power of knowledge

power of knowledge


The Australian Effie Awards

General Entry Form 2016

Entry Number: 160

Agency The Monkeys
Advertiser Blackmores

Entry Title The power of knowledge: How an 80-year-old reclaimed thought leadership

Category for this Entry Health and Wellbeing
Author Fabio Buresti, Mollie Hill, Jamie Clift
Phone 0411 265 962
Email [email protected]

Directions appearing with each question must not to be deleted from the completed case; they serve as a guide for both entrants

and judges. Complete entry form in – Type face: black font; 10pt minimum. All data must include a specific, verifiable source.

Refer to the Effie “How to Enter” booklet for guidelines on properly sourcing your data. Data without a source will result in entry

disqualification. Answer every question or indicate “not applicable” and define your target audience in the entry. Any unanswered

question will result in entry disqualification.

Executive Summary (Please Attach the Executive Summary to the front of the entry so the

judges can read this first)

An Executive Summary of no more than 100 words is also required (not included in page count). Please insert here.

In 2015 Blackmores changed the way Australians understood their health and was rewarded for

it: Outpacing category growth by X%, achieving $X million in incremental value sales and a return

on investment of X%.

Before the campaign Blackmores’ growth was lagging behind the market it had pioneered. In the

face of this, Blackmores was brave enough to divorce itself from the category’s winning formula:

No celebrity endorsements, no big promises, no magic pills.

Ultimately, the 80-year-old brand was able to reclaim thought leadership with a little honesty and

a disruptive idea: The best supplement is knowledge.

Blackmores is back to being a Well Being.

1. Total Campaign Expenditure

What was your total expenditure including development, media, production, agency fees and any other costs? Including

production and value of donated media and non-traditional paid media.



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2. What was the strategic communications challenge?

What was going on in your category? Provide information on the category, marketplace, company, competitive environment,

target audience and/or the product /service that created your challenge and your response to it.


Maurice Blackmore pioneered naturopathic health in

Up against some stiff cynicism in the 1930s,

Blackmore’s ideas were nonetheless game changing – fast

forward to 2014 and the vitamin industry was worth $1.5

1 and booming.

Figure 1: Founder Maurice Blackmore

80 years later, the category had become commoditized.

Chasing the vitamin dollar, brands had poured into the

category with an exploding number of products. In such a

cluttered market the fight for share had led to price wars and

discounting that was deep, frequent and across the shelf. This

was driving value and loyalty out of the market and breeding

a more price sensitive consumer
2, with many shifting to

cheaper varieties over the last 5 years
3. It was becoming

harder for Blackmores to maintain a value proposition and the

brand had come to rely on promotions and product

advertising to hold market share

Figure 2: Pharmacy discounting

The pioneer was no longer leading the way – the agenda was being set by Nicole Kidman

on a swing in a sunlit meadow.
As brands fought to lure shoppers with the ‘next big thing’

celebrity endorsement had become the norm. Think Ricky Ponting grinning in his baggy green,

celebrity chefs, a Wiggle Bachelor of the Year, Stephanie Rice in a vegetable patch, Shannon

Ponton in a singlet, Mark Webber on a bike, Bear Grylls taking on the wild, or any number of exmodels-turned-nutritionists with a can of vitamins in hand. Almost overnight the pharmacy and

supermarket shelves swelled with a sea of shiny celebrity ambassadors who were delivering

confusing, often conflicting health messages, and a whole lot of hocus pocus. It was an expensive

strategy to cut through in the short term and it didn’t gel well with Blackmores’ integrity as a


Figure 3: Competitor advertising was dominated by celebrity endorsement


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General Entry Form 2016

Blackmores had lost its voice. The brand had

just 6% share of voice and ranked 8
th in media

5. Unsurprisingly, brand health was

suffering. The deficit was both rational and

emotional: Blackmores emotional connection

with consumers had weakened and the brand

lacked efficacy cues
6. This had taken a toll:

Brand Consideration was declining steadily and

projected to decline further, dropping X% in the

12 months prior to the campaign

Figure 4: Competitor Spend 20148


This was hitting Blackmores where it hurt.
Blackmores market leadership was slipping away:

Blackmores Value Share was down X% year on year
9 – further, while the category was growing

at X% MAT, Blackmores was growing X% MAT
10. Beyond this, Blackmores was losing touch with

the next generation of vitamin buyers – health conscious young Australians – who represented

20% of current customers
11. In the past twelve months amongst 18-39 year olds Blackmores

conversion from
Awareness to Trial had declined X% and Loyalty was down X%12.

To recapture brand value and growth Blackmores needed to reclaim its status as a

natural health thought leader
amongst all Australians and as relevant to all

Blackmores products, on a modest budget.

3. What were your objectives? State specific goals.

Your entry is expected to include compelling data including behavioural objectives and results. Only in rare instances are the

judges likely to award an entry that only demonstrates attitudinal changes. Provide a % or # for all goals. If you do not have a

specific type of objective (e.g. no quantifiable objectives), state this in the entry form and explain why and why the objectives you

do have are significant and challenging in the context of your category, etc. You must provide benchmark and context for your

goals versus year prior and in context of competitive landscape and category.

Communications Objective:

Blackmores versus the category and increase brand relevance, KPI:

10% increase in Brand Differentiation and Brand Relevance (10% indicates a significant

increase according to Millward Brown). Ultimately, relevance to also be judged by

audience engagement with the brand beyond paid media.

Brand Objective:

Reposition Blackmores as a natural health thought leader, KPI:

A significant uplift in people saying Blackmores: ‘Leads the way in natural health’; ‘Is a

brand I can relate to’; and ‘Formulated for modern needs’ (significance as indicated by

Millward Brown).

Commercial Objective:

Drive purchase intent and strong value sales, KPI:

A significant uplift in Brand Consideration, reversing the negative decline

20% increase in Value Sales across total brand for the entire campaign period (this KPI

was added in collaboration with the agency, following the initial briefing in response to

the agency decision to develop a brand-led campaign rather than individual product


4. What was your strategy – and how did you get there?

What was your strategy? Was it driven by a consumer insight or channel insight or marketplace / brand opportunity?

Explain how it originated and how the strategy addressed the challenge.


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Challenging conventions. While historically Blackmores had relied on product advertising to

drive sales, the team believed the real problem (and solution) lay within the brand itself. This

required a leap of faith given that brand advertising had failed to move the dial for Blackmores in

the past. More, we saw that the opportunity was not just to develop a big brand idea for

Blackmores – but also to define the brand’s purpose. The truth was, the business had been so

focused on
what they did, they’d forgotten to tell people why they did it. Without this purpose,

Blackmores was just another vitamin vendor. We needed people to know that Blackmores stood

for more than a pill or a powder.

The starting point: Australians were desperate for health and wellness. We spoke with

people across the nation and the full spectrum of age, health levels and goals as part of one of

Blackmores most extensive consumer research projects
13. We found that ‘wellness’ had become

a status symbol, ranking ahead of professional accomplishment as a sign of achievement and

something people were actively looking for and prepared to pay more for.

Ironically, the vitamin category was making wellness seem unattainable. It had been

turned into some sort of elusive ‘Holy Grail’ and esoteric health Nirvana. As brands battled to

outdo each other with bigger better benefits, the category had assumed the
Magician archetype,

promising consumers transformation into a more perfect version of themselves.

The category had a blind spot: While the market was growing – so was consumer

confusion and scepticism.
People told us they felt overwhelmed from being bombarded with

contradicting messages, fads, celebrity endorsements and unrealistic promises.

accounted for 57% of category rejecters and Confusion accounted for another 20%14. This wasn’t

just affecting category outsiders but also current users who told us “I find it quite overwhelming”

and “You don’t always believe them”
15. Shoppers didn’t know who was who, or who to trust.

Blackmores set out to change the way Australians understood their health, once again.

We decided that Blackmores had to divorce itself from the category it had created.

Counterintuitive as it may seem, we wanted to tell Australians that there was no ‘Holy Grail’, no

quick-fix and no magical transformation laying at the bottom of a pill bottle – a strategy Maurice

Blackmore would have surely agreed with.

We needed to find a way to get beyond superficial interpretations of health – to

acknowledge that health is complex and something we all seek to understand but often struggle

to do so. After all, our bodies don’t come with an instruction manual. We saw that Blackmores

could lead the way by empowering people to take an active role in understanding and managing

their own health – helping them to make the best choices for themselves.

The new Blackmores Brand Purpose: Help everyone actively manage their way to wellbeing.

The Strategic Thought: The key to wellness wasn’t magic – it’s knowledge, and Blackmores

has 80 years of experience in natural health and scientific research.

The Strategic Proposition: The best supplement is knowledge.

Output Input
Selling the Benefit Selling Knowledge
Big Promises Realistic Outlook
Perfection Honesty
Instant Gratification Ongoing Journey
Serious Authority Refreshing Sage
Celebrity Product Endorsement

Figure 5: Key Strategic Shifts

5. What was your big idea?
Brand Led Campaign

What was the idea that drove your effort? The idea should not be your execution or tagline. State in 25 words or less.


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General Entry Form 2016

Blackmores empowers you to take control of your wellbeing through knowledge

6. How did you bring the idea to life?

Describe and provide rationale for your communications strategy that brings the idea to life. Explain how your idea addresses your

challenge. Describe the channels selected/why selected? How did your creative and media strategies work together? In not more

than three A4 pages show sufficient creative examples to enable the judges to understand the campaign. These pages can be

additional to the eight A4 page written entry.

‘Be a Well Being’: A wakeup call and rallying cry to Australians to take their wellbeing personally

and understand what their own body needs. The idea launched as a brand film and brand

campaign which championed ‘knowledge as the key to wellbeing’ with Blackmores the hero with

80 years of experience in natural health and scientific research. Two product campaigns were

rolled out later in the calendar, as support points to the bigger brand idea.

The execution was a creative step-change. ‘Be a Well Being’ introduced a radically new tone

and behaviour for Blackmores. A playful, bold voice with colourful photography and graphics took

cues from educational material. The iconic brown bottle and teal colour remained as consistent

brand cues. Finally, a powerful call to action was added: Blackmores little known naturopath

service was moved into the spotlight as a key proof point, with communications encouraging

consumers to phone or ‘click to chat’ with the unbiased free service so Blackmores could

demonstrate their knowledge one-on-one.

Figure 6: ‘Be a Well Being’ Creative Executions


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Message to the power of the channel. We launched the campaign in the locations and

moments our audience were seeking wellbeing: Gyms, OOH, native, digital display and in-store.

We also utilised the channels our audience sought advice: TV, magazines, digital and social


Sharing knowledge online. ‘Be A Well Being’ naturally lent itself to a digital revitalisation of

the brand. The brand’s website was redesigned to personalise people’s journey and hero a diverse

range of information to empower their wellbeing. ‘Action Plans’ were developed: A utility for people

looking for easy to follow advice at home or on-the-go. The brand’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

and YouTube were also redesigned with this in mind.

More than an ad – the new brand purpose was integrated within the business. To help

the nation actively manage its way to wellbeing, existing pillars of the Blackmores organisation

were redesigned and new touch points were created: Community events such as the ‘Be A Well

Being Festival’; Materials for new staff training programs and benefits; New display initiatives at

point of sale; New ways of working with the right ‘Wellbeing’ partners. This also inspired the

launch of Blackmores’ first ‘Wellbeing Centre’ at Westfield Bondi Junction the month after the

media campaign ended, an enduring inspirational hub where shoppers could get to know the

brand away from the clutter of pharmacy and supermarkets.

Figure 7: Blackmores ‘Be a Well Being’ business transformation


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General Entry Form 2016

7. How do you know your campaign was successful?

Detail why you consider your effort a success. Refer to your objectives (results must relate directly to your objectives in (3) –

restate them and provide results) and demonstrate how you met or exceeded those objectives using quantitative and behavioural

metrics. Did your effort drive in-market results? Did it drive awareness and consumer behaviour change? Use charts and data

whenever possible. Explain what x% means in your category. For confidential information proof of performance may be indexed

if desired. Demonstrate the correlation between activity and outcomes. Make sure you address every objective, whether fully

achieved or not. Indicate why the results you have are significant in the context of your category, competition and product /


Overview: ‘Be a Well Being’ successfully reversed category momentum, staking

Blackmores as the natural health thought leader, despite being significantly outspent

(+x%). In the end, Blackmores experienced a x% lift in Value Sales that outpaced

category growth by x%, delivered incremental Value Sales of $x million and a

Blackmores record ROI of x%.

Communications Objective – Surpassed:

KPI: 10% increase in Brand Differentiation and Brand Relevance (10% indicates a significant

increase according to Millward Brown). Ultimately, relevance to also be judged by audience

engagement with the brand beyond paid media. Result:

‘Be a Well Being’ is the strongest Blackmores campaign ever tested16:

47% lift in Differentiation – 4 times our target17

35% lift in Relevance 3 times our target18

73% Short Term Sales Likelihood, resulting in a Green Light in Persuasion, +17

percentage points above Australian norms

More, people actively engaged with Blackmores as a wellbeing partner beyond paid media:

33% increase in Blackmores.com.au interaction20

20% and 52% increase in calls and ‘Click to Chat’ with Blackmores naturopaths21

80% increase in people saying Blackmores empowered them to care for their health22

26% increase in Facebook Likes and engagement was 5 times higher during the

campaign vs the brand average 6 months prior

117% increase in Instagram followers24

64% increase in traffic from Blackmores social media to Blackmores.com.au25

Brand Objective – Surpassed:

KPI: A significant uplift in people saying Blackmores: ‘Leads the way in natural health’; ‘Is a brand

I can relate to’; and ‘Formulated for modern needs’ (Significance as indicated by Millward Brown).


Blackmores achieved significant gains across the three key brand attributes.

52% increase in ‘Leads the way in natural health’, a significant increase26

91% increase in ‘Is a brand I can relate to’, 2 times a significant increase27

62% increase in ‘Formulated for modern needs’, 1.5 times a significant increase28


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Indicative of a strong sales result to come, Blackmores experienced gains in perceptions of

product efficacy and value.

A 94% increase in ‘Has higher potency products’29

A 33% increase in ‘Is proven to work30

A 31% increase in ‘Is good value for money’31

A 27% lift in ‘Would be my first choice32

Encouragingly, shifts were strong with the next generation of health conscious young

Australians – a tough audience to win over, especially given that their desire for instant

gratification was counter to Blackmores shift away from a benefit-led strategy.

25% uplift in conversion from Awareness to Trial33

10% uplift in Loyalty34

Commercial Objective – Surpassed:

KPI: A significant uplift in Brand Consideration, reversing the negative decline – and a 20%

increase in Value Sales across total brand for the entire year. Result:

Blackmores turned a X% decline in Brand Consideration the year before the campaign into a X%

35 by the end of the campaign.

Blackmores revitalised brand health drove
record Value Sales across the total brand.

Value Sales grew X% during the campaign vs the same period previous year36

Delivering incremental Value Sales of $X million37

This result outpaced category growth by X%38

And a 3 percentage point Value Share increase from X% to X%39

The brand idea enabled the Blackmores product executions within the campaign to cut through

the clutter and achieve a significant sales increase. The two product TV executions were ‘Exercise

Multi’ and ‘Healthy Ageing’.

Both ‘Healthy Ageing’ hero products (Lyprinol and Glucosamine) achieved over X%

sales increase
during the campaign versus the same period the year prior, which

outpaced category growth by

Exercise Multi was a relatively new product in the Blackmores portfolio (19 weeks) and

experienced a
X% sales increase in the 9 weeks on-air versus the previous 9 weeks41.

Bonus Result: Long term business transformation

“Blackmores could have just done an advertising campaign, like our competitors. By putting the

idea at the heart of our business we have an enduring philosophy that sets us apart and is now

influencing everything we do as a business for the coming years. The Monkeys have developed a

range of strategies and creative ways for us to genuinely transform ourselves – and it marks an

incredibly exciting time for the business” David Fenlon, Managing Director of Blackmores.

“’Be a Well Being’ is a powerful tool within our business and it will play an important role in

Blackmores’ Future”, Paul Di Vito, Chief Marketing Officer of Blackmores.


The Australian Effie Awards

General Entry Form 2016

8. Did it achieve a positive ROI?

You need to convince the judges that the marketing investment provided a positive financial return – if that was a requirement.

Indexing of data is acceptable. Your entry will not be ineligible if you don’t provide any data, but entries that do provide convincing

evidence will gain additional marks. (Note that this data can be excluded from the published case on request.) We recognise that,

in some instances, a measurable financial return will not be an objective, but you will need to persuade the judges why

not. ROI measures by what percentage the incremental gross profit (not gross sales) generated exceeded the campaign

costs/investment. ‘Incremental’ means comparing what happened, with what would be expected to happen had the

campaign not taken place and/or that status quo maintained. So, if the incremental gross profit is $1,000 and campaign

costs are $1,000, they cancel each other out and the ROI is 0%. If additional gross profit was $1,500 the ROI is 50%.

As a result of the campaign, Blackmores achieved a strong gross sales increase of $X million42

which outpaced category growth by X%43.

Campaign Value Sales
Vitamin Category Blackmores
Previous Year Period

(23/03/14 – 30/11/14)
1,037,406,000 X
Campaign Period

(22/03/15 – 29/11/15)
1,373,006,000 X
32.3% X%

Figure 10: Campaign Value Sales during the campaign versus the same period the previous year44

With a Gross Profit Margin of X% we are able to calculate a Gross Profit Increase of $X million.

The ‘Be a Well Being’ campaign delivered a Blackmores record
ROI of X%.

Gross Sales Increase: $X
Gross Profit Margin X%
Gross Profit Increase: $X
Campaign Costs: $X
Gross Profit – Campaign Costs: $X
Return On Investment: X%

Figure 11: Blackmores ROI calculation as per Australian Effie Guidelines

9. Convince us that the result was not due to other factors.

You must explain in your entry the effect of any other potentially relevant factors such as product changes, pricing changes,

distribution changes, competitive activity, press coverage, economic conditions, weather etc. You should acknowledge and

estimate the role played by other factors and you should advise if the communications program led to other benefits accruing

(such as retailers taking on more SKU’s, improving space allocated and access to promotional activity, or even improved support

from a sales force that has ‘increased belief’ in the brand). Advertising rarely works in isolation but the judges need to be convince

that your campaign had a major impact on results.

We have discounted the impact of Blackmores selling directly to China. Sales results have

been calculated using Aztec data, not ex-factory data. While we can never completely discount

the ‘grey market’ (product bought by consumers in Australia and sent to China) – Aztec data is

literally physical scan sales made in Australian stores. Further supporting this, Millward Brown

reported a ‘very high’ correlation between product sales, brand health and advertising exposure


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There was no decrease in price – price discounts were consistent. There was no increase

or change in promotional activity for Blackmores during the campaign versus the previous year.

Supporting this, Blackmores increases in Value Sales and Volume Sales were equal YOY

Blackmores did not outspend the category.

Blackmores did have one branded space open in Bondi Junction
– but this opened in

December 2015, the month after the creative campaign, media spend and results calculations

ended (March to November 2015).

10. Do you think there are any lessons to be learned from this case about advertising

effectiveness or measurement?

Judges will give additional marks to exceptional ideas, exceptional results and to cases that teach us something about how

advertising works. A big idea is worth more than a lesser idea. A case that adds to our knowledge about advertising effectiveness

or measurement deserves additional marks. These marks are open to the discretion of the judges. This is the “I wish I’d been

responsible for that” factor. We Ask judges to reward great ideas, great results, originality, innovative measurement techniques,

and penalise poorly written cases. High scores here will be the cases we want marketing students to be inspired by; the cases we

can learn something from; the cases we want to showcase to the world.

As a case study, ‘Be a Well Being’ provides six fundamental learnings for agencies and

brands striving for category leadership.

Learning 1: Brand advertising drives product sales.
As marketers, the brand is the biggest

lever we have and is ultimately more powerful than any price promotion, product feature, or

famous personality. In Blackmores’ case, the brand halo allowed the product advertising to cut

through and supercharged product sales.

Learning 2: A brand’s purpose is its most powerful tool. At the heart of all successful

brands is a strong purpose: Apple, Nike, Google. There is growing research to attest this applies

for brands in every category
47. Defining the Blackmores purpose allowed us to transform the

brand from a vitamin manufacturer into a wellbeing company, on a modest budget.

Learning 3: Agency strategy and creativity must reach beyond advertising. The biggest

impact comes when a business is inspired, organised and reinvigorated from the inside out. True

transformation is not just a TV message and agencies are just as (if not more) valuable beyond

this channel.

Learning 4: Brands don’t need a celebrity to cut through. When a brand has a powerful

insight and something meaningful to say, people will engage. Celebrities might shift product in

the short-term but they do not build the brand.

Learning 5: Success does not require a bigger better benefit. Promising less can sell more.

When Blackmores divorced itself from a category promising perfection, the brand was rewarded

with perceptions of potency, preference and purchase.

Learning 6: It pays to be an outlier. There are times when brands need to be brave enough

to ignore conventions and forge new ground, just like Maurice Blackmore.


The Australian Effie Awards

General Entry Form 2016

1 Aztec, MAT National Combined, March 2015

2 Blackmores Agency Pitch Brief, May 2014

3 Ibis World, February 2016

4 Millward Brown, December 2014

5 Landsberry and James Competitive Expenditure, AQX, April 2013 to March 2014

6 Millward Brown, September 2014

7 Millward Brown, November to January 2015

8 Landsberry and James Competitive Expenditure, AQX, January to December 2014

9 Blackmores Agency Brief, Aztec, YA MAT April 2014

10 Blackmores Agency Brief, Aztec, MAT National Combined April 2014

11 Galileo Kaleidoscope, November 2013

12 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, July 2013 to March 2014

13 Galileo Kaleidoscope, August 2014; Blackmores ‘The Next 80 Years’, September 2014

14 Homescan and Galileo Kaleidoscope, April 2013

15 Galileo Kaleidoscope, 2015

16 Millward Brown, Ad Testing, May 2015

17 Millward Brown, Ad Testing, May 2015

18 Millward Brown, Ad Testing, May 2015

19 Millward Brown, Ad Testing, May 2015

20 Millward Brown, May 2015

21 Blackmores Advisory Reporting, January vs November 2015

22 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

23 Google Analytics, January vs November 2015

24 Google Analytics, January vs November 2015

25 Google Analytics, January vs November 2015

26 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

27 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

28 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

29 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

30 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

31 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

32 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, January 2015 vs November 2015

33 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, March 2014 to November 2015

34 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, March 2014 to November 2015

35 Millward Brown, Brand Tracking, March 2014 – February 2015 vs February 2015 – November 2015

36 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

37 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

38 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

39 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

40 Aztec, 9/11/14-7/12/14 vs 8/11/15-6/12/15

41 Aztec, 5/7/15-30/8/15 vs 6/9/15-1/11/5

42 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

43 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

44 Aztec, 23/03/14-30/11/14 vs 22/03/15-29/11/15

45 Millward Brown, VDS Category Brand Health and Brand Power Correlation, April 2015 and Millward

Brown, Cross Media Study, 2015

46 Aztec, March – November 2015

47 Association of National Advertisers, ‘Purpose drives performance’, 2015