In the face of challenging economic times, accusations of purpose-washing and a growing trust deficit, successful companies must remain committed to their Purpose. Purpose is more than just a buzzword — it’s a tool for businesses to make a difference in the world. Purpose is not marketing — it’s an integral part of business that has the power to create meaningful connections and positive change.

While the current economic climate has made it difficult for businesses to stay the course on their Purpose, businesses must be sure to remain authentic and transparent in their communication. The reality is that the more challenging the economy becomes, the more consumers expect businesses to increase their accountability to social and environmental issues. To keep Purpose at the forefront of their messaging, businesses must ensure that Purpose is more than just a slogan or tagline. Purpose should be embedded into all aspects of the business from operations to marketing and communicated in an honest and genuine way. 

Remaining dedicated to Purpose becomes more complicated as issues like politics and the economy cloud the ether. But this is often the best time to solidify your commitment. One of the best ways to establish your Purpose marketing efforts is to home in on current trends, topics, or events to ensure you’re remaining relevant. For example, if you’re a clothing company promoting sustainable fashion, then create content related to Earth Day or the latest fashion trends that have an eco-friendly angle. Additionally, using timely content can be beneficial for increasing engagement on social media platforms and through other channels. If the topic is related to something that people are already talking about, it will make it easier for you to join in on the conversation and get noticed by potential customers.

Communicating Purpose in a divided world can be tricky. It’s important for Purpose-driven companies to stay true to their core values and ensure that Purpose messages are not seen as divisive or discriminatory. When it comes to engaging with hot topics, brands should tread carefully. It’s important for companies to consider the implications of their message and how it could be perceived by their target audience. It’s also essential to ensure that Purpose is at the heart of any statement, whether for or against a particular subject. 

One way to improve the acceptance level of your Purpose marketing is to leverage influencers who care about a similar issue and have a strong following in your market. You can use these influencers to reach new audiences and generate interest for your brand. Reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to share content or collaborate on campaigns that promote the same message as your company. This can help spread awareness of your product or service while also highlighting what you’re doing to make a positive impact. 

With a rise in “woke capitalism,” where some brands are accused of using Purpose as a form of marketing or Purpose-washing, the trust deficit in Purpose communication continues to grow. Purpose-as-a-tool is increasing across virtually every industry – even in seemingly unrelated segments – almost as fast as consumers’ skepticism. Businesses need to work hard to build trust with customers and stakeholders by making sure that Purpose is a long-term commitment and not just a one-off campaign or initiative. Purpose must remain at the core of everything you do – from the content you create, to the activities you participate in and the campaigns you launch. 

By avoiding Purpose-washing, engaging with hot topics cautiously, building trust, focusing on authentic storytelling, and communicating Purpose in a non-divisive manner, businesses can stay the course in troubling times and ensure that Purpose remains an integral part of their business strategy.