By Audra Gormley
“Companies that prioritize purpose (corporate responsibility), have an edge on revenue with a 10 percent growth.”
Carol Cone, the CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, is a master of cause branding, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. She has worked with brands like Avon, Reebok, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, PNC and more. The main focus for her firm is to use purpose branding. Carol Cone has the expertise to turn feelings into a call to action with her branding strategy. Cone always advises her clients to wrap their brand with a cause.
Cone believes that there is long term value for shareholders by bringing corporate responsibility to society. Values and purpose have become an essential part of business strategy. It is no longer about whether or not to use purpose branding, it is now a necessity. It’s an essential part of turning consumers into advocates for your organization.
Studies, according to Project Return on Investment (ROI), show that 92% of consumers want to shop with brands that align with their values. That is a big percentage to ignore. On top of that, 72% of millennials say that they will boycott a brand solely on their values or purpose. With that being said, it is truly valuable to an organization to utilize purpose and cause branding in their business model.
Cone described that we all have a voice. You have advocacy power, you have buying power and you have community power. So use your power! Boycotts are becoming more common. People are empowered to vote with their dollar. It is important to advocate for the organizations that you do support.
Cone continued by saying, “The food industry is really getting it.” Big time names like Panera Bread are changing the landscape for transparency and social responsibility. Panera vouched not to market to soft spots, like children, making their business promise transparent and honest. They are working towards sourcing ingredients from sustainable sources. They plan to change their entire menu to GMO free by the end of the year. Cone used this example, to show that people care about the effects of their food, and this will later expand (and already is expanding) into other facets.
Some tips to take away from Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, are wrap your brand in cause branding, profit comes from accepting CSR into your organization and use your own advocacy to shape the landscape of the consumer market.