Purpose: The intersection between brands, the conscious consumer and the sharing economy.

At a time when brands can come from nowhere – with no legacy – and disrupt or own a once established sector you can’t help but notice a fundamental shift in brand value and our once concrete definition thereof. 

So, what are the challenges for brands in the connected world?

Forrester predicts that in 2017, one-third of all businesses will restructure to what it describes as "customer-obsessed operations”. 

So what. What does that actually mean?

Well, this requires a knowledge of users and technology that is more experience-based (as opposed to traditional marketing), with business- and brand-related challenges, that leans itself towards the values of the sharing economy as well as a consumer-driven environment. 

Forrester also suggests that in 2017, at least one-third of marketers will restructure their marketing’s role to align it more closely with customer segmentations or journeys. 

A changing consumer mindset means that a new, more conscious consumer is demanding more ethical business practices. A search for trust in a post-financial, anti-institutional world as well as a desire for meaning in an increasingly conscious-driven world means that beyond a brand idea only, the conscious consumer wants to connect with a purpose.

Building a brand on a purpose also allows for social innovation. To move from “doing good” to addressing society’s needs and challenges in a way that also creates significant economic value for business. It allows it to stretch beyond a brand idea and expand into services, products and more lateral partnerships. 

This shift underpins the notion of “shared value” and a new way of achieving business success through reconceiving products and markets and meeting societal needs.