Mary Dean, VP, Strategy and Insights, Nov 13, 2018

The 4 Superpowers of Purpose-Driven Brands

As an agency that’s been doing purpose since before purpose was cool, Karsh Hagan knows that purpose-driven brands have more power than your average brand. Helping each of our clients define their purpose is one way we help them elevate what’s possible today and in the future. And, it’s why we get unprecedented results for clients like The Colorado Tourism OfficeInnovAge, and Aspen Snowmass, to name a few.

Consider this list to be four good reasons you, too, should be harnessing the power of purpose for your brand.

1. Purpose Counts with Consumers.

If you believe the consumer is king (or queen, thank you) you need to know that this is not a fleeting trend, nor does it only apply to a few consumers. This is a movement, and it’s here to stay for as far out as we can see (just take a look at #3).

Globally, 75% of consumers expect brands to contribute to our well-being and quality of life. [1]

83% consider a company’s values before making a purchase. [2]

80% of consumers would support issues by buying from socially conscious online retailers. [2]

79% Agree that corporations can succeed at business while also taking a stance on important issues. [2]

72% Agree that taking a stance on important issues can help a company’s bottom line. [2]

75% Agree that companies can increase profits while improving economic and social conditions in their community. [3]


2. Purpose-Driven Brands Outperform the Rest. Consistently. 

It’s no fluke. Some have tracked the performance of purpose brands compared to others for more than a decade and the results keep impressing.

206%. That's how much purpose brands can outperform the stock market. [1]

200%. That's how much the stock price of DTE Energy increased between 2008 and 2017 after becoming a purpose-driven company. [4]

382%. Percent that the Stengel 50’s top 50 purpose brands have outperformed the S&P 500 during a 10-year study. [5]


3. The Power of Purpose Will Keep Getting Stronger.

Purpose is not a flash in the pan. That’s because the importance placed on it increases by generation. For instance, although Boomers certainly care about purpose (50% of them expect brands to support issues they believe in), Millennials and Gen Z place even more emphasis on brand purpose.

76% of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work. [6]

89% of Gen Z consumers would buy from a company supporting social and environmental issues over one that doesn’t. [6]

92% of Gen Z comsumers would switch to brands supporting environmental and social issues over one that doesn’t. [7]

Consumer expectations of brands to support issues they believe in. [8]


4. Purpose Fuels Future Loyalty.

So much so that purpose-driven brands can weather a national crash in corporate trust. Between 2017 and 2018, American’s trust in businesses fell 20 points to a low of 54%. Ouch. That hurts. But you know who feels less of a sting? Purpose brands, that's who. [3]

88% percent of U.S. consumers would be more loyal to companies that support social or environmental causes. [9]

66% percent of consumers would pay more for products from more socially responsible companies. [2]

75% of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company. [6]

Let us elevate what’s possible for your brand through the power of purpose.


[1] Havas Meaningful Brands 2017 
[2] Global Strategy Group 2016 Business and Politics 
[3] 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. 
[4] Harvard Business Review, Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization, July 2018 
[5] Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies, By Jim Stengel 
[6] 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study 
[7] 2017 Cone Gen Z CSR Study: How to Speak to Z 
[8] Barkley/Futurecast, Gen Z Attitudes and Beliefs Survey. Sept. 2016 
[9] Nielsen 2015- The Sustainability Imperative

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