This article is on the tangible value of purpose in business but it applies to individuals as well. Knowing your purpose makes you more persuasive because you have confidence in what you stand for and people are inspired by your purpose. From Forbes...
Global Study Reveals Consumers Are Four To Six Times More Likely To Purchase, Protect And Champion Purpose-Driven Companies
Co-Founder, Conspiracy of Love, and Good is the New Cool.Follow
Alison DaSilva, Managing Director, Purpose and Impact, Zeno Group ZENO GROUP
A groundbreaking global study analyzing the business value of brands having a well understood “Purpose” has revealed a strong business benefit to such purposeful brands and their companies, as consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong Purpose.
The “Strength of Purpose” study of 8,000 global consumers and 75 companies and brands was commissioned by New York-based Zeno Group, the global, integrated communications agency. Zeno surveyed more than 8,000 individuals across 8 markets (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia), having them rate more than 75 brands on their perceived strength of Purpose.
I caught up with Alison DaSilva, Managing Director, Purpose and Impact, Zeno Group, to find out more.
Alison DaSilva: The survey was truly a first of its kind. The methodology is significant: it was thorough in scope, surveying more than 8,000 consumers across 8 global markets in 4 languages, and it was incredibly comprehensive in content; in addition to questions about the role of Purpose and expectations of companies today, we asked consumers to indicate how purposeful they consider 75+ global brands to be on a 9-point scale. We then asked consumers about their overall support of and trust in each brand, favorability, purchase intent, and likelihood to recommend each brand to others.
A correlation and regression analysis of the data demonstrated that when a brand has a strong Purpose, consumers were:
o 4.0 times more likely to purchase from the brand;
o 6.0 times more likely to protect that brand in a challenging moment;
o 4.5 times more likely to recommend (champion) the brand to friends and family;
o 4.1 times more likely to trust the brand.
This is the first research report that directly links the strength of a company’s Purpose with a consumer’s likelihood to act favorably towards the company. These findings shed new light and unequivocal proof that the companies who lead with Purpose will see stronger reputation, brand affinity and bottom-line results.
Aziz: Fascinating. Please tell us about the ‘Purpose Paradox’ you’ve uncovered?
DaSilva: Consumers have raised the bar and are looking to companies to advance progress on important issues within and outside of their operational footprint. Globally, 94% of consumers said it is important that the companies they engage with have a strong Purpose, and 83% said companies should only earn a profit if they also deliver a positive impact.
This is where it gets interesting. While the majority of consumers agree companies should have a strong Purpose, and proved they reward those who do, most consumers do not believe companies today have a clear and strong Purpose (only 37% do). Companies are leaving equity on the table. Expectations have soared for corporations to play a leadership role throughout the global pandemic, economic instability, and ongoing racial injustices. A clear and compelling corporate Purpose serves as the filter for a company, guiding decisions around how to behave, what issues to advance and how engage all stakeholders.
Aziz: How are younger generations more likely to hold brands accountable? How does this relate to ‘cancel culture?’
DaSilva: Consumers across generations and geographies recognized the strength and importance of Purpose, and indicated they would hold brands accountable. However, and not surprisingly, younger generations are really leading the charge. 92% of Gen-Z and 90% Millennial respondents said they would act in support of a purposeful brand; compared to 81% of Gen-X consumers, 77% of Baby Boomers and 73% of respondents aged 74 and up (Matures).
Furthermore, 70% of Gen-Z + Millennials believe a brand should have a Purpose they personally believe in compared to just 48% of Boomers and Matures. And these generations also expressed important considerations for the role of companies in society, indicating that brands in fact need to prioritize Purpose over profit; only when a brand has a positive impact is it allowed to make a profit.
We found that cancel culture is standing strong - the majority of consumers (76%) have taken an action in response to a brand doing something they disagreed with, including no longer buying from the brand, switching to a competitor, or discouraging others from buying from or supporting that brand.
Again, younger generations are leading the charge; 88% of Gen-Z and 85% of Millennial consumers said they took an unfavorable action versus 76% of Gen-X, 67% of Baby Boomers and 62% of Mature consumers.
Aziz: What’s fascinating is how this research shows a global level of expectation, with geographical differences correct?
DaSilva: Consumers globally have very high expectations for companies to lead with Purpose, though geographic nuances do exist. Respondents in China (54%), India (60%) and Malaysia (46%) expressed more optimism about the state of companies and are nearly twice as likely to believe that brands today have a strong Purpose, compared to countries in the West (on average, 24% of respondents in Canada, France, United Kingdom and United States believe this).
Globally, France and the U.K. emerged as the countries most likely to trust, champion and protect a brand with a strong Purpose; consumers in Malaysia, India and Singapore were most likely to buy from a brand with a strong Purpose.
Another geographical differentiator is the expression of a company’s Purpose. The data uncovered the 8 key attributes identified as the most important elements of a purposeful brand (Fair treatment of all employees, Products or services that reflect the needs of people today, Ethical and sustainable business practices, Support for important social causes, Creation of new job opportunities, Diverse & inclusive culture, Issue advocacy, Strong set of values) and found that consumers weighed the importance of these attributes differently by region. In North America and Europe, employee treatment was ranked as the number one element of a purposeful brand whereas in Asia, consumers believe that the top priority of a purposeful company is to make products and services that reflect the needs of people today.
Aziz: You’ve said ‘Purpose has unequivocally taken over the C-suite’ - does the research show this, and how consumers expect CEOs to take the lead?
DaSilva: Chief executives have an entirely new job than before. Consumers are putting pressure on the highest levels and the research absolutely shows that Purpose comes from the top. It must be championed at the leadership level – 81% said that a CEO, Founder or Owner are the most responsible for driving a brand’s Purpose.
Another interesting finding is that more than three-quarters (77%) of consumers believe a company’s leader should embody their brand Purpose and mission in their personal life. It’s not enough to say it in the boardroom; consumers are expecting these leaders to really believe and live these values.
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Chief Purpose Office, Conspiracy of Love, a global purpose consultancy advising Fortune500 companies and iconic brands. Co-Founder, Good is the New Cool, a global community of leaders using business and culture as forces for good. Inspiring speaker