Purpose has become an incredibly important concept in marketing, one that’s changed both how corporations conduct themselves and how consumers evaluate them. In a nutshell, purpose is “a higher order reason for a brand to exist than just making a profit,” in the words of Simon Sinek.
Purpose-driven companies have a significant edge over their competitors, for several reasons. First, people want to work for organizations that are making the world a better place—especially millennials.
Second, consumers want to buy stuff from these kinds of companies. In survey after survey, large majorities of people say that corporations should play a role in improving society, not just focus on making money. Buying patterns have shifted as a result.
Third, and this is connected to the first two, purpose-driven companies are much more successful. In a ten-year study of 50,000 brands conducted by Jim Stengel, the former chief marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, the top 50 performers were purpose-driven brands, and they grew three times as fast as their competitors.
This confirms something I’ve always felt intuitively: you don’t have to choose between purpose and profit. In fact, purpose generates profit.