More than eight out of 10 consumers want business to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as its business interests. Yet businesses are struggling to address social issues.
That is according to Carol Cone, an internationally-recognized expert on cause marketing and branding and a speaker at Business4Better this week.
“Purpose is the reason for an organization’s being beyond profits,” said Cone. “It creates differentiation, fuels innovation, growth and sales, builds and protects reputation, and engages and inspires customers and employees. “
And these global citizen consumers are becoming more engaged and are willing to recommend, promote and switch products based on the company’s purpose and mission. This does not only have an affect outside an organization, employee engagement also drives profit.
Today companies can be placed into four buckets.
- They have cause marketing initiatives
- They have a broader cause branding program
- They have operationalized causes into their organization
- Purpose is a part of their DNA
Regardless of the sophistication, Cone suggests:
- Lead: Powerful programs are leader led
- Construct: Start with depth, not scale
- Customize for local execution
- Measure: Build performance mechanisms early on
- Narrate: create the story
- Engage; employees, partners and consumers
- Evolve: Evolve programs to stay relevant.
“Purpose is something all people want,” said Cone.