‘Purpose’ is not a buzzword, a strapline, a communications campaign, or repackaged CSR – nor is it a recruitment tool for millennials or only suited for worthy businesses, asserts independent marketing and communications agency Radley Yeldar (RY), which has released qualitative research on how purpose has transformed some of the world’s largest brands, from the people who work there and make it happen.
Selecting 10 of the 30 top-ranking companies from the Fit for Purpose Index, RY and Circle Researchconducted in-depth interviews with AstraZeneca, BT, Deloitte, ING, Pearson, Phillips Lighting, RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser), Roche, SAP and Syngenta. Interviewees were asked exactly how purpose has impacted their business, how they came to define and measure theirs, and whether there have been any unexpected challenges along the way. The interviews generated a wealth of fascinating insight from those at the very top of the global organisations.
“Purpose is far more than just a marketing tool or a new word for CSR. We believe putting it into action will deliver tangible benefits in the short and the long term, and our brilliant contributors confirmed that,” said Paulina Lezama, Brand and Purpose Director at RY.
“This is why we are so excited about this new publication – we’ve taken a close look inside organisations to discover how central purpose is to companies today: from strengthening a company’s reputation to transforming its culture.”
Reality Check is part of a series of purpose tools created by RY, who use their expertise in branding, employee engagement, investor relations and sustainability to help companies embed their purpose across the board, engaging all key stakeholders, from employees to consumers to investors.
The Fit for Purpose Index 2016 saw the likes of Pearson, Phillips Lighting and RB appear in the top 10 purposeful companies out of 100, based on an assessment of four criteria: purpose and story, communication, performance, and behaviors.
“At RB we believe that only purpose-led businesses, which are in tune with the world around them, will be truly sustainable,” said Miguel Veiga-Pestana, SVP Corporate Communications and External Affairs at RB. “Our consumers, employees, shareholders as well as other civil society stakeholders increasingly expect us to not only act as a good corporate citizen but to play a key role in addressing un-met societal needs and challenges. Putting ‘purpose’ at the heart of business strategy, culture and values is a driver of growth and competitive advantage. We see this as core to our ability to become the world’s leading consumer health business.
“This being said, as we embark on this transformational journey, there is much that we still have to learn from the shared experiences of others. We all need those moments of inspiration and aspiration that research such as this provides.”