Mature Purpose Work is Also Good Business, According to Study


Purpose Under Pressure



Carol Cone, CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, unpacks some insights from her newest study, “Purpose Under Pressure”

Justin Joffe, Ragan Communications

While the idea that the most successful brands have a clearly defined purpose may seem obvious now, the concept was not always so widely understood.

Carol Cone, CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, began helping brands find their purpose before it was trendy. Growing up during the Vietnam War era and a rapidly growing civil rights movement, Cone experienced firsthand how the social justice movement evolved youth culture and changed brand allegiances, too.

Cone began seriously getting into this work in ’83, connecting brands like Rockport to the importance of walking as exercise, Reebok to human rights and Avon to breast cancer awareness. Along the way, she became a self-described research fanatic.

“It was really critical to do research, to begin to show the C-suite that this was not nice philanthropy, that this could be having an impact on the business,” Cone tells Ragan. “It could give a business, or a brand, more meaning. So you were buying into something, not just buying something.”

Cone recently released her 31st research study, “Purpose Under Pressure,” a collaboration with Allison + Partners, Headstand and The Harris Poll. She’ll talk about the results during a Ragan webinar on 8/31.

Ahead of that conversation, Cone unpacked some of the study’s findings.

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