By: Madeline Rose
Panera is trying to woo customers through their doors not just with the smell of fresh bread but with ideals and values. The company has always distinguished itself from other fast food companies, but is now launching a new campaign to reinforce their morally conscious brand. Panera seeks to define itself as a place to get great food from a caring enterprise, and is painting itself that way with the help of purpose-driven marketing.
Purpose-driven marketing or pro-social marketing is advertising that capitalizes on the values and beliefs behind a company and relates them to those of consumers. The style doesn’t simply strive to sell a product but sells a company as a whole, and can’t be done with occasional publicized charity donations. A purpose-driven campaign must portray the company as having intrinsic values that align with those of the consumers, and by pulling on their heart strings will ensure consumer loyalty. Of course by elevating themselves in the moral sphere the company must follow through with socially minded practices, because if they are caught violating their idealistic mission statement they stand to offend their pretentious fan base.
Panera isn’t making any sort of extreme leap to define itself as a conscious company. The restaurant chain boasts its antibiotic free chicken and the Panera Bread Foundation: an entity dedicated to working with local charities and organizations strictly to donate unsold baked goods. With so many good deeds to talk about, the company needed a campaign to capture it. Panera hired Cramer Krasselt of Chicago this year to devise the campaign, which will be formally released across radio, print, television, and social medium platforms February 18th.
With an estimated budget of $70 million, the agency had to grapple with one of the counterintuitive aspects of purpose-driven marketing: to get the word out about a company without seeming artificial or over the top. The Panera TV spot lays on the charm, peppered with words like “fresh” and “trust” and “humble.” They shot for sincerity and they seem to have achieved it, though for a record advertising cost to the company.
Other companies that successfully employ purpose-driven marketing include Bumble Bee Foods, Whole Foods, and recently Union Bank.