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What is “Purpose in Practice”?

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Over and over again we are hearing the third sector, while making valiant effort and extraordinary strides in solving issues such as poverty, gender equality and environmental degradation, simply can’t handle the challenges on its own.  The need for government and private sector to join in and bare some of the load to bring these plights to an end is stronger than ever.  The United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015 and are clear objectives for which both private and public entities have been able to contribute and measure their impact against.

While ‘purpose’ in business may have been thought of as a nice-to-have or plainly ‘marketing speak’, it has proven to increase long-term profits, improve employee retention and attainment as well as help to differentiate organisations amongst crowded market landscapes.

For those unfamiliar with ‘brand purpose’, it’s the reason why a company exists and inextricably exists at its core- it’s not a CSR add-on and it’s not contrived to drive short-term growth.  Customers are indeed savvy enough to detect the difference, bolstering the need for it to be genuine.

That said, it’s been proven in business purpose and profit are not a paradox. Increasingly more organisations are delivering healthy returns while delivering against a triple bottom line (social, economical, and environmental). Take a look at the likes of Unilever’s product portfolio- brands that articulate the reason why they exist are growing at twice the speed of the others. Airbnb, The Body Shop, Co-op, and Whole Foods are not only pointing to purpose as driving growth but also attracting loyal consumers.

Purpose in Practice is a monthly newsletter that contains digestible snippets of news about companies and charities that are activating and delivering on their brand purpose.  This can be shown through purposeful brand strategies and campaigns or through visual identities.  We aim to highlight the successful ways in which organisations are making social impacts.

 

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