Barbara Bates, Global CEO of Hotwire
“Purpose-driven branding” has been a hot topic among marketers and business leaders in recent years. Companies of all sizes and industries are expected to elevate their brand purpose to include social purpose – and this expectation is set to increase with the emergence of younger generations as employees and purchasers. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos is where this concept really takes center stage. We continue to see leaders from companies such as Microsoft and Nestlé make commitments to how they will impact the world. And what these leaders say on that stage puts a big stake in the ground on their company’s higher purpose.
However, for many years, a company’s involvement or presence at Davos has seemed to be treated separately from the rest of the communications strategies. As we see consumers and employees placing even greater importance on a brand values and social-purpose when making purchasing decisions or career moves, we see a huge opportunity for communicators to think about how Davos can serve as an anchor for messaging throughout the entire year. We’ve surveyed marketers and our research found that less than half of marketing leaders (48%) think their company’s communications nearly always or always reflect its core values.
This no longer just applies to B2C brands either. In a recent survey we did on high-stakes leadership, 93% of US business decision makers take into account values when making a B2B purchasing decision. The reality is that lines are now blurred between B2B and B2C – Call it whatever you want to call it – B2P, marketing to humans, etc. – the end user is a person and their expectations are high and constant.
Davos is a melting pot of the world’s biggest thinkers across government and business – it gives unparalleled access to important conversations about the issues that impact the world today and into the future. As communicators, this provides an extremely valuable global perspective and insights that can spark ideas to elevate your company and thought leaders into even bigger, global conversations. At Hotwire, our clients span a wide global reach and expect that our borderless way of working with them also factors in the topics and issues we recommend they talk about. Davos serves as a rich resource for communicators to become educated on the world’s agenda.
While companies have been part of The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos for years, it’s increasingly more important that the commitments made are translated to the core brand values and lived out throughout the year.
About the Author: Barbara is the Group CEO, and the former founder and CEO of Eastwick Communications, which was acquired by Hotwire in 2016. She has more than 25 years’ experience working with brands to tell their stories, accelerate growth and build value working in Silicon Valley and beyond. She has partnered with some of the world’s biggest technology brands to create high-impact communication strategies and was proud to be named in Business Insider’s 2014 list of 50 Best Public Relations People in Tech and one of the Top 5 Women in PR by the PR World Awards.