What is Social Purpose?
Let’s start by being clear on one thing: Social Purpose is more than Corporate Social Responsibility and bolt-on charity initiatives.
CSR is one way brands can contribute to the well-being of the environment and society, and staff volunteer days, pro-bono work and donations have their role and can make a huge difference to people’s lives. However, rarely do brands insist that CSR and charity initiatives deliver business results. That’s where Social Purpose is different.
Because a Social Purpose guides a brand to make a positive impact in society in a way that generates long-term business growth.
Our WPP colleagues at BrandZ have revealed that brands that ‘make people’s lives better’ grow at 3 times the rate of those that don’t. A similar story has been observed within Unilever, where their brands with purpose have grown at twice the rate of their other brands in their portfolio. Purpose makes business sense.
That’s why we think Social Purpose is the new gold standard for Brand Purpose.
If a Brand Purpose is finding out what a brand is good at and aligning it with their users' needs, then Social Purpose goes further. It expands on the user focus to look at how a brand can solve societal issues that affect users' lives.
Because a purpose that is too user-focused limits its potential to:
• connect with an audience who increasingly expect brands to make a difference in the world.
• guide the brand to innovate in meaningful ways that protects the society in which it operates.
• grow a brand by strengthening the brand in people’s minds.
Social Purpose is more than words
If a brand wants to create meaningful social impact, it has to be about doing things not just saying things. Social Purpose has to be more than slogans and lofty ambitions. Strap-lines don’t solve the world’s problems. People and actions do. That’s why in media we work in big ideas, not just slogans. We explore ideas and initiatives with action and participation at their heart to drive genuine social change.
We believe Social Purpose has to be measurable, making its ideas and innovations accountable. That’s how ideas improve and scale, making a brand’s social purpose credible and effective.
We help you explore your brand purpose and identify how it might drive social impact.
We help you grow your brand by doing good.