How to embody the raison d’être of your company?

How to best embody the raison d’être of your company? 7 out of 10 marketing decision makers believe it is a performance lever, but 80% do not communicate due to lack of internal support.

According to a recent study *, 7 out of 10 marketing decision makers believe that defining internal purpose and values ​​are performance levers for the company. Despite this, almost 80% of them do not communicate on social, political or environmental issues due to a lack of internal understanding and membership. It is therefore important to take the time to define this raison d’etre and these values ​​so that they are perceived fairly and authentically.

How to embody its raison d’etre? Here are 6 key points:

1. Respect for employees

Our research tells us that consumers create a connection between employee treatment and corporate behavior. Companies that treat their employees well are considered good companies.

According to the Trustpilot study, nearly half (45%) of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product or service from a company that cares for its employees.

Other interesting figures from the study, three in five marketers (61%) believe their customers really care about human and labor rights, and nearly four in five consumers (78%) say they are willing to leave customer reviews on human being of a trademark registration of rights or labor rights.

In fact, there is a correlation between a positive perception of the treatment of employees and a positive perception of the company as a whole: the software giant Microsoft is a concrete example. In the 1990s, the corporate image was that of long hours and total dedication to the business. The employees were well paid, but the pressure was very high. In February 2014 the company is in crisis, its culture is notoriously masculine, combative and confrontational. New CEO Satya Nadella has tried to replace aggression with something more holistic, collaborative and positive. On the one hand, Nadella has renewed and streamlined the Microsoft product line. More importantly, he has made the company a great place to work. Either way, this approach has been a resounding success, fostering better productivity and a winning culture. Today Microsoft regularly wins awards for its corporate culture, unthinkable in the 1990s.

2. Surround yourself with the right people

Once the workplace has gotten really attractive, it becomes a lot easier to recruit the right people. Some people can be a transformative source of transformation for a brand, giving direction to the company and acting as an accelerator towards a specific goal. This goal can be the raison d’être of the brand.

Patrick Neyret of Danone is one of those people. Now marketing director for the DACH region (Germany, Austria, German-speaking Switzerland) and plant products at the food giant, he has played a key role in reorienting the company towards his raison d’être. He now he is leading a new segment of the brand to replace traditional meat alternatives with a greater environmental impact with plants.

3. Generate internal buy-in

To succeed in its purpose, a company’s employees must not only understand it, but also feel an emotional connection with it. One of the ways to achieve this is to organize an internal information campaign to explain to all employees what the project is about. Another way to earn the trust of the teams and to involve them is to offer them the opportunity to design and pilot the company’s raison d’être. This means that the management of the company must withdraw from the project and trust its employees to manage the project.

4. Make sure your mission is clear

In 2002, Dutch journalist Teun van de Keuken published articles on the use of child exploitation in the cocoa supply chain, explaining that the chocolate we consumed was produced using modern slavery at some points in the supply chain.

Pending government intervention, he embarked on an experiment: to produce chocolate fairly. 20,000 tablets were sold in two days and the experience turned into a business: Tony’s Chocolonely.

The brand’s mission goes beyond the supply chain and is evident both in the packaging and also in the way the chocolate breaks, not in regular squares, but in irregular shapes that show the injustice of society. The mission and the product have become interchangeable.

5. Integrate purpose into operations

Unilever adopted a “Plan for a sustainable lifestyle” in 2010, the intentions and credibility of which were strongly questioned at the beginning. However, the company proved to be serious and consistent in its strategic choices, and since then other large companies have followed suit.

Unilever has taken its commitments seriously and has seen business benefits, sustainable brands growing 69% faster compared to the others since 2018.

6. Business opportunity rather than business impact

Those who are suspicious of a brand’s purpose often say it can harm operations, open up to unnecessary criticism, and ultimately threaten the company.

Yet the opposite is true: purpose gives companies the opportunity to connect with customers and give them a reason to choose one brand over another. The raison d’être can open up new markets and have a positive impact on the business. It is not adopting a raison d’etre that could turn out to be a bad choice.

* Trustpilot 2022 survey of 600 marketing directors.

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