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John Izzo

February 23, 2016 by Speakers' Spotlight

The Purpose Revolution

Dr. John Izzo helps companies maximize their potential from the ground up. For over 20 years, Dr. Izzo has worked with thousands of leaders around the world, on employee-engagement strategies and brand transformations. Dr. Izzo has been a pioneer in employee engagement, leading change, shifting employee and consumer values and corporate social responsibility. He is known for his hard hitting practical content, his inspirational storytelling and the lasting impact he has on organizations. Dr. Izzo has just added a new speaking topic to his offerings called “The Purpose Revolution: Winning the Emerging Customer, Employee and Investor”, and explains what The Purpose Revolution is in the post below:

There is a revolution coming for every business that will impact your interactions with every major stakeholder group. It is what I have named The Purpose Revolution (soon to be my forthcoming book). There is a new demographic segment that cuts across age, nationality and even income level. They now make up a whopping 37% of people worldwide.

The new economy is going to be driven by this emerging group of people all over the world who want their employment, investing and buying to shape a better world while meeting their selfish needs. This new person is fundamentally different than every group that has come before. This new person wants to shop, loves brands, is often active on social media and loves to share brand stories. They want to consume but want “consumption without conflict” where they feel they are helping society, planet and themselves. Winning this new rising class of people who want good for self, good for people and good for planet alongside a sense of community/tribe is a spot of true differentiation. These people want doing well and you doing good to sit side by side as they live their lives. They simply want it all and if can give it you will succeed. .

Now you may ask: Is this just the “green/do-good” consumer that we have been told is coming for some time? The answer is a resounding no. The hard core “green” customer or what some call the Advocates, continue to make up about 15-18% of the world population. But these folks hate to shop, are skeptical of brands and are very difficult to please. They are important but what is new, and game changing, are the 37% my friend and colleague Raphael Bemporad calls The Aspirationals. They want it all. They want-to do well, enjoy life fully with all the benefits of consumerism and make a difference at the same time.

What’s more this group is actually three people. First they are the Purpose Driven Employee who wants to give their talent to companies where they can have a career and believe in the purpose of the company. Large companies worldwide tell me every week about how this new employee interviews us as much as we interview them. Do you have a strategy to win and engage the purpose driven employee?

Second they are the Purpose Driven Customer. In many countries as many as 85% of customers say it matters to them if the product and companies they buy from are good for more than themselves. Canada has among the highest percentage in the world. They love brands and love to share your story but they also are more than willing to pan your company. I have written about what I call Consumption without Conflict which is we want what we buy to be good for me, good for society and good for planet. The smartest companies are already finding powerful ways to connect to this emerging consumer. Is your company taking advantage of the purpose driven customer?

Finally, this new person is The Purpose Driven Investor. All over the world this segment wants to do well by investing their money but also do “good” in the process. In fact, impact investing, whereby people want their investments to have a direct impact on creating social good is one of the fastest growing investment trends. This is much larger than not investing in bad things such as tobacco or dirty diamonds, this is a group of investors who want their money to leverage change in the world. Already companies ranked high on Dow’s Corporate Sustainability Index significantly outperform the broader index of companies. Today’s investor wants return and the reward of feeling good.

Smart companies are already getting ahead of the curve building their workplace, customer strategy and investor strategy around this new segment. What about you?

Here are two things you can do right now:

-Create a compelling story of purpose and good within your company and engage your employees in that story. Westjet who has been a client of mine does a great job at this

-Create campaigns aimed directly at this Aspirational customer and engage them in your story. This is not about slick ad campaigns but about genuine engagement. An example: Pepsi reduced their Super Bowl ad buy and engaged customers instead to give the money away with their consumers shaping where the money went!

Dr. John Izzo/February, 2016