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Do you really want to grow your business? Be purpose-driven

One of the secrets of fast-growing companies is that they are purpose-driven.


Do you want to grow your business? One of the secrets of fast-growing companies is that they are purpose-driven. They work for good, not just for profit.
  1. Unilever, one of the world renowned and largest fast moving consumer goods companies with the highest number of brands in home, food and personal care., reported that it’s sustainable living brands are growing 30% faster than the rest of their business and delivered nearly half their total growth in 2015.

  2. In a study conducted in 2016 by LinkedIn, Unilever was among the top ten most sought after employers in the world,

  3. Innovation and transformation are more present in purpose-driven companies. According to Harvard Business Review, “53% of executives at purposeful companies say their organization is successful, compared with 31% of leaders whose companies are developing a sense of purpose and 19% of executives who say a sense of purpose is entirely lacking at their organization”[1]

But what are purpose-driven businesses? These are businesses that want to make a profit by making a difference in the world, bringing something that can benefit people, solving a problem or making change possible. They work for good, not just for profit. As Ari Kalfayan, founder of the Startup & Tech Mixer, says,

“One, they just want to get rich, … and that’s fine and we’re totally okay with that. And the other side is people who actually want to enact change in the world. And that change can mean many things: social change, change in business. [This means that] they may be giving away products and money for their service…[or] they’re finding a social need within society and filling it. And that’s what’s driving the business.” http://www.inc.com/ed-zitron/why-businesses-that-are-purpose-come-out-on-top.html

So why is ‘purpose-driven’ becoming key to any company or business that wants to grow?

In a very competitive market, the only way to differentiate yourself is by offering something to people they feel they can be part of. It could be the environment, healthy food, women’s power, you name it. People want to feel good when they buy and they want to contribute to businesses that are making more than money.

According to recent research by Sage, a reported 50% of millennial’s claim they want to work for businesses with ‘ethical practices’.

Contrary to what many people think, “Having a positive social impact does not compromise your ability to achieve huge financial success.” as Paul Lindley from Ella’s Kitchen says, the man who built the UK’s largest baby food firm

Focusing on purpose beyond profit can be daunting. These are some questions that can guide you through the process:

  1. Be clear about your values. Do you know who you are and what you bring? Do you act on your values or are these just a nice list on a poster or on your website?

  2. Are your values inclusive? High performance or determination are values that talk about certain types of experiences. They are talking about winning. Values should be inclusive, should help us to achieve something beyond our own profit.

  3. Are leaders of the company championing these values? Are they truly role-models?

  4. Are these values inspiring change, bringing something good to people? Are they sustainable?

If you want to discuss purpose-driven businesses or you want to share your story about how you are growing your purpose-driven brand, get in touch. I would love to hear from you.

Photo by Kevin Dooley

[1] The Business Case for Purpose — A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services Report Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and EY, 2015.

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