Impact for Innovation: A Guide to Building a Mission-Driven Brand


We live in a world that is obsessed with results and measurement. Results matter because they are a very tangible measure of success. Importantly, they help drive important business decisions; it’s easier to defend input when you can point to tangible output, like increased pipeline, revenue growth, or share of voice expansion.

With this obsession with results, it should come as no surprise that, when raising the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), business leaders first ask if the venture is worth the investment.

Identifying a Market Gap 

Michelin’s stars make or break restaurateurs. Forbes’ “40 Under 40” recognizes the up-and-coming corporate superstars around the world. Forrester is the competitive judge of the SaaS world, assessing nuances in competitive competencies. The same rating and ranking exists in the world of CSR, the Havas 2021 Meaningful Brands study, which measures brand ‘meaning’ in functional, personal, and collective terms, reigns supreme.

In 2021, the study reported that, according to consumers, less than half of brands are seen as trustworthy (47%) and 75% could disappear and would be easily replaced. The study reveals a growing sentiment of consumer cynicism and brand disconnect.

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Looking closer, it identifies an expectation gap in consumers’ relationships with brands and businesses; consumers seek authentic, meaningful, and sustainable action for the good of society and the planet, but are feeling sorely let down by empty promises. It’s an open casting call for brands and businesses, who lean into their social responsibility, to capture consumer hearts and minds, and market share.

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