3 Ways Purpose Can Benefit Profit

The tension between purpose and profit doesn't have to be negative. Here are three research-backed reasons why.

I recently attended a Conscious Capitalism event with a speaker panel made up of “purpose-driven companies,” “social entrepreneurs,” and “benefit corporations.” Needless to say, it was right up my alley!

One topic we heard throughout the evening was the tension these companies face when it comes to the intersection of purpose and profit.

The question: How does one effectively integrate an economic mission with a social mission in a way that will have maximum positive impact on both?

This is not an uncommon question, especially if you desire to have a sustainable business that creates lasting good in the world. The tension is real, but I’m happy to say, purpose and profit do not have to be mutually exclusive.

In fact, studies show that socially conscious business practices can actually make you more profitable. Here’s how…

Improved Brand Trust + Affinity

According to the 2017 CONE CSR Report, over two decades of data reveal the growing positive impact on brand reputation and loyalty. Nearly 90% of respondents have a more positive image, are more likely to trust, and are more loyal to companies that support social and environmental issues.

Increased Sales 

This same study revealed that the bottom line also sees positive benefits from companies with strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs. Nearly nine out of ten Americans report that they would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given a similar price and quality. Additionally, 79% of consumers make a concerted effort to seek out products that are socially or environmentally responsible.

Employee Attraction, Retention + Increased Competencies

Deloitte’s 2016 IMPACT study shows that companies with a culture committed to making an impact, tap into their employees’ sense of purpose and have the ability to attract and retain top talent. The study also found that 92% of respondents agree that volunteering improves employees’ broader professional skill set and leadership abilities.

It’s not easy to give purpose and profits equal footing in your business. It takes a lot of passion, dedication, intention and a strong commitment to the cause, but it is absolutely possible and can ultimately prove profitable.

I know profit isn’t why you’re building a purpose-driven business, but I also know you need it to be sustainable and create positive change in the world. I want you to remember, especially when things get hard, it’s absolutely possible to have both. 

Please let me know if you have any questions about this or any other business + good topic!! 

All my very best, 

Rachael 

References
1) 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study.” Cone Communications | Cone | Cone PR | Cone Inc | PR Agency | Boston | NYC. Web. 31 July 2017.
2) Deloitte IMPACT Research | Deloitte US | Citizenship.” Deloitte United States. 07 June 2017. Web. 31 July 2017

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