On the surface, it might seem that purpose-driven companies differ vastly from hyper-growth companies or emerging industries, but nothing could be further from the truth. Purpose-driven perspectives for hyper-growth and emerging industries is actually imperative to future success. Fast-growing brands and purpose overlap in critical phases in a company’s or industry’s growth. Because fast-growing companies and emerging industries are closer to their customers and in the earlier phases of culture-building, purpose is more clear, and it’s actually the perfect time to codify purpose so as scale occurs, the purpose isn’t lost.
What Do Fast-Growing Companies and Purpose-Driven Initiatives Have in Common?
Reaching for a bigger idea, for a better way, and for bold innovation is something ambitious and hyper-growth companies and purpose-driven initiatives share. The most ambitious entrepreneurs are driven by something bigger than themselves, or even riches. They’re driven to change the world with a big idea. Big ideas require a special blend of inspiration and persuasion to inspire early adopters. It doesn’t matter whether the company is B2B or B2C, early adopters are critical, and so is an inspiration. Purpose-driven initiatives inspire and engage as well.
Purpose-driven approaches and ambitious companies also share the need to inspire trust, and that’s what PR does better than any other medium. PR is the tool the world’s most trusted brands lean on to improve their reputations and create a connection with their customers. PR lasts longer than a commercial, it’s more trusted, and it gives ambitious brands the opportunity to tell nuanced and deeper stories.
Isn’t Social Impact too Expensive for Growth?
While fast-growing companies have certain cultural requirements: creativity, flexibility, and drive, none limit purpose. This very question assumes that growth only happens when hustle culture dominates. We have many clients thriving in purpose without the debilitating effects of hustle culture. But even if your company is incubating a hustle culture mentality, when the stakes are higher than ever, people need a higher purpose that inspires them. So it’s important for companies in the growth stage to double down on brand and product purpose. In fact, purpose may be a matter of survival, and not just PR for hypergrowth companies. At least according to Larry Fink at Blackrock who has for years been advocating for brands to implement purpose in order to grow.
Further, purpose is an expectation of GenZ and Millenials, that companies embrace their social, cultural, and environmental responsibilities. Further, employees are increasingly choosing employers based on the company’s beliefs and values. So, recruiting the best talent will if not now, eventually, require companies and industries to double down on purpose.
One example of this is the emerging vertical of the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is founded in activism, but when the industry codified as states legalized THC, the industry doubled down on purpose, taking on the social injustice of cannabis prisoners in the Last Prisoners Project. And the cannabis industry is exploding, so there’s a clear precedent for growth and purpose. Brands who take on purpose and a higher power super charge their hyper-growth.
Another example is cleantech an emerging industry with an inherent social impact. From a corporate storytelling perspective, the biggest issue cleantech companies face isn’t whether to incorporate social impact messaging, but rather, how to differentiate themselves from competitors who are also tapping into social impact.
Finally – according to the Fortune Return on Leadership survey, the world’s biggest companies experience productivity and profitability benefits by incorporating purpose and impact.
When Do Hyper-Growth Companies Need to Define Purpose?
Growth stage companies have an advantage: history doesnt’ hinder them. Existing companies often have to go through an intense reorganization to discover and fulfill purpose. For hyper-growth companies or emerging industries, the time to determine purpose is now. Elevating your company’s biggest aspirations in alignment with today’s social, cultural, and environmental challenges is a key growth strategy. Both private and institutional investors are analyzing a company’s social impact before they ever commit to investing, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Larry Fink, CEO and chairperson of the multinational investment firm BlackRock, created a tectonic shift in 2018 when he said, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it contributes positively to society.” In his 2021 letter to CEOs, he said, “It is clear that being connected to stakeholders — establishing trust with them and acting with purpose — enables a company to understand and respond to the changes happening in the world. Companies ignore stakeholders at their peril — companies that do not earn this trust will find it harder and harder to attract customers and talent, especially as young people increasingly expect companies to reflect their values.”
Defining, developing and implementing purpose is step one to ensuring a company’s strategic growth.
How Does Purpose-Driven PR Help Companies in Hyper-Growth?
A challenge many fast-growing businesses, especially those in emerging industries, face is brand building. Purpose is a considerable portion of a brand and while it gives internal and external stakeholders corporate structure, it also lends itself to authentic storytelling, which greatly aids in securing media coverage. For many companies in competitive emerging industries, PR is an important differentiator for those with industry-leading aspirations from brand domination to IPO.
With all the advantages of purpose-driven initiatives for fast-growing companies. The question is reall- can fast-growing companies afford NOT to define a greater purpose? We’ve been working shoulder to shoulder with our clients on purpose-driven communications and PR since 2008. From movements to politics to social impact, our success stories speak for themselves. Contact us today to get started.