On August 19, 2019, 181 CEOs of the world’s largest corporations – Apple, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Microsoft or Pfizer, to name a few – signed the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. In this Declaration, it is stated that “companies must not only serve their shareholders but also provide value to their customers, invest in employees, deal fairly with suppliers and support the communities in which they operate.” With this document, 22 years of the current mantra in the financial world were concluded, according to which the ultimate goal of a company was “to maximize the value for the shareholders.” The “Age of Purpose” was born.
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According to a study carried out monthly by the Collaborabrands consultancy since June 2020, three trends are consolidating: digitization (massive incorporation into the use of digital channels for communication and purchases); localism (preference for proximity products) and social involvement (growing demand for brands to have a point of view on social problems and become involved in their solutions).
Without a doubt, one area in which they must continue to be involved in gender equality. “Brands that do not incorporate a conscious vision of the gender perspective in their decisions and do not realize that 80% of purchasing power is in the hands of women are losing sales opportunities and hurting their profitability.”
Purpose And Authenticity
This demand for social involvement towards brands has made them wonder about their purpose in the world. Marta Colomer thus conveyed her vision in this regard: “the purpose is the soul of the company. Increasingly, both consumers and corporate decision-makers demand that brands accredit good practices and prefer those that vibrate like them”.
However, the challenge for adopting a purpose is that it is authentic. Unlike CSR – which has been accused so many times of being an instrument of corporate “green-washing” – the purpose must necessarily have a DNA of authenticity so as not to be perceived as the following business malpractice, for which it already The term “purpose / trust-washing” has been coined.
A Plus Of Relevance For Marketing
The purpose is, therefore, an increasingly inescapable need for any organization. However, we already see it: the great challenge is not to formulate it. It is to live it. As Jordi Torrents explained, “products are increasingly irrelevant; the purpose provides relevance to the brand discourse. Of course, it will only be understood as genuine if its sequence is “Be-Believe-Do-Say”.
In other words, the marketing team can have an enormously influential persuasive lever in the purpose of your organization since it will provide you with relevance that you would hardly obtain through the communication of your products or services.
Conscious Marketing And Leadership
We can deduce from all the above that there is an excellent opportunity for marketing leadership: taking charge of your organization’s “what for”. It is about assuming the challenge – and the responsibility – of promoting the General Management to define the purpose, inoculate it in the company’s DNA, and ensure that the entire organization acts in coherence with it consistently over time. All of your stakeholders will reward you.