The fascinating and useful Kantar Purpose 2020 study demonstrates that brands with perceived positive impact (in other words, which are perceived to be purposeful) outperform brands who are not or only partially. Over a period of 12 years the brands with high perceived positive impact have a brand value growth of 175%, versus 86% for medium positive impact and 70% for low positive impact.
Kantar Consulting surveyed more than 20,000 consumers and carried out 100 deep dive interviews with leading brands. 76% of marketing leaders believe their organisation has a defined purpose, but only one in ten actually have a corporate purpose statement backed by a meaningful activation plan. Furthermore, while two-thirds of marketing leaders believe that purpose delivers long-term growth only one third of them believe purpose is regarded as a “company-wide movement” within their company.
Sometimes you hear the statement in the boardroom that “we are too much under financial pressure to be purposeful,” that we should focus first on financial return and then see if we can do something more beautiful. But the reverse is most often true, the purposeful companies have a higher return, than the companies focusing on just financial return. The evidence is there, but turning your business from a revenue machine to being purpose-led takes time and commitment. As Purpose2020 outlines, it’s a journey, not an overnight makeover.
From last year’s Blackrock CEO letter to this years statement from the Business Roundtable CEO get urged to create a clear view and all unambiguously state that for each business the long term strategy can only be viable with a view how it will contribute to a better planet and society.