Today’s consumers define purpose as an organization’s “why.” It provides insight into why the work matters and gives consumers a reason to believe in the products and offerings. To get more insights into how organizations can find and act on their “why,” we gathered at the Atlanta Tech Village with moderator, Trenton Spindler, Co-Founder and COO of GreenPrint, an environmental technology company, and a panel of top marketers who shared insights into how their companies are creating purpose and why developing one is a requirement of any organization that’s looking to make an impact.
“Every business should define their ‘why’ to get to their purpose,” stressed Anna Webb, VP of Marketing at Interface. Interface is a global flooring company that has developed a system that enables customers to create beautiful interior spaces that positively impact the planet. Anna explained how the leaders at Interface rooted purpose into the company across every aspect of the business—from the materials themselves and where they’re sourced to the process of creating the product and the impact it has on the earth. “Our mission of running our business in a way that is restorative to the planet and creates a climate fit for life, is not a side project. It ladders up to everything that we do at Interface. Our purpose ‘Lead Industry to Love the World’ speaks to the fact that we need all businesses to join our journey in order to truly make an impact and reverse global warming” said Anna.
John Mulcahy, VP of Sustainability at Georgia-Pacific, shared that organizations should ensure that employees and internal stakeholders are aware of and aligned with the company’s purpose. He noted, “Employees want to work in a place that makes them proud of the work that the business is doing both inside the walls of the company and within the local community and greater society.” John shared stories around Georgia-Pacific’s partnership with Convoy of Hope and the sustainability efforts that the company abides by when developing its products. Initiatives such as these allow the employees to participate in giving back and making an impact. When an organization’s purpose is engrained in the culture and day-to-day workplace environment, employees typically perform better, with more passion and commitment to the overall organization.
In today’s world, human connection is essential to developing a brand that is impactful. Defining your purpose and engraining that purpose into your organization’s culture lays the groundwork for expanding your message outward to your consumers. Catherine Hernandez-Blades, SVP, Chief ESG and Communications Officer, at Aflac, told the story of launching its My Special Aflac Duck® program, which works with children’s hospitals across the US to provide robotic ducks for free to children diagnosed with cancer. The ducks provide aspects of medical play and companionship through custom-built technology. Catherine spoke about the importance of developing a purpose that has real meaning and real impact saying, “When developing your purpose, it’s important to ensure that it’s authentic. By creating a movement that your organization stands behind, you will see a positive return in the form of customer loyalty and brand reputation.”