Purpose-Led Brands: Is Purpose Only Created by Adopting a Cause?

There is a fantastic post from PR company Edelman on their notion of “purpose”.

They see purpose as the next evolution of cause marketing.

They point to 1983 as the start of cause marketing, when American Express sponsored the restoration of the Statue of Liberty by having each American Express Card purchase trigger a donation to the cause.

They now claim we are in “Cause 4.0”, which leads to what is called “Social Purpose”.

This is all about business doing well by doing good, but is it really only cause marketing?

We don’t believe that a business must, by definition, align with a social cause to matter to people.

Yes, of course causes are a way to amplify the good a business is doing, but they can also be seen as a marketing gimmick.

Businesses accelerate this feeling by using the term cause marketing and treating such initiatives as campaigns, which suddenly disappear as if they didn’t really matter (think Pepsi Refresh).

Given that a recent study found that 53% of people surveyed find marketing to be BS, we don’t focus on cause marketing campaigns for our clients.

Purpose beyond profit is our cause

Rather, we focus on zeroing in on a Purpose Beyond Profit and showing how to bring it to life inside and outside the business.

> Not a campaign, a reason for being.

> Not an event, a way of being.

> Not a promotion, a way to matter over time.

Adopting causes, for bigger cause

Once a business has a clear and compelling Purpose Beyond Profit that it lives and breathes at every level, every day, it may well identify and support external causes.

But they will do that not because they have a business objective, but because they are committed to making the world a better place.

They will do it, not for the business’s gain, but for the cause’s gain.

And when they do it this way, they will end up mattering to more people in more meaningful ways.

Gaining business advantage by mattering

A solid, compelling, and actionable Purpose Beyond Profit will help your business thrive, differentiate itself, and earn respect.

When you matter, people change the way they think and feel about your business.

When you matter, people will do more to help your business succeed.

When you matter to people, you sell more, have more loyal customers, and become a desirable place to work.

For additional information on how to transform your brand for the 21st century download our latest white paper.

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