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What is the state of Purpose, 20 years into a new century?

The buzzword of the 21st century is all grown up. Now that Purpose has begun to mean something again, how much does it really matter, and to whom? And, how can you best communicate your organisation’s core Purpose?

We asked 5,000 Australians for their views.

Explore our findings from 2019 via the downloads below, or keep scrolling to review our top insights.

Purpose: Eight Big Australian Insights

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Reputation has many dimensions

The dimensions that make up a company’s reputation are balanced between Reliability (41 per cent), Success (30 per cent) and Responsibility (29 per cent). These are made up of different elements with varying importance to consumers, including security, sustainability and innovation. “Purpose” is not a stand-alone contributor to Reputation, rather it adds to the way an organisation is viewed by stakeholders as being Responsible.

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Australians view brands
differently to Americans

Our original research was based on a Porter Novelli US study of American consumers. While the methodology was adjusted for an Australian audience, the factor Australians label ‘Responsible‘ was more than twice as important to us than it was to Americans.

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Strong correlation between Responsibility and Reputation

Companies with strong reputations also have strong Responsibility scores. That’s no coincidence. These scores are highly correlated and tend to move together. Of the top 10 Australian entities for Responsibility and Reputation, five appear on both lists.

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Companies must act,
care and advocate

Australians prioritise companies that are environmental, philanthropic, purpose-driven, and employers of choice, reflecting the “hard” and “soft” elements of Responsibility. Australians expect organisations to demonstrate their commitment to improving the world – not only through support for a relevant cause – but also by creating a positive working environment for staff that embodies the values they say they uphold.

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Responsibility drives
consumer action

Not only do Australians think more highly of Responsible companies, they also reward them for those behaviours. Companies with a higher Responsibility ranking than their peers will reap greater benefit. Consumers are more likely to favour those brands or organisations through product purchase and/or support.

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Different industries are different

As expected, certain industries are loved or loathed, often based on the nature of the products or services they provide, and for some industries, too much Success can correlate negatively with reputation. This is true for banking and chemical industries, but also for charities.

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Gravitating to Responsible outcomes

When asked what makes a company great, certain audience groups were more likely to confirm Responsibility as critical. Those who value Responsibility are more likely to be young, female, less affluent, and have children – that is, they have less “margin for error” in their lives.

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Leading with Responsibility equals
more engaged audiences

Australians are more interested in what responsible companies have to say. Australians are significantly more likely to consume information from companies with higher Responsibility rankings, via both social media and more traditional communication channels.

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Still keen to learn more? Download more insights below!