The transition from brand promise to brand purpose is one of the open-secret challenges confronting incumbent brands seeking to wrest or sustain market relevance.
Unlike a few years ago, brands are now built by the public, customers, and critics, with brand owners merely acting as moderators. In this case, inspiring promises to customers or mere expression of semiotic identity and corporate beliefs to stakeholders is no longer sufficient.
Fashion and beauty, sports, entertainment, technology, and, lately, gaming have become some of the most fancied Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to deliver on brand purpose. Many brands like the card payment giant Visa, play big with the game of Football. After all, Football, they say, is big business.
Amidst countries seeking to use football sponsorship to breathe life into their Fsovereign ranking, the game continues to offer opportunities for sponsors looking to raise brand stature. For instance, the just concluded 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar attracted approximately five billion TV viewers. This number accounts for more than half of the world’s population.
Even before the pandemic tested our humanity and values, the need for brands to have a meaningful purpose was on the rise. Several businesses prioritized the well-being of their employees, while others found new uses for what they value.
Fast food restaurants and hotels alike opened their doors to serve as medical facilities, while cruise lines transformed their ships into mobile clinics. As an offshoot of that, businesses are increasingly called upon to take a vocal stand on critical social issues.
The chief takeaway is that COVID-19 apart from serving the customer-centric value has given us all a “communal challenge” and thereby elevated the idea of a company’s focus on overcoming society’s greatest needs: A few instances of the current social issues facing society, especially emerging economies include multi-dimensional poverty, the climate crisis, gender inclusion, and the need to empower the rising number of digipreneurs.
Through their sponsorship for the month-long football event, brands as Visa, Qatar Airlines, Wanda Group, Vivo, Hublot, Adidas, The Coca-Cola Company, Hyundai, crypto.com, and Byju’s were notable ecosystem players helping to surface the social benefits of Football to humanity.
By operating at the intersection of sports, payment, and social inclusion, Visa provides a convenient way to solve social problems and stimulate a more sustainable form of serving the market. Fans at the Mundial learned about the innovation which Visa is facilitating; the worldwide movement of money through the Visa Masters of Movement experience, which included the use of blockchain technology and other digital solutions that provide more people access to the global economy.
Perhaps more life-changing was the Visa Everywhere Initiative. Visa has, in the last 20 years of its sojourn, invested in building an ecosystem of relationship, trust, and prosperity for its customers across the world using the beautiful game of Football.
Through the “Everywhere Initiative programme” leading to Qatar 2022, Visa awarded over $530,000 in prize money. Throughout the competition, five regional winners selected from a pool of over 4,000 startups competed to win the coveted Visa Everywhere Initiative with Ayo Arikawe of ThriveAgric smiling home with the grand prize. Building a compelling technology payment system to enhance food security in Africa was all he required to win.
With the 17 SDG goals providing a useful guidepost for brands seeking to create social value, three things remain credible differentiation points: what the world needs, what your business is good at and what you are passionate about. Your ultimate purpose comes at the node of ‘what the world needs’ and ‘your brands special talents at providing such.
Similar to the breathtaking Middle-East experience provided by QATAR 2022, 2026 will offer yet another ground-breaking chance for brands to repurpose their impact through the world’s most prestigious international football championship. The World Cup will feature 48 teams and be played for the first time in three nations.
Nduneche Ezurike is an opt-in research panelist of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council (HBR) and a fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (Fnimn)
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999