Eighty-five percent of Americans say they would likely support a purpose-driven company in their community, while more than two-thirds (68%) say they would want to work for that company. This and other insightful data was just published in the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study from public relations agency Porter Novelli who recently announced the launch of its global Purpose Practice, specializing in purpose-driven brand strategy and communications.
Examining consumer expectations and behaviors towards companies that lead with purpose, the study finds that purpose-driven brands can build stronger emotional connections with consumers that go far beyond a transactional relationship. Based on the data, purpose isn’t a trend it’s the new norm for consumers who need a reason to like, defend and champion your business, as price and quality are no longer enough.
According to the study, purpose defines an organization’s value in society and is no longer exclusive to enlightened millennials. Mainstream consumers have expectations of companies to lead with purpose by not just making money, but positively impacting society as well. In order to thrive and succeed, companies need to identify, communicate and live their purpose to maintain relevance, trust and a competitive advantage.
Here are three ways to lead with purpose, great examples from brands who have consciously embedded social impact into their global efforts.
Establish Purpose As A Priority
For PwC, purpose is so important that they created a Chief Purpose Officer role. Although it has been a journey to get where they are now, the woman who holds that title, Shannon Schuyler, began guiding the company to align corporate responsibility with business strategy back in 2007.
Responsible Business Leadership (RBL), PwC’s term for going beyond “doing good,” allows the firm’s people to use their skills to build systemic change within communities and society more broadly. It leverages the firm’s products, services and people to create new, external solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges. Through this work, the company is proving corporate responsibility is as critical an avenue for achieving growth as any other business investment.
Every year, the firm sends employees of all levels to Belize City for the company’s international development leadership program, Project Belize. While there, they host financial literacy camps, teach digital literacy, provide scholarships to students, train teachers and principals and build educational playgrounds. Project Belize is unique in that it combines the firm’s business goals with social impact and provides international volunteer experience for staff.