Five tips for marketing to purpose driven audiences

Maximise the gains, minimise the risks


In our recent blog piece about the explosive growth of veganism and how food, FMCG and retail brands can profitably respond, we showed the size of the opportunity and how brands are responding. But what of the practical takeaways? Sound strategy has to be matched with great tactics to build lasting, successful brands. So, here are five points to cover when marketing to consumers with a cause, be it veganism or any other, to help you minimise the risks and maximise the gains.

1. Build relationships with influencers

Yes, you can just buy Instagram posts from influencers cheaply and easily from sites like, but that won’t create any lasting value and misses a huge trick.

Use influencers to help you understand the market and how to get to market. The right partners in this space can help you build the right offering and road-test the messaging. They are in close and detailed contact with your target audience constantly. Consumers will ridicule bad offerings and clumsy marketing in this purpose-driven markets even more than others.

2. The battle is often won or lost before the first shot is fired

Advice to ‘know your customer’ should be like saying ‘remember to breathe’ in marketing, but if well-resourced giants like Marks and Spencer can get it wrong, anyone can. Like with other ethically motivated offerings such as the Fairtrade movement: find out what your customer base cares about, what they distrust and craft your appeal accordingly.

Here’s how Dinosaur appealed to a sceptical audience to build reach and sales for The Co-op’s Fairtrade offering.

3. Expect engagement

This is a market that actively shares and engages with brands that do things right. In a world dominated by consumer apathy, an active and engaged customer base can be either a blessing or a curse. Prepare for both.

Be all over your social channels and be responsive to consumer reactions. If you don’t have one, develop a social listening capability to detect consumer sentiment outside of your own channels.

4. Plan for the lows

Brand safety issues are in play here and responding effectively to events is key. A brand that gets things wrong, but apologises honestly, puts in place effective remedies and learns lessons will be forgiven and afforded respect. A ham-fisted, slow, defensive response will lead to brand damage. Plan out scenarios and community management responses to events, so if your brand is caught up in a Twitterstorm, you know how to react.

5. And be ready for the highs

Plan to react to customer delight. The goodwill and positive sentiment that Sainsbury’s generated with their Gary stunt was huge. Being fast, funny and fresh pays off (as long as you’ve done your research).

The moral? Don’t be afraid to take a risk and do something funny. This may be a movement with a mission, but that doesn’t mean they‘re po-faced.

To see more of our work in the FMCG, food, retail, health and wellness sectors, click here for case studies on how we’ve helped The Co-opAtkinsMidcounties Co-opWagamama and many more. 

Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more, give us a call on 0161 831 0831 and ask for Steph or get in touch at


Also published on Medium.

Contact Us:
To find out how Dinosaur could help you get great results, phone Steph on
0161 831 0831
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Contact Us:
To find out how Dinosaur could help you get great results, phone Nicola on
0161 831 0831
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