‘Mark Ritson: Stop propping up brand purpose with contrived data and hypocrisy’

Another week, another bit of patchy methodological puffery making the case for brand purpose. This week’s fluff came from Channel 4 and reinforced the fact that our marketing knowledge base is increasingly constructed from undercooked, overstated research that is all about the headline and not about the rigour. The subsequent press release proclaimed that “Channel 4 finds purpose-driven ads resonate most with young viewers” but its research showed no such thing.

Asking for ‘system two’ answers to questions in market research can be a fruitful and valid approach. You ask consumers how they rate a brand on a particular attribute using a five-point Likert scale or solicit satisfaction levels with simple scalar questions.

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