The Hero Trap challenges purpose and warns brands to avoid the hero trap
Internationally recognised purpose pioneer Thomas Kolster, also known as Mr. Goodvertising, takes a hatchet to his earlier beliefs and warns brands about purpose: “Try to fly like a superman, and you will come down like a tin of soup.” Thomas calls it a “Hero Trap”. Most brands today are firmly on the social and environmental issues bandwagon like bees around a honey pot from oceans plastic to diversity. People are increasingly distrustful towards these efforts viewed as cheap marketing stunts meant to wow people into buying more. Drawing on top-line marketing case studies and in-depth interviews with the likes of P&G’s CMO Marc Pritchard, Kolster demonstrates how people are truly motivated to act when they’re in charge of their own life and happiness. One commissioned study comparing well-known commercials shows that by taking a people-first approach, people are 29.5% more motivated to act on the messaging than the traditional purpose approach. ‘Who can you help me become?’ is the one essential question you need to be asking and acting on to chart a new course for your brand, changing behaviours at scale and unlocking sustainable growth that benefits all. Thomas heralds the beginning of a new post-purpose era, where brands will be seen as villains if they don’t put people’s dreams, aspirations and creativity first.