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4 Ways to Create More Value through Purpose

How do we, as leaders in the sponsorship industry, get people excited about change?

Afdhel Aziz, author of the award-winning book: “Good is The New Cool: The Principles of Purpose,” delved into that topic during this year’s Sponsorship Summit and our recent webinar, “Creating Powerful Partnerships with Purpose,” looking at how sponsorship can be a force for good.

As the title of his book indicates, Aziz believes that good has become the new cool and, for brands, it is as important to do good as it is to be cool.

From employees and consumers to investors, people are evaluating the good a company does. Employees want to know their workplace is invested in something more than sales. Consumers want to feel good about the products and services they’re purchasing. Investors want to invest in companies that commit to causes that match their values.

“By every metric that you measure brand strength, purpose-driven brands outperform the competition,” Aziz said, referencing a Zeno study that showed consumers are four times more likely to purchase from a purpose-driven brand, six times more likely to protect that company in the event of a misstep, 4.5 times more likely to champion the brand and recommend it to friends and family, and so on.

Aziz believes it’s possible to make money and do good at the same time and he’s tested that idea through his work with Triscuit, Ritz, Sour Patch Kids, and many other iconic brands.

To accomplish this idea to turn good into cool, Aziz shared the following key takeaways:

  1. Think of people as citizens, not consumers
    A great example of this is the Immortal Fans campaign, a partnership with one of the largest Brazilian soccer clubs to drive organ donations where fans could turn their membership cars into organ donor cards. It worked – 64,000 lifelong fans became organ donors.
  2. Don’t advertise, solve problems
    F1 driver Louis Hamilton used his platform to discuss diversity in motorsports. He also partnered with Mercedes to improve diversity in F1 through STEM education and scholarships.
    Then there’s Adidas, which partnered with Parley to turn ocean plastics into high-performance products.
  3. Diversity is the only global growth strategy
    Getting in front of as many people as possible and maintaining growth requires diversity. Additionally, internal diversity is vital when trying to reach fans, consumers, citizens, etc., because it is representative of the global audience.
  4. Back up the promise with proof
    Aziz used the Homeless World Cup (an organization that operates a global network that brings together more than 70 grassroots organizations using football to tackle homelessness and social isolation) as an example of bringing teams and people together from all over the world to play and contribute. The 2016 event, held in Glasgow, Scotland, generated $12,922,625 in social ROI for every $1 invested, according to ProSocial Valuation.

During his webinar talk, Aziz said purpose needs to be built from the inside out, meaning that, as companies think about reaching out to consumers, they must first work toward a purpose-driven culture inside the organization.

Aziz also stressed a principle called: Be the helper, not the hero. This can present a trap for brands that choose to present themselves as the hero of the story.

“This comes off as egotistical and self-indulgent,” Aziz said. “This is not a good move. What the company should be thinking about is making the consumers, the participants, the hero of the story.”

He continued by saying that purpose needs to measure what you treasure, which is simply Aziz’s plea that, “When designing these purpose-driven partnerships, try and create a bespoke model for measurement as well.”

Ultimately, your values (your company’s values) drive your value (your company’s value). There are opportunities to be cultivated from doing good.

And, just like the title of Aziz’s book: Good is the new cool.