• Gain competitive advantage by becoming more purpose-led

    It is increasingly clear, from a creative, client, consumer and talent perspective, that there is a demand for more purpose-led brands and companies; companies to buy from, companies to work with and companies to work for.

  • Creative Output

    Awards are a bell weather of the creative industries and at the 2018 D&AD Awards, two of the three black pencils awarded were for socially responsible campaigns (‘Fearless Girl’ and ‘Palau Pledge’). In 2017, ‘Fearless Girl’ won 4 Cannes Grand Prix’s and purpose-led campaigns for other for-profit companies, Whirlpool (‘Care Counts’), Boost Mobile (‘Boost Your Voice’), AP Property Development (‘Unusual Football Field’) and UNE Telecom (‘Payphone Bank’) were all awarded a Grand Prix for creative excellence.

     

    As purpose-led campaigns win the big awards, agencies need to ensure their agency is best able to deliver.

    Talent

    As purpose-led work wins awards, the best talent will want to create purpose-led campaigns. To attract and retain the best talent, agencies that are more orientated to the purpose agenda will be more attractive. This desire to create purpose-led creative work, mirrors a deeper need for work itself to have purpose. Future leaders want to work for organisations that provide meaningful work

  • 71%

    of millennials think that the successful businesses of the future will create different types of value for employees and customers, moving away from a ‘sell lots’ to a ‘sell well’ attitude

    75%

    think that it is important that the values of the business they work for match their own values

     

     

     

    (Source: Kantar/American Express, 2017)

  • Clients

    This need for business to make a positive difference in the world beyond profit is being called for by clients, who increasingly want their agency partners to think this way:

  • "We have got to use the resources and privilege of our investment dollars to create the world we want our children to inherit. It’s not good enough to be better than yesterday. We’ve got to identify the bold difference we can create"

     

    Jane Wakely

    CMO Petcare, Mars

    “Performance with purpose helps drive our business growth and prepares us to meet the needs of our changing world”

     

     

     

    Indra Nooyi

    Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo

    “I only want to work with agencies that are leading on being purpose-led”

     

     

     

     

    Sue Garrard

    EVP Sustainable Business & Communications, Unilever

    “It’s clear that people want business to have a purpose beyond profit"

     

     

     

     

    Syl Saller

    CMO, Diageo

  • One such person is Blackrock’s CEO, Larry Fink. Blackrock is the world’s largest investment fund with around $6.3 trillion under management. Clients listen to their shareholders and Fink is arguably the most influential shareholder in the world. Earlier this year, Fink sent letters to 1,000 CEO’s insisting that their companies should make a positive contribution to society in equal measure to financial performance. This will turn into a massive opportunity for those agencies partners that are able to guide them through this new era.

    Consumers

    Consumers are buying more ethically. UK sales of ethical products (everything from Rainforest Certified tea to renewable energy) are at their highest, worth £81 billion in the last survey from the Ethical Consumer Markets Report. Unilever state that their sustainable living brands grew 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of Unilever’s growth in 2016.

  • 24%

    of respondents claim to have bought products in the last year specifically because they were ethical

    21%

    of UK consumers have boycotted a brand following a scandal or negative press

     

     

     

     

  • One such person is Blackrock’s CEO, Larry Fink. Blackrock is the world’s largest investment fund with around $6.3 trillion under management. Clients listen to their shareholders and Fink is arguably the most influential shareholder in the world. Earlier this year, Fink sent letters to 1,000 CEO’s insisting that their companies should make a positive contribution to society in equal measure to financial performance. This will turn into a massive opportunity for those agencies partners that are able to guide them through this new era.

    So what?

    If only one or two of the factors above were pointing towards purpose, then it could be dismissed as a fad. Collectively, and as they interact together, they will ensure that purpose can become a transformative idea. Indeed, we believe, that we are in the early phase of ‘purpose’ becoming the next disruptive force for the industry. It will have the same impact as Globalisation (1980s – 2000s) and Digital (2000s – to date)

     

    It is our belief that the agencies best placed to serve clients’ and consumers’ need for more purpose-led brands and for the best talent’s desire for meaningful work will be those agencies that have explored and articulated what their purpose is and demonstrated that commitment to their staff and clients

     

    It will be those agencies who have invested the time and effort in exploring what their purpose is that will gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining clients and talent. Those that have had first-hand experience of engaging in the complex, messy, interesting and ultimately human conversations questioning ‘why are we here?’ will be most authentic and capable in helping clients define and communicate what their purpose is.


    To do this well requires new and different leadership skills. We designed Reclaiming Agency programme to meet this need.

    About the Reclaiming Agency Programme

    In 2017, we piloted the six-month ‘Reclaiming Agency’ leadership programme.

     

    The pilot attracted representatives from a variety of disciplines (e.g. creative, strategy, media planning and account management), from a variety of agencies (e.g. AMV, Mindshare, Mediacom, Gyro, Publicis Media, Sunshine and MullenLowe).

     

    Individually and collectively, participants explored what they value and how they can express this through their work. They prototyped a series of activities, including instigating a programme to reduce the agency’s carbon footprint, spreading a ‘Purpose-tool kit’ across 26 offices, and engaging the whole company in the question: ‘If we are a next generation entertainment company, what’s our responsibility to the next generation?’

  • “A purpose-driven leadership course which looks to explore how companies and individuals can have a role in how we shape the industry for a better future

    Polly Keane - 2017 cohort

    Account Director, Sunshine

    “A radical approach to leadership. Equipping you with the mind-set to lead an organisation in the 21st Century"

     

    Rob McFaul - 2017 cohort

    Client Lead and Co-Lead, Mindshare Purpose

  • Based on the success of the pilot and our learning, we are launching a longer, nine-month programme in September 2018. To ensure a high-quality learning experience, we have restricted the number of participants to 12.

     

    Now is the time to train leaders to take advantage of the emerging purpose opportunity.

    To set up a meeting to find out more about the programme, enquire here, or find out more about the application process here