Why ‘purpose’ has become key for b2c sponsorship

You’ve probably heard a lot about Gen Z, you may have even joked about them in your office. You probably know them best as the technology-reliant youths who struggle to stay in one job for more than 3 months. Well, it’s probably time to stop your joking, because if you’re a sponsor or a rights holder now is the moment to start taking the consumption behaviours of this generation very seriously.

The Fuse Gen Z Report on Social Activism and Cause Marketing discovered that 85% of Gen Z participants surveyed were more likely to purchase a brand that supports a social cause over one that doesn’t support a cause at all. Consumption habits are changing, no longer is it just good enough to have the ‘coolest’ product or the most vibrant advertising campaign. Now there has to be real purpose behind a brand. The sponsorship industry must take note of this, as it has the ability to be the perfect tool to relay this purposeful message.

In the consumer space particularly, sponsorship’s ability to create live experiences that play on people’s emotions, its ability to inspire, enthuse and create positive stories, and its position of strength, scale and reach make it the prime marketing tool to reach out to Gen Z and demonstrate a brand’s purpose. The days of companies viewing sponsorship as a brand awareness tool are behind us, now they must establish a cause, and use this as the driving force behind the sponsorship. From environmental and sustainable causes through to societal and political reasons, sponsors must take a stance and have a purpose.

It is apparent that the best sponsorships will need to be able to establish a connection between the brand and its audience. Sponsorships will need to link back to the individuals and the community to create reasons for people to talk about and engage with the partnership. There are many ways in which a sponsorship programme can do this. From being seen to sponsor a socially responsible event, through to creating a completely new event, there are numerous means in which a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be met.

If you’re reading this from the perspective of a current or potential sponsor then think long and hard about the causes that are at the heart of your company’s CSR, and how you can align your b2c sponsorship to this cause. If you are a rights holder, consider how you can provide an attractive proposal that allows sponsors to easily see how your platform enables them to best display their cause. The key that links them both is ‘purpose’. If brands are going to effectively engage with the next generation, then purpose has to be the driving factor, and what better way to achieve this than through the power of sponsorship.