How to turn Purpose into Profit

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How to turn Purpose into Profit

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Even as a child, the world looked up to him. Craig Kielburger, founder WE Charity has been inspiring people to make a difference and helping them connect with their purpose.

What is Purpose? Craig shared his perspective at CMDC 2018 Conference and sees Purpose as your ‘why’ for the greater good. He believes that part of a company’s mission today must involve social purpose – as much for the greater good as for the good of the business: its customers, employees, and the community at large.

People today are tech-savvy, connected, as well as capable and willing see what is going on in the world. Just think of March For Our Lives and #EndBullying. There’s no question that youth have evolved into active change-makers. Craig cites proof of this with WE Day, which filled stadiums of young people, celebrities, and brands assembling to celebrate real people making a difference. He projected his passion for WE Day: the energy of a rock concert, but more a movement staged as the world’s largest youth empowerment experience. Recently in L.A., WE Day brought together over 16,000 students and educators to celebrate youth activism. Streamed live, and broadcast on ABC, it garnered the attention of leaders, influencers, and artists like social media sensation Selena Gomez.

For marketers, influencers are genuinely powerful when relevant and meaningful to a brand’s audience. As they grow in popularity, they gain their followers’ trust with organic content. The term “influencer marketing” increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017 – which awarded it the distinction of the fastest-growing online acquisition method.

To substantiate, Kielburger referenced a Microsoft ‘organic’ activation. Selena Gomez appeared centre stage at WE Day, in conversation with a teen computer whiz typing at a Microsoft Surface device. What connected the vastly different teens was the glue of purpose: encouraging girls to use technology to take action for social change.

But Gomez isn’t and wasn’t a Microsoft spokesperson. On that stage in front of thousands, and on the TV broadcast that aired later to millions, the celebrity with the most Instagram followers became an unofficial brand ambassador. Gomez demonstrated that it’s hip to use technology to code, to communicate and to effectively change the world.

The impact for Microsoft created a groundswell of attention and the brand was viewed as 1.4x more likely to be considered ‘cool’.

So, how do you leverage Purpose? The answer: Differentiate your product. And make it pop.

Über cool California retailer Pacsun teamed with the ME to We organization to
support social enterprise programs in a commitment to global change. With a scale of 650 stores in the US – marketed to stylish, west-coast teens – a collection of ‘Kardashian’-inspired designs, they retained their brand challenge to sell basics: the simple white Tee.

Especially in the age of Amazon, with competitive pricing and convenience, the solution was more meaningful than just the product: bring purpose back to the brand by making it pop with meaning. Technology enabled youth to track every purchase to the source of impact. That might be as profound as cleaner water sources or the immunization of children. The results: 3-million people received access to clean drinking water thanks to Pacsun-purchased product. Not only could shoppers witness their global impact, they amplified the message across social media, thereby reinforcing Pacsun’s purpose-driven and positive brand reputation.

Kielburger posits the fundamental question we must always ask ourselves: What is our purpose? What is our purpose as a network? As a magazine? As a brand? And how will we amplify it to engage audiences that will listen? Take, for example, Tesla’s purpose beyond a car brand. It’s about creating a sustainable world. Just as is WE organization’s purpose: making good, doable.

CEOs today wish to be seen not just as leaders of business, but also as champions of social causes. In their communities and among their peers. And, increasingly, business people want to create companies that do good.

Key Insights from Craig Kielburger

1. When social change is profitable the economy, the individual, and the community thrives.

2. Today, with so many purchases tied to our identity, and social media channels that effectively create our own personal brands, consumers want to feel they are buying into a cause or movement that’s genuinely meaningful.

3. Purpose is one of the greatest motivators for your brand.

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