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Purpose Brands. Engaged brands making the shift from loyalty to love

Programa de continuidad | Spanish

May 30 OF 2017 from 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM


A brand must always listen to its market

On Tuesday May 30, ESADE held another interesting talk in the Refresher Programme series entitled ''Purpose Brands. Brands that use engagement to transform loyalty into love'' by Gerard Costa, Juan Mezo, Isabel Ferrer (marketing director of Barbie) and Sandra Andrés (brand manager of Dove).

In today’s global economic scenario characterised by a boom in brands and makes, the only companies that have achieved the right positioning to ensure a greater competitive edge in the long term are those that have developed their talent and managed to create a market niche.

As Juan Mezo pointed out, according to the 2017 Mindful Brands survey, 75% of people would not care if the world’s leading brands disappeared. In Spain, this figure rises to 92%, indicating that most brands only garner the loyalty of a very small percentage of the population. Gerard Costa meanwhile, commented that companies must create shared value by responding to social needs, rooting out business opportunities and corporate assets and enterprise.

Mezo emphasised that society is increasingly complex and that consumers are increasingly demanding and want fast, interactive commitment and total transparency from companies. This makes it essential to take professionals on board and cooperate with other organizations.

The professor said that short- and medium-term objectives put great pressure on marketing departments, and added that their objectives must tally with the firm’s environmental policy and the impact its business has on society, which in itself is another difficulty.

After this introduction, the brand manager of Dove, Sandra Andrés, spoke. ''Dove is No. 1 in the ranking of brands which are meaningful and different to consumers gaining great leadership,'' said Sandra. The Dove brand of soap was a peace symbol launched in World War II to cleanse soldiers’ wounds and moisturize their skin.

The brand’s campaigns have concentrated on breaking away from set stereotypes of beauty with slogans such as ''Real, democratic beauty is on the inside'' and ''My beauty, my decision'' used in the 2007 campaign. Sandra emphasized that ''thanks to social networks these campaigns were very successful and some even went viral and helped promote our brand.'' Dove is in fact one of the top 10 best known brands and is sold in 140 markets.

In addition, since 2004 Dove has been holding workshops to help develop greater self-confidence and self-esteem, attended by more than 23 million young people. The target is 20 million more by 2020. Dove started its real beauty campaign in 2004, and has now been joined by many other brands and social movements. ''What you sell must be real, communication is essential and this is a long-term strategy. So our Dove campaigns are in line with the brand,'' said the brand manager.

Meanwhile, the Barbie marketing manager, Isabel Ferrer, emphasised that ''what matters most is for brands to listen to their market and provide what it needs, because people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.'' Barbie was launched in 1959 to inspire girls and let them decide and dream about what they wanted to be. Barbie is, in fact, available in more than 180 professions.

However, after fifty-eight years, the values and needs of society change. The brand stopped listening to consumers and sales fell in ten four-month periods during 2013, 2014 and 2015. But it was decided to redefine the aim of inspiring and nurturing the limitless potential of each girl, and innovation was taken to heart.

The steps taken to redefine the aim included a search for diversity, the incorporation of technology and artificial intelligence and the representation of role models or prominent women in society. A new line featuring different body shapes was launched too, to spark a new debate about diversity. A 10% increase in sales was achieved in 2016 by radically overhauling the brand’s positioning. Barbie is back.




ESADE Alumni is pleased to invite you to another talk in the Refresher Programme: ''Purpose Brands. Engaged brands making the shift from loyalty to love.''

This talk is a chance to compare the innovative concept of ''purpose brands'', i.e. brands with a soul, with two benchmark business practices.

The frame of reference is that of companies who build their brand management on a new value proposition: a combination of an inherent distinguishing feature, a cause they are passionate about, and a need felt by society and particularly its consumers. Value propositions that we are starting to link to companies more able to make innovative products, transform society and increase the satisfaction and involvement of their in-house talent.

Brands are evolving towards proposals whose behaviour is more transparent, genuine and ethical and better suited to the values of the millennial generation because they can aspire to becoming movement brands whose managers must think about whether purpose brands are born or made.

Gerard Costa (Lic&MBA 87/PhD 04), professor in the ESADE Department of Marketing Management
Juan Mezo (Lic&MBA 84), academic assistant, ESADE and director, Valores & Marketing

The practical cases will feature:
Isabel Ferrer (Lic&MBA 95), EMEA Marketing Director- Barbie Franchise, Mattel
Sandra Andrés (Lic&MBA 07), Brand Manager, Dove



Each member may bring a maximum of one guest.

See you there!

How to get to ESADE:

Public transport: Bus (22, 64, 78, 63 and 75), Metro (L3 Maria Cristina) and FGC (L6 Reina Elisenda).
Car: NEW municipal parking B: SM in c / Marqués de Mulhacen, 51.

For further information: