Founder and Chief Purpose Officer at Conspiracy of Love, Afdhel Aziz is on a mission to solve one of the biggest problems facing individuals and companies in the 21st century
Unleashing the Power of Purpose in your organisation
Founder and Chief Purpose Officer at Conspiracy of Love, Afdhel Aziz is on a mission to solve one of the biggest problems facing individuals and companies in the 21st century: how to find purpose and meaning in their work and unlock the enormous power of business to do good in the world.
Together with Bobby Jones, Afdhel has co-authored his second book “Good is the New Cool: The Principles of Purpose”, which captures five years of research with brands such as IKEA, Patagonia, Tesla and others to help businesses go on the purpose journey and use marketing as a force for good.
Afdhel was our very first keynote speaker as part of the RESETx event series. We captured some highlights from his discussion.
Why is transforming your organisation into a purpose-driven one more important than ever?
Afdhel says that there are three tectonic shifts affecting companies in the 21st century. The rise of;
- Conscious consumers
- Purpose-driven employees
- Impact investors.
Let’s explore why.
The rise of conscious consumers
A 2020 study of 8,000 consumers across 8 countries found that when consumers think a brand has a strong sense of purpose they are:
- 4 times more likely to buy from them (trial)
- 1 times more likely to trust them
- 5 times more likely to champion the company and recommend to friends and family
- 6 times more likely to stand by them in the event of misstep or public criticism
In Australia Porter Novelli released a study on Purpose in 2021 claiming that Australian are now more loyal to purpose than they are to price.
- 47% agreed that they are more loyal to a brand that is doing something positive for society
- 18% of consumers research what kind of company they are buying from often and 36% sometimes.
For Australians authenticity matters, offsetting less responsible behaviours with a CSR program will no longer cut it. Consumers want brands to act on their purpose programs:
- 91% agree that how a company operates must be aligned with their claimed purpose
The rise of purpose-driven employees
In the USA even before the pandemic, 64% of millennials wouldn’t take a job if they didn’t have a good CSR practice. 85% of Gen Z employees felt that companies have an obligation to solve social problems.
Afdhel added; “You want to future proof yourself for the next generation of talent? You better make sure that their work ladders up to something more than quarterly profit.”
In Australia, the Porter and Novelli study indicated that candidates are less concerned about their salary and commute time. They are instead more motivated by knowing their employer is acting in a pro-social way and looking after the interests of their people. For example, 39% want to know the diversity and inclusion policy and the impact a company is having on the environment.
Source: Porter Novelli Australia – Purpose Premium Research https://purposepremium.com.au/
The rise of conscious investors
Last but certainly not least is the change in investor mindset. Investors are increasingly applying non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities.
In Australia, the number of people who would invest in a company that has a positive impact on society has increased by 10 percentage points since 2020.
The overall message from the Australian study was clear. Aussies want ACTion – they want brands to get on with making change. Afdhel reiterates, the headline from the Porter Novelli research is brands need to get ahead of the curve.
- 69% of Australians expect brands to act on climate change on their own accord
- 63% of Australians felt that brands knew what they should be doing and that they should be acting on that on their own accord
- 57% of people expect companies to adopt a net-zero policy regardless of the government’s deadline.
Afdhel wrapped up the section of what is happening out there by expertly saying;
So how do big brands with multiple product portfolios align to one purpose?
The greatest challenge for some of the world’s biggest companies with multiple product portfolio’s is figuring out how to align them to a centralised purpose. However, according to Aziz in a recent Forbes article “there are great benefits to having the entire portfolio aligned around a common purpose, in a measurable and impactful way.”
Here are some principles for best practice:
Create an armada of purpose
Aziz says “Think of the individual brands as an Armada, a fleet of ships, each individual and unique but heading in the same direction. There is common direction and purpose that comes from the Corporate Purpose, but each ship is treated as an individual entity.
Aziz uses Mattel as a great example of a company where a Corporate Purpose statement intersects with individual Brand Purpose statements in a powerful and synergistic way.
Mattel’s corporate Purpose statement (why they exist) is ‘We empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential’. Their Mission (their ‘How’, what they are dedicated to doing every day to bring the Purpose to life) is to ‘create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play.’
Barbie’s brand purpose is ‘to inspire the limitless potential in every girl’. By focusing on the ‘every’ part of that statement and creating a doll line that is staggering in its diversity and inclusivity, the brand has returned to being a billion-dollar-plus brand after years of stagnation.
Focus On Commitments Not Campaigns
Companies can go beyond making campaigns and instead make commitments. This is the way to put actionable deliverables against the bigger corporate ESG themes. By tracking everything you can make a significant impact at a corporate level.
Afdhel concludes; “the ability for multinational companies with portfolios of brands to unlock the tremendous potential of synergistic purpose has powerful upsides not just for profitability – but also for the future of our planet and the benefit of humanity.”
Afdhel Aziz was AANA’s first international keynote speaker since the pandemic hit. He spoke in Sydney and Melbourne as part of the launch of RESETx events in April 2022. For more details visit his company website Conspiracy of Love.