Study shows activation is key to improving business outcomes, closing “Purpose Gap” between executives and lower-level employees
NEW YORK — June 2, 2022 — Presented by leading Movement Thinking™ firm, StrawberryFrog, and Dynata, the world’s largest first-party data platform for insights, activation and measurement, the 2022 Purpose Power Index™ revealed substantial moves by many top brands, in the largest study to measure perceptions of brand purpose. Half of the top 20 brands in the 2022 list are new entrants, with more mainstream companies represented than ever before.
The annual study also found a significant “Purpose Gap” between how executives view their organization’s efforts to engage purpose versus how average employees see them. Merely creating a purpose isn’t effective enough; it must be clearly communicated and fully activated to positively affect sentiment and engagement.
The index comprises more than 20,500 individual ratings from over 5,500 U.S. consumers and employees, encompassing more than 200 brands from 50 industries. The research was conducted via online survey in April 2022, as part of the study's third wave, following one in 2019 and another mid-pandemic in 2021. A fourth study is planned for 2023.
- Seventh Generation
- Burt’s Bees
- Wegman’s Food Markets
- Tesla Motors
- UnitedHealth Group
- LG Corporation
- General Electric
- Panera Bread
New entrants listed in bold.
“The big story here is how the shared pandemic experience has dramatically changed the public’s perception of how purpose-driven a brand is,” said Chip Walker, study lead and StrawberryFrog head of strategy. “Pfizer is a huge purpose success story from No. 90 in 2019 to 49 in 2021 and 13 this year. Roche also sky-rocketed toward the top at No. 20.”
“The rise of electric vehicles is giving the automotive category a new sense of higher purpose,” Walker continued, “as Tesla remained at No. 9, and Toyota shot up to 19 from 52.”
For the first time, the study asked respondents to rate their own company’s commitment to pursuing a higher purpose. The study found that employee perception of working for a purposeful company very much depended on what level of seniority they held within that company. While 72% of senior management agreed “my company’s purpose motivates me to get up and go to work every day,” only 45% of front-line workers agreed.
“While the ‘Purpose Gap’ may be troubling, we see it as a timely and helpful insight,” said Scott Goodson, StrawberryFrog founder and CEO. “It’s an important reminder to brands that embracing your purpose can’t be done in a vacuum. You need to include the entire organization when promoting a purpose-driven effort, or you risk hobbling it.”
“It’s critical for companies not only to create a purpose and use it to motivate employees and consumers, but also to communicate their higher purpose with clarity to all levels of the organization,” said Dynata CEO Gary S. Laben. “Only through activation is the potential of purpose fully realized. Dynata’s connected data activation solutions help companies take action on their purpose, so we collectively contribute to social progress.”
Dynata’s audience and campaign activation solutions enable brands, agencies and media providers to drive better campaign results with audience segments built on research and insights — transforming custom market research data into highly-targeted audiences at scale that improves advertising efficiency and performance.
The Purpose Power Index is the first empirical measure of companies that activate purpose as the core of their business. The Index studies consumer responses which underline the growth potential of purpose when activated both as a business driver, transformation framework and driver of positive change in our communities. And this year, a new audience is being measured: employees, and how they perceive and rate the purpose of the companies they work for.
New York based StrawberryFrog is the pioneer of Movement Thinking™, an innovative process using the concepts of social movements to galvanize your people, build trust and belief, and help businesses thrive.
The full 2022 Purpose Power Index can be downloaded free here.