When we tell business leaders to focus on their purpose, the common response it “but how will it help us with customers?” Purpose may help a business improve its image and reach new clients, but when it comes to actually influencing a potential customer’s buying decision, how helpful is it?
As Movèo notes in their white paper, customers “value brand authenticity and want purpose to be intrinsic to the organization and operation, not merely part of a ‘giving back’ program.” Today’s customers care deeply about purpose. They want to support a business’s vision and align themselves with that purpose in meaningful ways. In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at the ways companies can demonstrate the intrinsic nature of their purpose and its influence on customer buying decisions.
A Changing Customer Base
There’s a new group of customers who value purposeful products and businesses: millennials. Born between 1982 and 2003, millennials have growing purchasing power due to their large numbers (there are about 3 million more millennials than baby boomers) and high level of education. Socially liberal, tech-savvy, and deeply connected to the world around them, millennials are the group to reach with modern marketing.
Millennials care more about who they buy from and do business with than other generations. They value brand authenticity and an open commitment to bettering the world around them. In short, millennials are more likely to invest their money in a brand that has a clear and strong purpose.
New Marketing Opportunities
The growth of the millennial customer base means that a business purpose is not just about having a corporate social responsibility initiative. Purpose needs to be ingrained in everything you do. Marketing should be used to align a company’s purpose with that of its customers, creating a bond between the two that makes a customer feel part of the company’s larger mission.
Take TOMS, one of the most successful companies to leverage their business purpose to reach customers. Their simple mission statement, “to make life more comfortable” engages customers by bringing them into their larger purpose: to provide shoes and eyewear for people around the globe who are in need. For every pair of TOMS purchased, a pair of shoes or eyeglasses are donated–making the customer integral to the purpose of the company and allowing them to feel not only comfortable in their new shoes, but comfortable in the knowledge that they’ve made a meaningful contribution to a great purpose.