Incorporate Purpose into Your Messaging with These 5 Rules from DoSomething Strategic



“It’s no longer risky to stand for something. It’s riskier for brands to stand on the sidelines.” — Mary Noel, Director, DoSomething Strategic


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For decades, good marketing was good marketing – whether or not the company behind the marketing had a soul. But GenZ is changing the game for brands, and this next generation of consumers is now every marketer’s top priority.

At #SMWNYC, Mary Noel Director at DoSomething Strategic, a social impact consultancy, shared insights on the generation that wants brands to stand for something, even if it’s controversial.

GenZ, those born before 1997 are the largest and also the most diverse generation ever. They have over 143 million dollars of purchasing power. They are also the most socially aware.

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Purpose matters to GenZ, however, brands are missing the mark on reaching, engaging, and activating young people around their brand purpose, because they don’t understand them well enough.

It’s about more than a great product or service

Seventy-six percent of young people said they have purchased or would purchase a brand/product to show support for the issues the brand supported.

According to Edelman research, two-thirds of all people buy or boycott brands because of what they care about.

“Young people care about everything – no cause is off limits”, said Noel. That’s why we infuse purpose into marketing in a way that activates GenZers to support companies and causes and we reach them reaching in the places they hang out. Most often, that’s text messaging.

Only eleven percent of young people seek out information about CSR from brands. We don’t want them to just know about it, and they want to be a part of it… so involve them and invite them to participate. Also, 60% of young people volunteer because their friends are doing it. FOMO is powerful.

Five rules to live by

Highlighting the importance of incorporating purpose into marketing messages, Noel shared five rules:

  1. Meet them where they are
  2. Use influencers with the right influence
  3. Respect their privacy
  4. Activate your base
  5. But don’t forget IRL (in real life)

“What young people are demanding, everybody wants”

Noel concluded that it’s no longer risky to stand for something; that it’s riskier for brands to stand on the sidelines. GenZ is demanding something better from the brands they support, and they are demanding what everybody wants… other generations just didn’t know they could expect better.

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