What do brands like Dove, Patagonia, IKEA and REI have in common?
They are purpose-driven.
We live in a swiftly changing world, one where consumers are more thoughtful about where they invest their money. Gone are the days where brand loyalty trumps all. Where shiny marketing campaigns and 30-second commercial spots pledging togetherness are enough.
Today’s consumers expect actionable values from the companies they shop with.
They want to see how brands are actually driving purpose—and they want to see proof of action. They want a brand that talks the talk and walks the walk.
You may recall how Dove transformed its brand image and found new purpose when it launched its famous “Real Beauty” campaign in 2004.
What started as a marketing campaign aimed at making women feel comfortable in their skin has now evolved into a multi-pronged advocacy campaign combating racial biases, body size discrimination and digital reimagining.
And that purpose paid off.
Sales for Dove jumped from $2.5 to $4 billion in the campaign’s first 10 years and Dove soap bars became the number one preferred soap brand in the U.S.
More recently, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard made headlines for transferring the family’s ownership of the company—valued at about $3 billion—to a specially designed trust and nonprofit organization.
The move will ensure all of Patagonia’s profits are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.
“Earth is now our only shareholder. Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we’re ‘going purpose,’” the company’s announcement boldly read.
Patagonia’s incredible pledge to fight climate change has already improved their already strong brand image, earning the company the 17th spot on the 2022 Purpose Power Index, the first empirical measure of companies that activate purpose as the core of their business.
That’s right. Purpose is so important to today’s consumers that there is now a Purpose Power Index measuring consumer perception of brand purpose.
This year’s study—the third of its kind—was the largest ever, based on more than 20,500+ individual ratings among over 6,500 U.S. consumers across more than 200 different brands.
But the survey proves that a company’s sense of purpose isn’t just important for the philanthropy.
During the Purpose Power Summit 2022 livestream event, Dynata CEO Gary Laben revealed that the company’s audience modeling tool found 85 million U.S. consumers are motivated by company purpose to buy goods and services—and 149 million would boycott a company on the basis of its sociopolitical stance.
Simply put—your purpose is your key differentiator.
You can have a great product or service and a price that reflect the value you provide. You can provide top-tier customer service and run the most sophisticated marketing campaigns. But without purpose, you’re just another fish in the sea.
You won’t attract and retain talent or the caliber of customer you want.
And your business won’t be sustainable, especially in times of turbulence.
We work with clients from all industries to help them define their purpose by understanding what they care about and what problem their product or service aims to solve in order to tie it back to a societal need or problem they are solving.
And you don’t need to tackle the world’s most pressing issues (we don’t all have $100 million profits to work with like Patagonia).
Your purpose can be close to home. One that is affecting your industry for example…
After recognizing the shortage of cybersecurity talent, one of our clients partnered with a local community college to raise money to defray the cost of tuition. Another client is actively involved in rebuilding and raising money for a community farm.
What is your purpose?
If you don’t yet have a clear answer, get in touch with the Howbridge team to see how we can help develop your purpose and take your business to the next level.
Howbridge is a growth advisory firm that helps companies take the next step to market leadership.