slide Deck


Jennifer Cawley presents Create “Word-Of-Mouse Advantage” through Purpose & Sustainability where she discusses how to build your business (not just your marketing strategy or digital strategy) on purpose.  


Values-Based Conversations lead to authentic relationships (4:34)

Did you know two-thirds of consumers buy based on brand values? With that statistic in mind, you do not want your brand to have a gap purpose. 

A “Purpose Action Gap” is when someone says they care about values, but they don’t actually create the culture or act on it. Here is an example. 

Pre-pandemic, people cared about the environment in a general sense. Now, there is a shift to care about more and more environmental-related things. People want to know how the company treats its people. How the company treats society. People want to know the company is contributing to the world in an ethically and socially responsible way. There is less thinking on the end result and more on the holistic view of the company. 

Another example: Ben & Jerry’s is the number one brand in their category because they make an emotional connection with their consumers. Because of this, Ben & Jerry’s enjoys price elasticity, frequency of use, and word of mouth advantage. The product is good. The service is good. But there is an edge when you connect with your consumers. 

Most people think that a strong purpose makes people feel good about your brand. However, we know that a strong purpose makes people feel good about themselves. Businesses need to meet consumers on their terms. 


Purpose Profit Cycle (9:52) 

First, create a strong purpose. Then, look at your brand’s impact across your value chain. A positive environment is one where everyone is working towards the same north star, which fuels an innovative culture. That innovation and positive culture lead to a better customer experience because it is about putting the consumer first and not just about how to sell a product or service. That customer loyalty comes into more profit which can allow the business to grow in a sustainable and responsible way. 


Whole Brand Spectrum (10:38)

Consumers are demanding more. It is better to view your brand as a whole entity from business ideas to marketing ideas. Better purpose across your brand leads to better storytelling, better opportunities, and better connection to people. 


The Purpose Advantage (11:15)

You can use brand actions to create emotional connections with consumers by creating, proving, communicating, and minding the gap. 


CREATE an emotionally-charged and intentional purpose. 

PROVE your purpose with relevant and connected actions across the whole brand. 

COMMUNICATE with urgency, clarity and frequency, inside and out. 

MIND the gap by measuring and optimizing at all times, keeping your purpose as sharp, energizing and actionable as possible. 


Purpose (12:00) 

At its simplest form, a purpose is the intersection between what your brand is good at and what the world needs. Does your purpose rally people internally? A good purpose is innovative, motivating, and has longevity. Prove your purpose with action. 


Innovative – Does it work as a creative or innovation brief across the whole brand spectrum? 

Motivating – Does it motivate people to participate with your brand, inside and out? 

Longevity – Is it culturally relevant and nimble, designed for the long haul? 


Sustainability Framework (14:39)

Start with your unifying purpose. Put together a strategy and plan your pillars. Then create SMART goals and actions to support your pillars and business purpose. 


Communicating your Purpose (20:00)

Communicate your purpose with urgency, clarity, and frequency. There are four areas to be aware of to communicate your purpose effectively and meaningfully. 

  • Know Your Purpose Authority. Purpose and Sustainability need to be within the brand.  It needs to be activated and it needs to be at the center of the brand in everything the brand does. Some reasons why purpose fails include purpose washing, no connection to brand, no meaning to individual (too much about brand), no adoption, and being poorly communicated.
  • Know your tone. Many brands have tones and personalities; these need to be filtered through purpose. Storytelling is how people make sense of the world. You can think about tone through an archetype to identify your brand’s tone.
  • Create the conditions for meaningful conversations. Modern consumers don’t want to be part of your story – they want you to be a part of theirs. Brands need to create the conditions for people to come to them whether it’s because the brand is doing good things or how actions align with the person’s values. 
  •  Communicate at the speed of consumer culture. Purpose can make the decision to act much faster.