Marketing with a Purpose

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By Monique Diefendorf
Marketing Director

Confession: I have never stepped foot in a Whole Foods. Not because I have no desire to — in fact, I want to see what all the fuss is about — but for the past three years, the only Whole Foods near me was a 40-minute drive and well, it just didn’t seem worth the energy. But after this week, I must say that I am finally ready to walk into a Whole Foods and see what the hype is about. Why? Because they are marketing with a purpose. And no, I don’t mean they are looking for an ROI; I mean Social Responsibility

Believe it or not, consumers want way more from your company than just the goods and services that you sell. They want a purpose; they want social responsibility, and if you don’t know what that means, let me educate you.

Let’s diverge for just a little bit.

Honey bees are disappearing because of pesticides, disease, and loss of habitat. Before you cheer that that means that we have one less insect to deal with, think again; bees play an important role as pollinators and help to sustain agricultural production. However, according to an article in TIME magazine, “More than 700 North American bee species are headed towards extinction.”

Imagine what this means for consumers who head into grocery stores only to find empty shelves because the bees aren’t there to pollinate our agriculture? That’s what happened to some consumers in 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island at their local Whole Foods. The Whole Foods produce team pulled 52% of honey bee and pollinator-dependent produce products. They did this to prove how crucial pollinators are to our food system. And guess what…Whole Foods was recently at it again.

In June of 2018, Whole Foods went basically blank on their Instagram account. Their goal: raise awareness of the endangerment of our bee population. And guess what? It got people talking. Some people thought they were hacked, while others read into the clues that Whole Foods left on their account and knew exactly what their motive was. Whether people knew the reason behind Whole Foods wiping their account didn’t really matter — they were making a big stand for a worthy cause; they were getting people to talk about real, pressing issues.  

That’s social responsibility: looking beyond your day-to-day goals as a business and finding a true purpose for what you want your company and brand to stand for.

The Mission Statement of Whole Foods, according to their website, is, ”Our purpose is to nourish people and the planet. We’re a purpose-driven company that aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers. Quality is a state of mind at Whole Foods Market.” I certainly think their actions support their mission.

Call me crazy for finally wanting to go into Whole Foods just because of this, but in today’s world, I need a brand that cares, and I’m sure your target consumers feel the same way.

Which begs the question — just how socially responsible is your brand?

On Target is an Orlando- based Digital Marketing Agency that helps brands stand out and rise above the noise. Through great storytelling, On Target turns companies into thought leaders. Founded in 2005 as a search engine marketing (SEO) firm, we’ve evolved into Orlando’s only agency that specializes in creating remarkable online content. If you’re looking to refresh your marketing strategy, contact us today.

About the Author:

Monique is the Marketing Director at On Target and has been with the company for twelve plus years. She lives in the Dallas / Fort Worth area of Texas with her husband. In her free time, she loves to explore the great big state of Texas. Seeing clients succeed in the digital world is what inspires her the most.