Gen Z interrogate GOOD’s Purpose Personas

This week at GOOD, we’ve been joined by four brilliant work experience placements who have interrogated our Purpose Adoption Curve, the tool developed as part of our recent research report Purpose Personified.

The Purpose Adoption Curve was developed as a tool to cluster audiences into segmented personas based on how they evaluate and interact with Purposeful brands. We identified five unique personas on a scale of high to low Purpose engagement; Pioneer, Patron, Follower, Frugal and Rejector.

Alina, Safia, Shazeda and Riya each examined one of the top four Personas and share some examples of the Purposeful brands speaking to these different audiences and what they’re doing well.

Pioneers – Alina Afzal

Who are the Pioneers?

Pioneers are purpose-driven individuals, actively seeking brands that align with their values and promote ethical practice through creative collaborations, advertisements and systems operations.

Which brand would appeal to them?

An example of this is Bird & Wild.

Bird & Wild provide a beautiful blend of high-quality roasted coffee that is certified 100% Fairtrade, Organic and Bird Friendly. The brand set out on a mission to produce ethically sourced coffee and aid the preservation of nature and wildlife by supporting the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre in their research and conservation program and donating 6% of their annual profit to RSPB.

So how do they do it?

Through sustainable practices, Bird & Wild’s coffee beans are grown organically under the native shade tree (rainforest canopies) planted by farmers to promote afforestation. This provides birds and wildlife with a safe haven from tropical weather and is an ideal environment for coffee beans to flourish and grow in.

As a brand, Bird & Wild really speaks to the Pioneer Persona. The motivation to reinforce ethical and suitable practices has not stopped them from producing high-quality coffee and collaborating with brands. Furthermore, the brand continues to venture out to find better alternatives, appealing to the Pioneer audience to do better and spend better.

Bird & Wild has come a long way since 2017. It is proactively working on its brand and products to become a better organisation for the world. Implementing Purpose as a core value has allowed them to become the number one ethical Fairtrade coffee sellers. The company also continues to improve their packaging, at the moment all 500g and 1kg coffee bags are fully domestically recyclable and so will 200g bags by the end of summer 2021.

Patrons – Safia Shakil

Who are the Patrons?

Whilst not quite as actively engaged as Pioneers, Patrons are a purpose-driven group that value and support quality brands that help them sustain an ethical and sustainable lifestyle. Patrons are often aware of the impact of their purchases and have resources available to make that choice.

Which brands would appeal to them?

If you consider yourself a Patron, here are some examples of ethical and Purpose-driven clothing brands that focus on creating positive changes in communities that you need to know about.

Sézane is an ethical French clothing brand that creates high-quality tailored pieces made from eco-friendly materials at a reasonable and accessible price. What makes them Purpose-driven you may ask?

In 2018 DEMAIN, a philanthropic programme, was founded to support various charities and projects in favour of equal access to education, culture and opportunities for children and young adults around the world. Since its creation, Sézane has raised over 4 million euros for the endowment fund through various actions. So, you might say they are quite generous! In addition to that, every month, 10% of their global turnover and 100% of the proceeds from a dedicated design are donated to DEMAIN. They have also opened our first solidarity gallery, composed of artwork donated by French and international artists to support projects and programs funded by DEMAIN. So now you really have no excuse to shop there!

Tentree is a sustainable and ethical clothing brand that prides itself on having a small environmental footprint and produces clothing in ethical factories with safe working conditions. If that doesn’t sell you, then wait for this. For every item purchased, they plant 10 trees! (yes, you heard me correctly!) With over 58 million trees planted up to date, they aim to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. In addition, together with their partners Eden Projects, they are providing over 100 local villagers with jobs in Indonesia by planting mangrove trees.

The Worn Wear project by Patagonia is the epitome of what a purposeful brand should look like. The project was initiated to give used clothes a second life and to help reduce waste. Buying used clothes extends a garment’s life by about two years, cutting its combined carbon, water and waste footprint by 82% (Thread Up). Patagonia produces premium quality gear that can last for a lifetime (and often longer than you need/want them.) Trading in also offers the next owner a more affordable opportunity to squeeze every drop of quality out of the gear whilst doing good to the planet. You can thank me later.

Followers – Shazeda Ahmed

Who are the Followers?

Followers are ‘savvy shoppers’ trying to better themselves by making smart, conscious decisions but would like to stay within their personal budgets.

Which brands would appeal to them?

A great example of brands that appeal to Followers can be seen in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is widely thought to be the second most polluting industry globally; however, fashion brands are becoming more aware of their impact on the planet through campaigning. As a result, Followers are making mindful decisions to seek out these brands. One example of this is Levi’s who are well-known for their high-quality jeans and demonstrate their sense of sustainable responsibility.

In 2018, Levi’s organised and launched their ‘Water-less’ campaign, which aimed to cut back on water usage during the production and manufacturing of Levi’s clothing. The designers of Levis’ thought of new ways of creating their renowned jeans without having to use as much water. This led to a new line of clothing being created called ‘Water-less Levi’s’. One example of a ‘Water-less’ technique is tumbling jeans with bottle caps and golf balls to give jeans a softer look. This technique eliminated the use of water during production. Before this campaign, it took up to 3,000 litres of water to create a single pair of Levi’s jeans during the full product cycle. By the end of 2020, more than 67% of Levi’s products were made with ‘Water-less’ techniques, and over 13 million products were created, saving more than 172 million litres of water. Additionally, instead of keeping these methods to themselves, they open-sourced these techniques with 20 competitors to spread the word.

The other side of this campaign involved their collaboration with for World Water Day. This aimed to draw attention to the lives of billions of people who live without clean drinking water. The main aspect of this campaign was the ‘Go Water-less’ challenge which inspired people to adopt a lifestyle that is conscious of water being a precious resource. WaterCredit was created which applied the principles of micro-finance to the water sector with individuals in third-world countries receiving loans to access safe water and sanitation. The final part of this campaign involved bringing awareness around people’s daily water usage by challenging Levi’s buyers to wash their jeans less often. This means that buyers would get more usage of their Levi jeans instead of buying new pairs that the CEO himself promoted. It also challenged people to dry their jeans outside rather than using a dryer.

Levi’s is one of the leading fashion brands in the industry, and it has been around for decades. This step into creating sustainable clothing shows how older brands can also make a conscious decision to change their traditional ways to improve the environment and help the planet. In return, they are encouraging their customers to make better decisions that will help them and help the planet.

Frugals – Riya Peruvelil

Who are the Frugals?

On GOOD’s Purpose Adoption Curve, Frugals are the least purpose-engaged consumers. Frugals are a low-purpose-driven group that does not directly contribute to change but benefits from it.  They believe that social impact will be more expensive and will always prioritise price over purpose.

Which brands would appeal to them?

Tesco, like many UK supermarkets, cater to the Frugal Persona. This is due to the supermarkets’ affordability as well as their positive social impact. A recent example of this is their support for communities during the pandemic. They donated £15 million worth of extra stock to their charity partners who manage foodbanks, and increased safer home deliveries to the elderly. This demonstrates the priority and value Tesco placed on providing food for the people who needed it the most. Tesco appeals to the Frugal persona as they are able to get the same, or cheaper priced food than other supermarkets thanks to Tesco’s “Every Little Helps” campaign which included the introduction of the Tesco Clubcard and discounts and the promotion of the “Aldi Price Match” scheme. Therefore, Tesco has benefited many local communities by serving and outreaching to financially challenged families throughout the pandemic without any extra cost to the consumer.

Another example that would appeal to the Frugal Persona is Warby Parker glasses. Their “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” Scheme, in which for every pair of glasses purchased, a pair is donated to someone in need. This means these consumers can have a positive impact at no extra cost to them. This initiative by Warby Parker has enabled the distribution of glasses and eye examinations to over 50 countries, allowing low-income people to receive affordable glasses, thus making eye care more accessible  around the world. Locally within the United States, Warby Parker created the Pupils Project, which allowed local governments to provide free eye exams and glasses to children in urban areas.  Warby Parker is a cheap useful service that contributes to a global good impact for the Frugal demographic.