Singapore: WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, in partnership with global leadership consultancy Uncommon Kind, have today launched Purpose Incorporated: A Primer for Brands in APAC to help marketers tackle the complexities and nuances of sustainability, social impact, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Asia Pacific – one of the most diverse and complicated regions in the world and home to half its population – and provide guidance to do good and better while achieving business results.
The special three-part series consists of a curated collection of world-class expertise, evidence, and examples to help brands with strategies, actionable insights, and practical steps they can implement to begin to reorient their business to contribute to people and the planet through profitable solutions.
Gabey Goh, Asia Editor, WARC, comments: “It was important for us to offer a resource hub for marketers to gain guidance and inspiration for how to do good and do better in the APAC region. Consumers in the region are demanding that brands take more tangible and progressive steps in addressing issues such as DEI, sustainability and enabling positive social impact – and they are not afraid of demonstrating this preference through their purchase decisions.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Uncommon Kind on this special series, and are grateful to Jenn Chin and the team for their nuanced input and work in making this resource a reality.”
Jenn Chin, Chief Strategy Officer, Uncommon Kind, added: “In 2020, we crossed a threshold and what we’ve all known for some time became painfully apparent. That being, what worked before, doesn’t work anymore and leaders need to take responsibility and act now for how they and their business shows up in every arena to ensure people and the planet are the priority.
“We recognize change takes years, requires investment and commitment of resources, budget, and empathetic leadership. But, if we return to leading with our humanity and focus on the 1% we can do better today than yesterday, then we’ve started the journey already.”
The first chapter – Mindsets and Management – released today, consists of an in-depth report with market overviews for East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Oceania, as well as a showcase of the breadth of initiatives already being carried out by local and global businesses, and the results of a survey fielded by WARC with senior industry leaders in the region. Additional expert commentary is provided by Uncommon Kind, BBDO, Economics of Mutuality Solutions, and TBWA.
Key findings from the WARC survey include:
- Industry leaders in APAC are most concerned about climate action and equality
- There is a disconnect between global brand purpose campaigns and issues that resonate locally
- APAC marketers are still trying to connect the dots between purpose and profit
Key takeaways highlighted from a comparative review of the APAC region are:
- Use brand purpose to address global issues but make it locally relevant.
The climate crisis impacts everyone, but it looks different in APAC, which means solutions must also be different. Establish circular economies for plastic production, and reuse and replenish community water resources.
- Western concepts of diversity, inclusion, and minority representation do not always transpose to APAC contexts.
The region doesn’t operate within Western racial power structures or the white/nonwhite binary which means there are other inequitable structures at play.
- DEI and social impact efforts must be culturally and locally specific to the market.
Asia is heterogeneous, complex and replete with local, regional, and global values and tensions. Success is dependent on taking a nuanced and considered approach that stems from direct consultation with local leaders and communities.
- Developed and developing countries have different DEI and social impact needs.
Some regions in APAC have low digital literacy rates, little economic empowerment, access to clean water or sanitation. More urbanized and affluent cities are striving for gender diversity or reducing individual consumption of plastic.
- There’s a lot of work to be done – but global and local brands have already started.
Beyond purpose-driven communications, brands have more importantly started doing the work. Evaluate how you can align your expertise and product with serving APAC communities.
The comprehensive and insightful first chapter of Purpose Incorporated: A primer for brands in APAC, is available for all and in full here
The second chapter, focusing on understanding Diversity & Inclusion in APAC will be released in September and the third chapter, The Profit in Purpose, in October. These two complete chapters will also be accessible to everyone committed to effecting meaningful business change.