mejor agencia de comunicacion españa

Purpose needs to be company-wide, or it’s meaningless

Communication is a powerful tool for driving real social change. Corporate purpose – the idea that companies are responsible for contributing positively to society – is becoming increasingly important. In a recent interview with El Publicista, Carme Miro discussed the impact of purpose on business strategies. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

“Companies are showing a growing awareness of the need to tackle their negative impacts on the planet. However, many consumers still need to prioritise this. How can we encourage a shift in mindset? What’s required to achieve this?

While some segments of the population struggle to see the harmful effects of pollution, and climate change denial persists, the consequences are undeniable. Companies and brands may be touting their environmental efforts, but this movement is ultimately driven by citizens demanding change.

In this context, corporate or brand purpose emerges as a powerful tool for social change. By communicating a shared purpose between the company/brand and its stakeholders, a movement can be built that positively impacts the environment and society as a whole. 

Companies account for 70% of the world’s economic activity. If they fail to adopt a more social, humane, and environmentally friendly purpose, the future of our planet is complicated at best. While saving the world isn’t their sole mission, companies that don’t actively contribute to positive change jeopardise their long-term success.

Crucially, companies must undergo a thorough definition process before communicating their purpose. Everyone within the organisation, especially senior management – from CEOs and boards to management committees – must understand and believe in the company’s purpose. It shouldn’t be a marketing or communication gimmick. Purpose cannot be a marketing or communication strategy – it needs to be company-wide, or it’s meaningless.

Without a genuine conviction behind its purpose, any form of communication risks becoming mere “Green-Pink-washing,” lacking credibility, and likely to falter.

– What sets Spain apart from other countries regarding corporate purpose (good and bad)?

There are no inherently good or bad purposes; there are genuine purposes and what is commonly known as ‘green-washing’. When communicating corporate purpose, the focus should be on explaining the benefits a company brings to its stakeholders and society. It is a common mistake to simply highlight how good a company is doing and how successful its ESG or CSR policies are. Instead of relying on rankings and certifications, the communication should emphasise what the company does for society. By adopting this less self-centred approach, companies can truly enhance their reputation and grow their business.

Spain has made great strides in developing purpose-driven companies. This is evident in the success of the BCorp movement, of which APPLE TREE is a proud member. Over 200 companies in Spain have obtained the B Corp seal, which certifies their commitment to the highest standards of quality, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. Moreover, the movement has recently established a new legal entity called SBIC (Sociedad de Bienestar e Interés Común), which recognises Companies with a Purpose.

– What challenges do you see for Spanish companies today in their efforts to reduce negative impacts on the planet and society?

Some companies effectively respond to this absolute emergency to save the planet and gain a significant competitive advantage over their counterparts. These companies have placed corporate purpose and sustainability at the core of their strategies, enabling them to outperform their rivals and establish a solid corporate reputation that will propel them into the future.

In Spain, brands such as Wallapop, which promotes the circular economy, or CUPRA, which is committed to electrifying car transport, already offer solutions in this sense. All these offers stem from these companies’ same purpose and raison d’être.

– What future prospects are being pursued in this regard?

All recent studies on brand reputation unanimously agree that having a genuine and clearly communicated purpose significantly enhances brand reputation.

In this context, having a corporate purpose is undoubtedly important, but the ability to effectively communicate it and create a collective understanding around it is equally crucial. Brands and companies do not have exclusive ownership over their reputation; it resides in the collective perceptions of the public. Therefore, companies rely on these perceptions, on the collective opinions that shape them. This underscores the importance of understanding the individuals interacting with our brands and companies – studying their opinions, evaluating them, and gaining a deep understanding. This knowledge equips us to communicate our purpose and shape specific perceptions effectively.

Without a fundamental shift in the very essence of companies—evolving from merely prioritising shareholder value to generating value for employees, communities, society, and the planet—we risk an immensely compromised future for humanity.






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