Successful companies today are organized around a Brand Purpose, a shared goal of improving people’s lives and positively impacting society. Purpose has become an important strategy for brand growth based on linking an organization’s reason for being to making a positive impact in the world. Brands such as Innocent Drinks, Patagonia, New Balance, Chipotle, Method and Levi’s are living brand purposes that are positively impacting society. Companies are re-engineering their approach to brand marketing. For some Purpose has claimed a spot as the 5th P in marketing, Purpose as a business imperative is driving the traditional 4P’s of marketing product, price, promotion and place. Many believe that Purpose is the starting place for building a great company.
For the past five years, Edelman Public Relation has conducted global research on consumer’s attitude around social purpose, including their commitment to specific issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The results are surprising but encouraging.
- The power of Purpose is driving consumer preference in a world where trust in corporations is low and product differentiation is minimal. When quality and price are equal, the most important factor influencing brand choice is Purpose.
- Consumer’s feel it is ok for brands to support a cause as well as make money.
- Consumer’s are not only choosing brands that positively impact society, they are recommending brand’s that support causes through social media.
The growing importance of purpose and sustainability is causing companies to reevaluate their business models. Companies are re-engineering product innovation, R&D, supply chains, employee training and marketing around purposes that positively impact the communities where they do business. Purpose driven brands share the following characteristics:
- They are customer focused
- Engage employees as ambassadors of change
- They’re prepared to make changes to their business model
- Led by visionaries
- Measure and track performance in delivering on their purpose
- Collaborate with people and groups outside their organization
Are you more likely to buy a brand that is ethically and socially responsible?