13 Stats That Indicate Purpose-Driven Brands Are The Future

Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

For all our purpose-driven brand and marketer friends working to transform the way businesses operate in order to better serve humanity and the planet,

We’re breaking down 13 statistics on purpose-driven brands that are exemplary of the opportunities that lie ahead as this revolution goes mainstream.

The bottom line is:

  • People increasingly want to buy from brands serving the greater good. There’s a reason every brand imaginable is now talking about Purpose,from up-and-coming dog apparel company Lucy & Co to the behemoth PepsiCo.
  • Brands that do so and communicate effectively capitalize on increased brand equity, trust, loyalty and market share.
  • The world needs this transformation to take place. We must transform the way businesses operate in order to create a viable society and planet for humanity in the long run.

So here we go…

80% of people say they are loyal to businesses that help them achieve the Good Life.

Sustainable Brands and Harris Poll put together a very robust research paper looking at the shifting perception of what the Good Life means to people and how brands can be a part of enabling it. Published in 2017, it’s a worthwhile read in its own right.

The Good Life is defined by four major components: balance and simplicity, meaningful connections, money and status, and personal achievement. Brands that help consumers live the Good Life win on the loyalty front. They have that stickiness value that is hard to quantify but difficult to achieve and maintain.

Source: Sustainable Brands and Harris Poll Study

76% believe making a difference in the lives of others is necessary for living the Good Life.

As we become more interconnected as a world population and with the revolution of information thanks to the internet, more people are becoming aware of the degree to which their actions as consumers have an impact on others and the world at-large. Most, especially among the younger generations, determine a life fulfilled is based on making a difference in the lives of others around the world. There is a huge opportunity here for brands to provide platforms and channels through which people can live out their social purpose, especially because the younger generations view making a difference through what they buy as more foundational to their life goal.

Source: Sustainable Brands and Harris Poll Study

89% of consumers believe Purpose is demonstrated through how the company benefits the society (and environment). But they want to see it. They expect brands to share their impact through all touch points.

Brand Purpose needs to be seen (consistently) to be believed. Consumers believe Purpose is defined by how the company benefits society, but the importance of consistency in sharing the brand Why and impact can not be understated. If the demonstrations of brand Purpose are intermittent, consumers will perceive such initiatives, regardless of their true authenticity, as “goodwashing” or “purpose washing.”

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

77% of consumers say they have stronger emotional bonds to Purpose-driven companies.

Purpose-driven companies are able to create more emotional, profound bonds with consumers. They are not perceived as a standard commodity. Rather, they are seen as a company serving a bigger movement towards a better world.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

We talk more about this consumer demand in the broader context of the purpose-driven brand movement in Episode 2 of our Third Factor Series.

80% of consumers say when they buy a product from a purpose-driven company they feel they are doing some part in making a positive impact.

Everyone wants to feel as if they are moving the world in a positive direction, through our work efforts, what we buy and more. Supporting purpose-driven brands enables us as consumers with another avenue to create positive impact for the world. That feeling of “I am actively doing something to make the world a better place” presents a huge business opportunity.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

73% of consumers are willing to stand up for a Purpose-driven brand if it is spoken badly of.

Every company makes mistakes and has its naysayers. Having Purpose at the root of the brand delivers more avid supporters that will stand up for you.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

66% of consumers are willing to switch from a known brand to an unknown Purpose-driven brand.

We humans very much default to what we know. We have become extremely habitual beings. That’s why this statistic is so telling. People are willing to switch to a previously unknown Purpose-driven brand because they are seeking out brands that help them living a purposeful life serving the greater good. This should be an inspiration for all the new purpose-driven brands out there. Consumers will switch to your brand, as long as you can get sufficient reach to introduce to your target audience who you are and what you are doing.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

“Consumers just want to buy from good companies — companies that are doing right by people and the planet. The brands we buy are extensions of our personal brands — they’re manifestations of how we want to be seen in the world — and increasingly we want to be personally seen as people who are doing the right thing. That, of course, also means we increasingly don’t want to buy from brands that can’t help us make that personal statement.” Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group

57% are willing to pay more for equivalent product from a Purpose-driven brand.

Ahhh… The classic “purpose-driven brands are too expensive, nobody will buy it” line. First off, the fact that responsible purpose-driven brands are often more expensive is a fundamental issue of our economic system (hidden costs and negative externalities are never included in the price of goods).

But nonetheless, even in our current economic system whereby providing products that are conscious is often more expensive, a majority of consumers are willing to pay more for it. They see the true value and costs of products and thus are willing to pay more when the brand is serving the greater good.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

78% of consumers would tell others to buy from a Purpose-driven company.

Which story from a friend is more convincing: “Hey, you should get socks from this company! They are really comfortable!” OR “Hey, you should get socks from this company! They are really comfortable AND they give a pair of high-quality socks to the homeless for every pair you buy!” That’s a standard sock company versus Bombas. There’s a reason Bombas has experienced massive growth in the last 4 years.

Source: Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study

50% of those consumers expressing the desire to buy from purpose-driven brands can’t name a single brand with a deeper sense of Purpose.

This is a big one and is indicative of the work that needs to be done, similar to the Sustainable Brands Good Life study, which found that 66% of people struggle to name companies that are helping them live the Good Life. So many can’t name a single purpose-driven brand. It’s not their fault, of course. It’s up to brands to indicate their Purpose with consistency and clarity in a world characterized by information overload where the average person experiences 5,000+ brand exposures a day.

Source: RoundPeg Communications

30% of consumers worldwide say they more often make purchasing decisions based on company values than they did 3 years ago.

50% of consumers worldwide say they now buy based on a company’s brand values and impact. And 30% of worldwide consumers say they more often buy based on brand values compared to just three years ago. This is indicative of the rapid speed in which this purpose-driven brand transformation is taking over. This is not isolated to a specific region, country, socioeconomic or market segment. This is becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Source: Conscious Company Media

50% of consumers across 14 major markets, including the U.S., China, India, Mexico, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan and more, are belief-driven buyers, and they skew younger, with higher percentages among millennials (60%) and Gen Z (53%).

The demand for purpose-driven brands from consumers can’t be isolated to a specific region, country or market. People around the world now see their buying behavior (and the companies they do and don’t support) as an extension of themselves, their personal brand so to speak. And increasingly, people want to be seen as individuals who are doing the right thing and contributing to the betterment of society as a whole. Unsurprisingly, a greater percentage of the younger generations can be characterized as belief-driven buyers. They have grown up in the information age and are more acutely aware of how consumption and the companies they support make an impact on the world.

Source: Edelman Earned Brand Study

Trust in US business decreased significantly between 2017 and 2018, down 10 points to 48%.

Given this 10 point drop took place in only a single year, this statistic is noteworthy. In the U.S., along with other major markets, people are becoming increasingly trustworthy of the institution of business as a whole. While this may seem like a negative, it points to the exact reason why purpose-driven brands are gaining traction. They are presenting a new model for how to do business that serves customers, people and planet. It’s no coincidence that these two contradictory changes are taking place simultaneously.

Source: Edelman Trust Barometer

For more thoughts, commentary, statistics and strategy related to the purpose-driven brand movement, check out other recent content from us at Jukko.