While the purpose of marketing is the same as it has always been, the way in which brands engage with brands is fundamentally changing.

If consumers are to buy in to a brand, they need to buy in to the entire company. Never before has so much emphasis been put on brand purpose and doing right by staff and customers, as well as the environment and society as a whole.

Becky Willan, managing director and co-founder of sustainability-driven agency Given London, is no stranger to helping brands build on their purpose, responsibility and values. In a former life, she was environmental manager EMEA at The Body Shop and is co-creator of Place09, a project dedicated to capturing personal thoughts about climate change.

She tells Charlotte Rogers her views on how marketers today should behave.

Consumer expectations changing

Marketing is going through some fundamental changes driven by massive category disruption and the fact consumer expectations about how businesses should behave are greater than ever. Now it’s not just about getting people to like your products, it’s about getting them to love your entire company.

The days of brand image where you could say one thing and do another are over, and the task for a marketer today is about building brands that people can really believe in and that involves taking a much broader perspective than maybe people had to 10-15 years ago.

One of the things that has happened over the past decade is that successful brand building has become more than just product marketing, it’s about having a point of view on the world. That idea has really started to crystallise among the marketing community. Today the conversation is not so much about why, but about how a brand can be better by doing good and that’s a pretty fundamental change in the narrative.

In the past there has been a misconception that purpose can’t coexist with other brand attributes. You’re either a purposeful brand or a fun brand. Purpose doesn’t replace everything else, it should just be another ingredient of the brand. So you have to really understand the nuances of how to bring different brand attributes together.

Clearly, your ability to do…