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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Butler-Madden

The 5 BIG Drivers Behind Social Purpose

There are all sorts of compelling reasons for your business to have a social purpose.

Here are 5 big ones.

1. Your customers want it

People think business is just as accountable as government in improving their lives. And yet - 72% say business is failing to take care of the planet and society.*

People (your customers) will support businesses that do good. They’ll pay more for brands that do good - Patagonia is a good example of this. They’ll buy a product from an unknown brand with strong social and environmental credentials and they’ll switch to products that do good - how many of you have bought a Thankyou branded product recently?

More and more, brands are expected to “take a stand”. Millennials who are now aged between 23-39 are driving this. 

If future proofing your business is important to you, you may also want to consider Gen Z, the generation after Millennials. Their demands for brands to stand for something leave Millennials in the shade!

2. Employees expect it

Almost two-thirds of Australian employees expect their employer to have a greater purpose and for their work to have a meaningful societal impact.

There is massive disengagement in the Australian workforce, with only 15% who consider themselves to be engaged!**

So there’s a huge opportunity to create an engaged and energised workforce through social purpose.

3. Business needs to rebuild Trust

Only 44% of Millennials believe businesses behave ethically.^ Which means most think they behave unethically.  

Businesses have to build trust as a priority. And Social Purpose is a really powerful way to do this.

4. License to operate

Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock, the world’s largest investment company has said that without a sense of purpose, no company can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose its license to operate from key stakeholders.

He explicitly states his belief that purpose and profit are inextricably linked. And last year highlighted that Blackrock will no longer invest in companies without a Social Purpose. Read more on this here.

5. Social Impact

The most obvious one. Society needs businesses to step up and create the change we need in the world. 

Given the challenges that we as a society are facing, the idea that the sole purpose of business is to create shareholder value is starting to look a bit wanting and definitely outdated. 

Society has a need and business can serve it. 

*The Consumer Study. From Marketing to Mattering.   # Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study **State of the Global Workplace Gallup Report 2017 .  ^Deloitte Millennial Survey findings 2018

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