The new sustainability story Brand purpose: Getting buy-in beyond your tribe By Pamela Fiehn

Jun 08, 2016

We’re at Sustainable Brands this week, having lots of conversations about how to #endcynicism. Why? We believe cynicism is the biggest barrier to making progress on the issues we care about most—halting climate change, closing the gap on income inequality, helping people live healthier lives. 

The funny (and awesome) thing is this: Just about everyone who stops by our booth gives us a laugh and a smile and says, “I’m already on board.”

They get it. 

It’s one of the reasons I love Sustainable Brands. I’m back at this conference for the third year, and once again I am reminded of why events like this are so important. It’s crucial to get together with your tribe now and then.

Because no matter whether they’re in operations, supply chain sustainability, or corporate communications, members of the tribe here know how hard it can be to convince people of their vision and to get others on board.

Gatherings like this give us a chance to re-energize and uplift each other. We share information, tips, advice, hard-core facts and stats that we can carry with us as we head back into the world.  

Here’s some of the best of the best (so far) for those of you who haven’t been at this week’s conference. Use these facts to support your case for purpose, no matter who you’re trying to persuade.

For marketers and product designers

Currently, 65% of consumers—and that number is growing—say they support and want to purchase from brands that are purposeful. But 55% of consumers can’t even name a purposeful brand.

This gap is a serious market opportunity. There are people out there looking for products and services from purpose-driven brands. Hello? What are we waiting for?

For the C-suite

The business case for purpose-driven issues like sustainability has long been about creating cost savings through efficiency. 

But now, the conversation is about growth. Purpose is driving innovation and creating new market opportunities. And, it’s driving revenue. 

Only a small percentage of companies ever make it to the $1 billion annual revenue mark. But increasingly, they are companies that put purpose at the heart of their business. Companies like IKEA, Nike and Tesla. 

Even more traditional brands are paying attention and getting in the game. Companies like Costco, Walmart and Kroger are now generating at least $1 billion in revenue from organic or more sustainable product lines.

And that’s exciting.

For corporate communicators and HR professionals

The No. 1 sign to the outside world that your company is genuinely purpose-based—which generates really important things like brand loyalty and trust—is walking your talk. Your internal values and corporate culture need to align with your sustainability strategy.

You can’t just say it. You can’t even just do it. You’ve gotta be it—and that goes for every single person in your organization.

Pamela Fiehn

Pamela's the chief creative inspirer on our corporate responsibility work, and she’s dead set on transforming how the world thinks and talks about sustainability.

More from Pamela Fiehn:

Brand purpose: Getting buyin beyond your tribe

#endcynicism? How?

What it takes to be BRAVE

Next up:

Sustainability is more than a report

It’s corporate responsibility season, and reports are cropping up everywhere. But why stop there? Find out how to use your sustainability story to add depth to your brand story, and keep the momentum going.

Read on