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Using purpose to bring positive change to India | Nandini Nayyar, AVP, InDeed

08 Jun 2018 published an article on ‘Purposeful marketing investments to bring positive change in India’ where they featured their conversation with Nandini Nayyar, AVP, InDeed. Please scroll down to read the full story or click on the link below.

Using purpose to bring positive change to India

One of the insights from our Digital Society Index, launched earlier this year, is that there is a danger of backlash against technology in the digital economy. Ensuring high levels of trust and transparency should be a key part of the business agenda going forward.

For brands, this translates into putting purpose at the heart of their proposition: being clear about how they contribute to society helps build trust in these brands. We have seen that this also translates into higher growth in the digital economy, for instance through Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands, whose purposeful brands grow 50% faster than the rest of the business.

The Dentsu Aegis Network agency Indeed works on this agenda. Launched 12 months ago in India, the agency is responding to Indian legislation mandating that business must give 2% of their net profits to charitable causes in the areas of education, poverty, gender equality and hunger. Indeed helps our clients, the world’s biggest brands, meet this legal requirement and integrate purpose in their advertising and media.

I asked AVP Nandini Nayyar from Indeed to reflect on the successes and learnings over the past year for Indeed, with the intention that their journey can inspire more purposeful marketing in our industry. I spoke to Nandini recently to find out more.

How does Indeed work with clients on purposeful marketing investments?
Indeed, a leading brand led CSR Consultant in India, primarily focusses on purposeful marketing, where a brand is known to be responsible for social good. And this, in turn, creates greater impact on businesses and their growth. The key, for us, is to find synergy between the business and their initiatives that could solve a social problem for an overall good.

Can you give me an example of that?
A great example of the same is a project we are doing with Honda for the war widows. Named Umeed -which means hope in Hindi is designed for families of the heroes who lost their life fighting for the country. Besides the immense emotional trauma and loss there is also huge financial instability and lack of employment that the widows and their children have to live with. There is absolutely bare minimum resource to help them survive. Even their own families don’t support .With such insecurity these women end up doing odd jobs to sustain themselves and their families.

We pitched a concept on skill development to Honda for these bereaved women. The Umeed campaign was designed to teach these women to make Bike Bags with old army khaki uniforms or tent materials. Honda also used its supplier and dealer relationships to set up sales points for the Bike Bags, with all proceeds going to the women involved. In other words, Honda leveraged its infrastructure to develop a sustainable line of work for people in difficult circumstances who need a slight push, a ray of hope to be able to come back to normal living.

What would your recommendations be for a successful purposeful marketing campaign?
Based on the Honda Umeed campaign, I would say the first point is to clearly focus on a specific social issue, with a clearly defined group of beneficiaries. In this case, widows of fallen soldiers.

The second recommendation would be to leverage the power of the brand’s assets. This could be used to raise awareness or to find supportive infrastructure and market access. There has to be a strong link between the issue and the brand, otherwise it won’t work.

My third recommendation would be to work with partners in the charity sector to give your campaign legitimacy and authenticity.

What can the marketing industry learn from the charity sector?
It’s a fantastic sector which can help corporates build a great social image. Importantly, it can help avoid accusations of white or green-wash. It is a huge opportunity to immediately connect with the audiences and their emotional cords, thereby building top of the mind brand recall. This, in turn, creates a definitive impact on sales growth!

Do you see positive results on brand metrics and sales for your clients?
As an advocate of social good and compelling clients to invest in ideas and concepts that would lead to a positive image of the brand, we don’t usually talk about sales. However, with the high impact socially connecting programmes, there is definitely an overlap of positivity and brand connect that works in building positive metrics for the business.

And you were recently awarded for the Honda project?
Yes. We recently won “Silver” in the category “Non-traditional media” at the ACEF Awards. The results proved that a strong purposeful campaign can drive great mileage for the corporate and connect with the audiences largely. The impact is stupendous. We are immensely thankful to an esteemed brand such as Honda for giving us the opportunity to design a CSR programme that is both purposeful and impactful.