Communication is inherently evolving along with our society. Some of us have been working in communications for years and while our focus has been on promoting brands, products and services, we’re moving more and more towards the promotion and representation of brand values and wider issues that matter to the audiences.
Communication in any form is a powerful tool to inform and influence audiences on global and societal issues that are important to the community. And when communication is purpose-driven, it helps build a strong workplace culture and higher sense of employee belonging and engagement.
Purpose is the reason why a company or a brand should exist. As Simon Sinek, British-American author and inspirational speaker, rightly suggests, ‘businesses do not exist to make money but to offer value, to advance a greater cause, to contribute to society, and money helps them get there.’ Of course, the company’s aim is to grow and make capital, but that’s not its essence or sole purpose.
In the last months, we have seen an impressive growth of entrepreneurship, especially among the younger population and workers that lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and we can applaud this leadership effort.
The only risk associated with this is that these people found a company for the sake of leading a business and having a job, instead of having a clear purpose at the outset and on the journey. They need to define their authentic role and value in society to truly live upon their purpose and make a positive impact.
Many of us have always had personal values and beliefs, but the pandemic has likely pushed us to rethink about what really mattered in our daily lives. This has forced us to be more selective around the brands we give our attention to. It has become more crucial for us to know what these brands missions are but more importantly understand their ethics and how they respond to society’s biggest challenges.
An Accenture Strategy global survey of nearly 30,000 consumers found that 62% of customers want companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues like sustainability, transparency or fair employment practices. The closer a company’s purpose aligns to their own beliefs, the better.
Another Accenture Strategy research report found that consumers are making carefully considered choices to buy from companies that stand for a purpose they personally identify with that reflects their values and beliefs.
It is figures like these that explain why companies need to be mindful of what is going on in a global context that expands beyond their business. They need to know their audiences and understand what matters to them when communicating so they can increase relevance and reflect authentic brand consciousness.
The phrase ‘consumer-centric’ might be overused in communication, but it is more meaningful now than ever before.
From driving diversity & inclusion to supporting charities and other CSR promises such as sustainability, there is a lot that companies can do to meet the expectations of the community today.
Four simple tips to check you’re on track:
- Expand your knowledge of your audiences (internal and external) and find out about what social issues they care about in 2021
- Define or re-define your brand mission and values in the wider global and evolving context
- Ensure your communications include how your brand adds value and makes a positive impact
- Measure purpose-driven efforts (e.g., coverage tone, social engagement, CSR pages traffic) and their impact on the business (e.g., reputation, advocacy, sales, customer & employee loyalty)
Today, consumers are expecting honesty, transparency and responsibility from brands. They are no longer just buyers; they are stakeholders who invest their time, money, effort, and attention into the brand they believe in. At the same time, brands are taking a stand for something they believe in and this is not going to change.
Communicating those values can be critical to winning hearts and minds. The benefits are multiple; if brands stand up, they’ll stand out! They’ll also be able to attract talents that share their values and will generate better outcomes as a result.
In a recent report from Deloitte, research found that purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving higher workforce and customer satisfaction.
This is great news for us as communicators, because we can also find more purpose in our daily jobs when helping these brands. We know that communication now also drives a positive impact on society as it drives awareness on many essential life things.
Purpose-driven communication wasn’t born in 2021, however this concept makes all its sense today and will continue to expand.
Need help to get insights on your audience or to define your brand values, create an authentic story, and adapt your branding and messaging? Get in touch!