According to the Deloitte Insights 2020 Global Marketing Trends Report, companies that lead with purpose, and build around it, can achieve continued loyalty, consistency and relevance in the lives of consumers. But what exactly is purpose? And what is its power?
- The definition of purpose.
- The power of purpose.
- The ROI of purpose.
The Definition of Purpose.
Let’s begin with how the Deloitte Insights report initially defines the purpose, as ‘an organisations soul and identity’, providing both a platform to build upon and a mirror to reflect its existence in the world. Purpose articulates why an organisation exists, what problems it is here to solve, and who it wants to be, and it does so for every human being that the organisation touches.
That’s a good start, but it is a definition of purpose in the business sense that is on its most simplistic level. Of course, there are many companies out there happy to say that their purpose is simply to sell products that people want, at prices they’re happy to pay. And that’s fair enough, although it is a purpose that is open to challenges from consumers and competitors on so many levels. In time, people will demand more.
However, the report goes on to say that some businesses are using purpose in a more meaningful way, to create deeper, emotional connections with consumers, to do more in the community, to attract and retain talent, and therefore to achieve much greater results and longer term impact. This is where things really get interesting.
‘Our findings revealed that many consumers today make decisions based on how brands treat their people, how they treat the environment, and how they support the communities in which they operate.’Deloitte Insights, 2020 Global Marketing Trends Report.
More and more of today’s consumers identify with a brand’s purpose, as it reflects both who they are themselves, and how they want to be perceived by others. When those brands align their purpose with doing societal good, they make even more meaningful connections and build even more lasting relationships, increasing their relevance in their consumers lives.
The Power Of Purpose.
This is when we see the real power of purpose, with examples such as Unilever, whose Sustainable Living Brands have grown 69% faster than the rest of their business, Patagonia whose mantra famously is ‘we’re in business to save our home planet’, and Lego whose purpose is ‘to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future.
But before you attempt to follow these leaders, hold on just one second, because there is one extremely important thing that must be considered – and that is authenticity.
Consumers are smart, they know b/s when they smell it, and they can spot the lack of authenticity from a mile away. Be warned, brands and businesses who attempt to retro-engineer purpose purely as a marketing tool (and you know who you are) do way more harm than good, and quickly lose the hearts and minds of people.
To realise the full power of purpose you must be able to tell your brand story with complete authenticity, and you must ‘market like you give a damn’.
Market like you give a damn is the sub-title of a book called ‘Good Is The New Cool’, an inspirational book that we discovered in 2017, written by Afdhel Aziz and Bobby Jones, two marketers who took the decision to apply their skills and experience in a more meaningful way.
‘We were seeing inspiring stories of people who were doing cool innovative work and making money while creating a positive impact in the world. We were really inspired to do the same. We committed ourselves to building a movement, which would help people to use business and culture as forces for good.’Afdhel Aziz & Bobby Jones, co-authors of ‘Good Is The New Cool’.
‘Good Is The New Cool’ is built upon the philosophy that marketing is at a crossroads, one where we can either try to prop up the old broken marketing model, or where we can create a new model, one that is fit for the unique challenges of today.
Treating people as citizens rather than consumers, the GITNC movements model of ‘how to make money and do good by harnessing the power of cool’ is one that we apply and support here at Use.Today. If you would like to understand more about how this model can help your business communicate authentic purpose, make more meaningful connections, and become a force for good, get in touch via our website.
The ROI of Purpose.
As more and more companies adopt a purpose-driven strategy, one of the questions most often asked is how to measure the return on investment from a purpose-driven initiative. Afdhel Aziz, who recently featured on one of our Facebook Live sessions, has published an article on the subject on Forbes.
Purpose is not a marketing buzz word. Manifested and communicated with absolute authenticity, purpose is the most powerful way for a brand and a business to reach, engage, connect and grow a loyal following. It’s how to win hearts and minds.
‘The public expectations of your company have never been greater. Every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential.’Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock.