According to a recent Edelman study, purpose will tip the balance in favor of a particular brand when the quality and price of that category's brands are perceived as being equal. In fact, a majority of consumers expect businesses to do something for society, not merely ring up sales and profits. Employees who work for companies that market brands with a purpose--brands with authenticity--are more likely to go the extra mile.
Case in point: Unilever, which has won praise and publicity for its international initiatives promoting sustainability, social responsibility, and transparency. Its Lifebuoy brand posts this vision on its website:
As the world’s No. 1 germ protection soap, our vision is to bring health and hygiene to a billion people.
In line with this vision, Lifebuoy provides handwashing education to fight disease in India, Kenya, and other areas.
Unilever also owns Ben & Jerry's, an ice-cream brand built on the purpose and authenticity of its cofounders. When ice-cream lovers choose Ben & Jerry's, their purchases enable the brand to continue buying from local dairy producers and to support ongoing social responsibility activities.
Despite being under the Unilever umbrella since 2001, Ben & Jerry's has now become a certified B Corporation, showing its dedication to purpose while advancing Unilever's sustainability agenda.