Are you looking to differentiate your business in a crowded market? Do you want to attract and retain customers in the right way? Then you need to intentionally create a purpose-driven company that matches what buyers care about as they vote with their wallets.
Leading with purpose is about committing to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) alongside business objectives. Examples include:
- Environmental: carbon emissions, water and energy usage, waste generation, pollution levels, climate change risk, and biodiversity impact.
- Social: employee health and safety, diversity and inclusion, labor practices, human rights, and community relations.
- Governance: board composition, executive compensation, ethics and compliance, risk management, and shareholder rights.
Too often, company leaders think they must choose between focusing on corporate responsibility versus financial performance. Yet, “both/and” mindset is achievable and essential for long-term success. (Check out Both/And thinking to solve the toughest problems at scale on DoingCXRight podcast ep. 49.)
Why Purpose-Driven Brands Succeed: Data Shows The Benefits
Buyers are willing to pay a premium.
Accenture study indicates 62% of consumers globally want companies to take a stand on environmental, social, and political issues. 72% said they would pay more. Nielsen survey reveals similar findings: 55% of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
Customers are more loyal.
According to Harvard Business Review, companies’ performance outperforms their peers financially. ESG focussed companies have lower risk profiles and better long-term prospects. Furthermore, companies certified as B Corps (companies that meet high standards of social and environmental performance) have higher levels of customer loyalty and brand recognition compared to non-certified companies. They also tend to have amazing cultures where employees are committed to excellence.
Customers switch to competitors and tell others.
Deloitte’s research reveals 23% of consumers will switch to buying products from an organization that shares their values on environmental issues, and 21% have encouraged others to change too.
People boycott a company if it supports an issue contrary to their beliefs.
Cone Communications CSR study dives into more details.
So, it is no longer a question of whether companies need to be purpose-driven but rather whether they are implementing the strategies correctly to create real value among buyer segments.
How to Implement Purpose-Driven Branding into Your Business Operations
To create a purpose-driven company, you must put the customer at the center of your business. A tactical approach is bringing cross-teams together, co-designing the customer journey from the “inside-out” and then validating with real customers. Don’t skip this part!
For those unfamiliar with Journey mapping, it’s a method to visualize and understand the customer’s values, expectations, and needs. A journey map helps solve pain points wherever people interact with your brand (aka moments of truth) leveraging multi-sources of feedback.
By focusing on any of the ESG factors, companies can create a purpose-driven brand that resonates with customers and builds loyalty. The same applies to attracting better talent and retaining a customer-centric workforce ~ employees, interns, service agents, contractors, etc.
But how can you be known for your purpose as a competitive advantage? What are ways to measure customer experience and loyalty? That’s where I can help you as an expert in building customer-centric cultures and gaining internal alignment, as organizational silos are detrimental.
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