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We kicked-off Design with Pride on 30th September 2021, in the company of six purpose-led business-leaders to understand how businesses can stay culturally relevant and address key societal topics with honesty and integrity.

With the modern consumer more environmentally and socially aware than ever before, there is mounting pressure on brands to align their actions with their words. Consumers are demanding purpose-led business leaders and values – if brands can’t keep up, they will simply get left behind.

We dove into the lessons, stories and best practice guidelines around how these topics can help inform brand strategy and design, as well as social, content and creative campaigns.

Below, you will find some of the best bits that we’ve pulled out as key takeaways. You’ll also have full access to the recordings of each of our guest speakers, in case you weren’t able to make it on the day.
84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising – ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ – Simon Sinek. How do you make sure your brand’s activities are memorable, meaningful and actionable? The three points you need to get right are authenticity, context & timing and execution. Consumers want to know what brands stand for before they commit and this rings true in the data. Brand purpose campaigns drive 15% more market share growth than marketing campaigns that don’t focus on purpose.
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Being bold. Be memorable. Rob shared his lessons learned about the power of brand and taking the necessary critique in order to grow and scale. Staying relevant as a heritage company is a challenge and creating a strong brand became a priority. There’s one thing that they weren’t willing to compromise on though – the quality of their product. They wanted to take a simpler, slower and more honest route within this fast-paced and often controversial industry. Their mission was simple, to create the world’s best dairy product.
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Bronwen is the Marketing Director at Pangaia, a community of sustainable fashion change-makers, who are pioneering new tech in materials science, from the plant fibres and materials that go into their products, to the sustainable treatments that create them. To become a $75m dollar business in 2020, they had to listen to the consumers, introduce products that consumers wanted, and sell products that people needed in the current climate. Bronwen asks: ‘Consumers will consume no matter what, brands will produce no matter what – isn’t it better then to focus on the industry as a whole and to change the consumer mindset around fast fashion?’
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Nicola Matthews AKA ‘The Countess of Cocoa’ is UK & Ireland Head of Marketing at Tony’s Chocolonely, the chocolate makers on a serious mission to end slavery in the chocolate industry. As Nicola tells us: They don’t want to be number one – they want to inspire change. 1.5 million children are working illegally in the industry with most carrying out ‘dangerous’ work.

Disruptors with Purpose at the core of their vision aren’t afraid to share their approaches with competitors, recognising that to fulfill their vision they need to engage with more than just their customer base. Tony’s are sharing their model for change with other chocolate brands in order to facilitate fast and meaningful change across the industry.
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Director of Responsible 100 – An organisation helping businesses improve their responsibility performance in order to benefit themselves, their customers and wider society. Michael’s journey started 20 years ago when we began to feel that it was too easy for businesses to cherry-pick the good bits from their companies CSR and hide the bad. Michael had a vision of transparency and sharing the whole picture with the public. The output needed to be credible and believable and not just action for appearance’s sake.
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- Focus on authenticity, context, timing and execution.

- Consumers want to know what brands stand for before they commit and this rings true in the data.

- Support important social topics authentically without piggybacking on other campaigns and movements.

- Don’t underestimate the power of strong branding and taking the necessary criticisms and advice in order to grow and scale.

- Listen to your consumers, introduce products that consumers want, and sell products that people needed in the current climate.

- Keep the conversation around sustainability more inclusive and more open and to avoid shaming people.

- Output needs to be credible and believable and not just action for action’s sake.

- Know your audience, be brave and be future-proofed
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