At a recent Portada Live event, brand marketers from Curaçao and Costa Farms discussed how they capitalize on brand purpose to create brand equity and business value. Learn to listen to your customers to fine-tune your brand’s purpose and leverage brand equity. (Watch the VIDEO at the end of the article!).
Brand purpose should be the main reason for a brand’s existence. A purpose-oriented business exists to serve society rather than archetypical business goals that start and end at profit and sales numbers. When Costa Farms, the largest horticultural grower in the world, identified that its brand purpose was to democratize plant enjoyment and consumption, the message they needed to put out there, in front of the customers, became clear.
“Our mission is to bring happiness and joy to everybody’s life as plants are a distinct form of life humans can care for, particularly in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” Mari Carrasquillo, Senior Director Brand & Channel Marketing at Costa Farms, said. “We need to understand the consumer by answering questions such as how our plans fit into the evolving consumer needs.”
For example, during the pandemic, it was all about using plants for mental health, but plant enjoyment could also reflect a green lifestyle, cultural connections, and self-expression. Based on the purpose plants could fulfill for Costa Farms’ consumers, they built four specific segments to serve each of those groups:
- Wellness-life balance.
- Expressionists: Colors, side effects, decor (interior decorator segment).
- Hobbyist (e.g. coconut oil, high enthusiasm).
- Naturalist (outdoor plant oriented).
By building these four specific segments, Costa Farms ensured they were aligning their brand purpose with their customers’ reasons for wanting to buy plants.
How a Hispanic Targeted Retailer Builds Brand Purpose
Seraj Bharwani, Chief Strategy Officer, AcuityAds, and Ariela Nerubay, EVP, CMO, Curacao, recently published an academic paper in the Journal of Brand Strategy called “Capitalising on brand purpose: Creating brand equity and business value from the ground up.” The two executives discussed the topic at a recent Portada Live event.
Curacao, a large-format retail store chain and finance company with export, travel, and money transfer services, discovered how they needed to adapt their brand purpose by listening to their customers and building a community through their stores and their employees.
“Curacao is a company that was built by immigrants. It is managed by Latinos for Latinos. Our workforce is built 90% by Latinos. Trust comes from people feeling comfortable in the environments where they shop and where they provide their information,” explained Ariela Nerubay, CMO & EVP of Marketing at Curacao. “People that come to the store have a good experience because they have the music they like listening to. The people they talk to are from the same countries as they are; that gives them a connection they can only have with people that come from the same country.”
In addition, Curacao can understand its customers’ habits very closely, thanks to big data. “90% of our customers buy using our credit card, which gives us a tremendous amount of data of who they are, where they live, what they shop, when they shop, how they pay, how good of a payer they are. All this data is vital in forming our business”, added Nerubay.
According to Nerubay, by listening to its customers and analyzing the data, Curacao built a brand purpose that served its customers. She asserted that her customers trust Curacao for all these reasons:
- Curacao is authentic.
- Curacao belongs to their community.
- Curacao offers them a customized experience.
- Customers information has been protected for the last 40 years.
Leveraging Brand Equity to Create Business Value
Curacao not only created its brand purpose hand in hand with its customer’s needs and customs but also managed to leverage it successfully. To do so, they needed to expand their credit business and expand beyond the physical stores.
“One of our biggest challenges was that our credit limited them to our four walls,” Nerubay explained. “We started to think of ways to expand their buying power. We are about to launch a new vertical as part of Curacao that is called Entry Personal Loans; it puts cash into our Hispanic community pockets to be able to take it anywhere else.”
With this vertical, Curacao’s customers can access the experiences they are interested in by using travel options. “We have full travel agency services where they can use their Curacao credit on travel to any place in the world,” Nerubay added. In addition, Curaçao has other partners, like Disney and Apple, were their customers can also make use of their credits.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO with Ariella Nerubay and Seraj Bharwani discussing the Brand Purpose and Creation of Business Value!