Positioning brands for meaning and purpose

Venerable Phra Anil Sakya

A Buddhist monk, an international branding legend and a rebellious Australian social commentator have been announced to speak at the Sustainable Brands Sydney conference, 27 – 29 June 2016. Over three carefully designed days, experts and influencers will teach brands how to embed purpose-driven environmental and social innovations into their businesses, so that sustainability becomes a core driver of business and brand value.

Venerable Phra Anil Sakya, Buddhist monk and Deputy Rector for Foreign Affairs/Lecturer on Religious and Cultural Studies at Mahamakut Buddhist University, will visit Australia to outline how individuals and companies can find their purpose whilst cultivating sustainable brand development, based on the thinking of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy developed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

“What we do each day, individually, has a profound effect on the natural environment. Our choices, in our personal lives and our professional lives, matter.

“Studying the puzzle of sustainability in a capitalist society raises a number of difficult questions. For example, can the long term economic objective of sustained agricultural growth be met if the ecological objective of preserving biodiversity is not? What happens to the environment in the long term if a large number of people cannot afford to meet their basic household needs today?

“If we don’t balance our social, economic, and environmental objectives in the short term, how can we expect to sustain our development in the long term?” said Dr Phra Anil.

Further exploring this theme is Simon Mainwaring, the Founder of WeFirst Branding, a brand transformation agency that provides strategy, training and content that accelerates business growth and social impact. He will engage attendees by teaching them how to ‘activate purpose’ to protect their brands’ longevity.

“By activating purpose, can brands maintain attention, loyalty and sales from consumers, or the productivity and engagement they need from employees? Purpose will shore up the relevance of the company and inspire a new generation of customers to support its brands. Purpose, sustainability and social impact are now key growth drivers, and as such, are sandbags against the rising economic storm,” said Mr Mainwaring.

Jane Caro, author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and social commentator will join a panel session outlining an Australian CEO reflection on the international presentations. She will share advice with brand custodians on how to identify and reposition brands to ensure what is being passed onto the next generation is more sustainable than what was inherited.

“Whatever you do for a crust or however you live your life, you have a choice. Do you want to add to the sum of human happiness in the long term, or subtract from it? One is sustainable, the other always blows up in your face,” said Ms Caro.

A global community of business and brand innovators will delve into key themes of purpose as a survival strategy in a shrinking economy, and purpose is realised through employee, customer and consumer engagement, marketing and culture that builds loyalty and drives leadership.

Sustainable Brands events are shaping the future of commerce worldwide with focused attention on understanding and leveraging the role of brands in shaping that future. Over a million people have attended Sustainable Brands events around the world since 2006, and the inaugural Australian event will be held in Sydney, 27 – 29 June 2016 at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.

SB16 Sydney is organised by MCI Australia and supported by host partners Banksia Foundation and Sustainable Business Australia and Strategic Partner, Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

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