The Purpose Economy: Brands That Are Doing It Right
While watching the Rio Olympics I saw an ad from Exxon that was remarkable in more ways than one.
It’s becoming more and more clear that we’ve entered the Purpose Economy. Forward-thinking brands realize that serving just themselves and their bottom line is not enough to sustain the company and build lasting relationships with their customers.
The Exxon spot starts with an earth scientist, oceanographer, civil engineer, etc., talking about what’s on their to-do list today. It ends with, “One Purpose: Powering the World Responsibly.” Even my wife remarked with a, “Wow!”
Brands that offer a foundation for a customer relationship that goes beyond the functional benefits of the product and clearly state what good they’re working to do in the world, have a purpose. By rising above, they create a relationship that goes deep into the aligned values of their customers.
With that in mind, here’s a list of brands that we think are leading the charge in the Purpose Economy and doing good in the world:
11 brands with a powerful purpose:
Airbnb: To help create a world where you can belong anywhere.
Apple: To empower creative exploration and self-expression.
Crayola: Helping parents and teachers raise inspired, creative children.
Dove: Achieving real beauty, building self-esteem.
Exxon Mobil: Powering the world responsibly.
Nintendo: Activities for active families.
Patagonia: Preserving the environment, sustainability in clothing.
Southwest Airlines: Connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel.
The Body Shop: To enrich, not exploit.
Whole Foods Market: With great courage, integrity and love–we embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities and our planet can flourish. All the while, celebrating the sheer love and joy of food.
Zappos: To deliver happiness to the world.
There is ample evidence that brands with a strong and clear purpose are more likely to have ongoing success. Sustainable Brands states, there’s a “cause-and-effect relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance.” The “Stengel 50 Higher Purpose Brands” outperformed the S&P 500 by 382.3%.
Keith Weeds, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Unilever notes: “We know that consumers want brands with purpose. Global spending on ‘responsible consumption’ products is $400bn (£262bn). In the US, RC products have grown around 9% annually in the past three years. For our brands, we outpaced the global average with a 10% increase in sales for those communicating on sustainability, according to Nielsen.”
For more on building a brand with purpose and telling the world about it, contact Mth Degree.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.