Social Responsibility

5 Traits of Purpose-Driven Companies

Victoria Chemko
By Victoria Chemko

What you’ll learn about purpose-driven companies:

  • Today’s companies need to do much more than make a profit 
  • We’re taking a look at five traits of purpose-driven companies
    • They build purpose into their business strategy
    • They connect the day-to-day with a collective purpose
    • They advance their purpose with measurable goals
    • They make their purpose a key innovation driver
    • They channel their purpose into their marketing

There’s a great reckoning happening in the workforce. After almost two years of disruption, massive changes to the ways we work, and important conversations around diversity and inclusion, people are drawing very clear lines around what they want out of their jobs—and what they don’t. 

More and more, people are looking for employers that make them feel valued, that inspire them, that allow them to show up wholly as themselves. The companies that miss the mark risk not only alienating potential employees, they also losing customers that prefer to engage with brands that treat their people well and do good things.

So, how can companies create environments that appeal to this generation of professionals and customers? To start, they can incorporate a broader purpose into the way they do things, focusing on much more than just making a profit from their products and services. That’s what it means to be a purpose-driven company. 

Below, we’re taking a look at five other traits that make purpose-driven companies stand out.

1. They Build Purpose into Their Business Strategy

Beyond the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of an organization, the purpose of an organization identifies the ‘why’. Why they’re in business, why they exist, and why customers and employees might be interested in them. For example, a clothing retailer could have the purpose of reducing the amount of clothes that go to landfills. Meanwhile, a SaaS tech provider might exist to make processes better for their customers, while also improving the level of tech education for marginalized communities. 

Truly purpose-driven companies will incorporate this purpose into all of their decision making, mapping each choice they make to their corporate values. This approach fosters an element of consistency that’s really important when building relationships with stakeholders—and ultimately generates revenue in the long run.

2. They Connect the Day-to-Day with a Collective Purpose

For your employees to truly live your company’s purpose, they need to be able to see how their daily tasks ladder up to corporate values and meaningful initiatives. In practice, this can look like creating internal campaigns that encourage your employees to embody specific values, associating each business project with one or more company values, or using the corporate values as a framework for professional development. It also can include giving space for employees to have a conversation about their own individual values and how they interplay with those at the company.

3. They Advance Their Purpose with Measurable Goals

Today’s leading companies set measurable goals that bring their purpose to life. For companies that want to go greener, these goals can look like reducing their carbon footprint by a certain percentage per year, minimizing the use of single-use plastics, or lowering their energy usage by a specific amount. Meanwhile, companies that want to do more for their communities could have metrics for the amount of funds donated per year, the number of community-oriented events hosted, or the number of partnerships with local social enterprises. With measurable, data-driven goals, brands can hold themselves accountable. Those that want to go the extra mile can also share their performance with their stakeholders as a way to be more transparent and invite feedback.

4. They Make Their Purpose a Key Innovation Driver

Organizational purpose can drive innovation. By having a clear mandate at the front of your business, you encourage teams to continue working towards that mandate in different ways, whether that’s building new products that do more for the planet or your community, exploring disruptive partnerships with companies outside of your industry, or sponsoring activists that are doing important work. The plus side? Just as these innovative projects do more to move your purpose forward, they’ll also organically drive revenue by bringing in new customer audiences or re-engaging existing ones. 

5. They Channel Their Purpose into Their Marketing

Yes, your purpose will play an important role in encouraging alignment within your organization and ongoing innovation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be talking about it beyond the office walls. Embedding your purpose—whatever it may be—into your marketing efforts is a great way to engage your target audience. 

Today more than ever, consumers want to buy from companies that align with their values—be it employing sustainable practices or putting the spotlight on important social issues. They want to trust that the purchase they’re making doesn’t compromise what’s important to them. In short, if you’re not talking about your own purpose and values, it’ll be harder for them to choose you.

This external promotion of your values will also be key for building strong partnerships with other purpose-driven brands or attracting investors that carefully consider where they place their funds.

What Being Purpose-Driven Means to Us

At Umami Marketing, our purpose and values are part of everything we do. We enable our customers with the marketing tools and strategies they need to succeed—so that they can focus on their own important purpose. 

For example, one of our priority client segments is transformative tech, where our customers are building solutions that lead to positive impact and ongoing innovation. We’ve partnered with them to showcase their purpose, allowing them to refine their products and find new ways to deliver value to their employees and customers. 

Need help communicating your purpose to your target audiences? Get in touch. We’d love to chat through how we can partner to shine the light on what your brand is up to.

About the Author

Victoria Chemko

Victoria Chemko

Founder & CEO
A successful three-time entrepreneur and Founder of Umami Marketing, Victoria works with companies around the world to build their digital marketing presence and attract more customers.
Follow Me On: Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin

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