Purpose-driven companies grow on average three times faster than their competitors and witness higher market share gains, all while achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction. So, why are only 24% of companies doing this?
It's safe to say that traditional brand trust is declining. I would go even further to say that brand loyalty is waning as well. With supply chain issues and the various shortages of the past two years, people were forced to try brands they may not have otherwise tried had they not needed to. Do you want a different brand of toilet paper or none at all? In light of the ever-changing brand landscape and what I see as a pretty huge shift in consumer behavior, brands are going to have to work harder than ever to get and keep customers.
Purpose Is More Than A BuzzwordPhoto by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
Just think about how many brands you interact with every day. How many do you feel an emotional connection with? How many of them do you feel truly understand you? How many would you buy again? My point is that it is getting harder and harder for brands to create a lasting connection with a customer. Enter Purpose.
When customers understand the "why" behind your brand, they become more loyal. When it comes to building a strong customer strategy, knowing your "why" is everything. Your "why" is the reason your company exists; it's not just your mission statement—it's what drives you to do what you do. It's why you chose to start or invest in this company. It's the purpose that drives you forward.
According to a recent Salesforce report, customers are looking for companies that have good values and are focused on social responsibility. In fact, 66 percent of consumers would prefer to buy from a company whose values align with their own. It doesn't matter if you're selling products or services—if you can share your vision and purpose with your clients and customers, it leads to better relationships with them and greater loyalty for your brand in the long run.
A 2020 study revealed that when consumers think a brand has a strong purpose, they are:
- 4 times more likely to purchase from the company
- 6 times more likely to protect or defend the company in the event of a misstep or public criticism
- 4.5 times more likely to champion the company by recommending it to friends and family
- 4.1 times more likely to trust the company
That same study also found that the power of purpose related to a company can transcend age. The likelihood of taking positive action (to champion, protect, trust, or purchase) from a purpose-driven brand spanned all generations from Gen Z to the 74+ age group.
All that to say that being a purpose-driven company can affect your bottom line in a pretty significant way.
So, What Does That Mean For You As A Brand?Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
You can keep assuming that putting out a quality product at a decent price is going to keep you in the game. Or you can get an edge on competitors and infuse purpose into your brand.
While purpose would metaphorically be like the foundation of a house, you can't usually add the foundation to a house once it is built. But companies, unlike foundations, have the ability to grow and change over time. If your company is considering a rebrand or brand refresh, that is a perfect time to weave purpose into your brand in an authentic way. For smaller companies, an aligned strategic giving strategy is a good place to start.
Strategic giving is a conscious effort to donate money, time, or both to charity in order to promote and further your business objectives. The difference between strategic giving and traditional philanthropy is that strategic giving has clear, tangible business goals behind it. Most companies have a charitable donation program of some type in place already. But unless there are clear goals behind the donation, it won't help the business grow. In fact, research shows that 70% of customers believe it's important for companies to donate to charity, but only 27% of companies actually do so.
At its most basic, finding your brand purpose starts with the process of discovery. Honing in on your company's core values and beliefs and then using those discoveries to build practices around. Then activating those practices and bringing them to life in the real world. Seems easy enough, right? Depending on the size of your organization it can be quite an undertaking to get buy-off from all levels, but the benefits are worth it.