If you have driven down Route 15 in the last year, I am sure you have stopped by Panera Bread for a delicious sandwich, soup, or salad. As someone who has certainly done this a few times, I am always astonished by the speed at which they can deliver their freshly made food. It is a unique quality I attribute to Panera and part of the reason I am a returning customer. In marketing terms, I would say I appreciate that the company and I share the values of time and quality.
In today’s increasingly informed and transparent world, however, this simple connection is not enough. Should I find out that Panera’s speed and freshness come at the cost of harming the environment, I would feel betrayed and would most likely not return. In this sense, companies are now responsible for acting in accordance with the values they share with their customers. As more consumers become considered “socially conscious consumers” this responsibility only grows (nytimes).
To communicate that their behaviors are indeed inspired by their core values, companies are turning toward “purpose-based marketing,” in which their messages are integrated with a mission they strive to achieve (nytimes). In Panera’s new campaign, for instance, they have adopted the slogan “Live Consciously, Eat Deliciously,” which boasts both their tasty food and commitment to a cause other than increasing profits. Please take a moment to watch the commercial below:
After watching Panera’s new campaign, how does it make you feel? Are you satisfied with the claims they make? For those of you who answered yes, how are you prepared to determine if Panera is telling the truth?
Panera has actually made considerable efforts to deliver on their promise of ending hunger through organizations like Panera Cares and foundations like the Panera Bread foundation. My point is not that all companies are liars, but that once purposed-based marketing becomes the only way to legitimize a company’s mission in the eyes of consumers, each company will have to create campaigns that display their commitment to something larger than themselves. With companies clambering over one another to prove themselves, how will we measure which claims genuine and which are nothing but empty promises?
Photo Courtesy of Forbes
Works Cited: nytimes