Finding your social purpose

Kate O'Sullivan is MD of ADPR Kate O'Sullivan is MD of ADPR

You are probably familiar with the term ‘social purpose’. More than the latest buzz word, we are now living in ‘the purposeful age’, writes Kate O'Sullivan.

Extending beyond CSR initiatives, purpose is about brands changing the very DNA of their culture to make a positive and sustainable contribution to society. With recent studies suggesting 60% of millennials want to join companies with a purpose and 66% of consumers willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies, it’s easy to see how a clear sense of purpose can have a positive effect on a brand’s overall success.

Traditionally, companies have shied away from speaking out about social issues. However, today, 90% of the public say they want to hear businesses speak up about big social issues.

Your purpose must be authentic, business aligned and values driven. It isn’t a new campaign or strapline – it should to run through every strand of a company’s DNA. It requires clear communication and transparency with employees and stakeholders.

Here are our top tips for implementing purpose within your company.

  1. Be clear what your purpose is – it should convey why your business exists and should seek to create change in the world.
  2. Once you know what your purpose is, articulate it with a clear plan.
  3. Remember your brand is not just your website, logo and taglines. It starts with employees - what they say, how they act and how they buy into the company value system is critical.
  4. Walk the walk - live and breathe your purpose. Your communications should only ever be an amplification of things already being done.
  5. Engage and empower the right people to deliver your purpose.

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