MUMBAI: The question many businesses today face is, what is your larger purpose? What are businesses doing to help reduce poverty, promote education, or even protect the environment? Do they really care about the world, or is it just about profits?
Innate Motion-a global company that applies human sense-making and engineers journeys of change to help organisations craft brands and businesses with greater purpose, has collaborated with Pitchfork Partners, a Mumbai-based marketing strategy consultancy to counsel corporations to bring a synergy between their efforts to do good, while keeping their business objectives in sight.
“Very simply put, we help position the purpose of a brand” Subodh Deshpande of Innate Motion states, clarifying that the service extends beyond directing philanthropic activities and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Two years ago, Innate Motion created a global format for global FMCG major Unilever called ‘Crafting Brands for Life’ where it showed an ideal way to build brand position. According to Deshpande, it is the need of the hour to create brands for life. And he gives the example of Dove, one of Unilever’s main brands, that emphasises the concept of real beauty as being who you are.
“Traditional marketing tells us that we shouldn’t be influenced by our emotions, because that makes us a bad business person” says Joyshree Reinelt of Innate Motion, adding that often too much business logic is applied to human beings, whereas it should be the other way around. That is, human logic should be applied to businesses.
‘If you want to build a purpose, you have to start from a human reality’ she says. Deshpande, Reinelt and Sonia Kapoor – all designated ‘business humaniser’ – were in Mumbai last week to announce the tie-up with Pitchfork Partners, set up earlier this year by seasoned communications professionals Sunil Gautam and Jaideep Shergill.
The aim is to understand consumers at a human level; to leave offices and spend time with people, the team at Innate says. “It is only when you become vulnerable and when you use empathy as a tool, that a true awakening happens” says Deshpande. Innate Motion has made detergent manufacturers wash clothes themselves. They’ve organised sessions where they’ve made people selling Walls ice-cream peddle their product on the streets. They’ve made businesses step into their consumers’ shoes and live the experience.
The feedback from clients is that they’ve acquired a new way of looking at things. “We create this embodied understanding that no one else is exploring” says Deshpande. The ultimate goal is to create a genuine people-to-people connect. Or, simply put, an empathy-based marketing strategy. “We help craft purpose brands, and help businesses do well by doing good. It’s a triple bottom line: to serve your profit, the people and the planet” says Reinelt.
The company urges businesses to give back to the community as well. They provide the example of soup brand Knorrox in South Africa. They helped the brand develop a campaign around the idea of fighting hunger and nurturing community bonds.
They empowered women who cook, calling them Knorrox Kitchen Queens, and gave them material to cook and feed a group of people. The idea was to curb hunger in the region. The theme was widely accepted, and the brand grew because of the cause it served.
“The marketing community in an organisation is different from the CSR team. In many companies, we’ve noticed that they are battling each other because they are not speaking the same language” Reinelt points out, while talking about how marketers don’t see the value of having a common purpose that can ensure profits while doing good. Innate Motion, however, does more than just CSR.
They are brand-crafters. The team is all praise for the government initiative of making contribution to CSR compulsory for corporates. “This shows that India is keen on creating betterment for itself” she says.
The change Innate Motion creates is a move from making philanthropy a profit-minimiser to a profit-driver. The brands that thrive are the ones that create value for the people and the society they live in, the team says.
While Innate has been working in India for five years, the collaboration with Pitchfork Partners should see greater presence for the consultancy. Shergill is bullish about the potential for advisors who have global expertise in the arena. The prospects for Messrs Innate and Pitchfork, says Shergill, are promising.
*Report first appeared with DNA
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