It’s marketing 101 for consumer companies: What you stand for is as important as what you sell.
One in three consumers choose brands based on their social and environmental impact, a rate that’s probably climbing.
When a consumer company’s values align with its customers’ values, it’s good for business. Patagonia, the quintessential purpose-led success story, declares, “We’re in business to save our home planet.”
When brand values don’t entirely mesh with consumers’ values, a brand can expect to lose sales, or maybe even get boycotted. Ask Chick-fil-A.
Values alignment is a major business responsibility as consumers look into companies’ ethics, actions and financial flows. An entire communications industry has arisen around helping consumer companies practice and showcase the right values: corporate social responsibility.
What’s new and surprising for many companies is that this values imperative is crossing over into the business-to-business (B2B) sector. B2B companies, too, have to declare a purpose beyond profit and prove they are socially and environmentally sustainable. The consumer brands they serve depend on it.