Moving B2B Companies from "Stated Purpose" to their "Activated Purpose"

B2B companies understand the importance of purpose, but how can they better integrate it into their everyday operations?

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B2B companies overwhelmingly believe it is essential to bring a sense of purpose to their organizations, but they lack the critical knowledge and capabilities necessary to activate successful purpose-oriented initiatives. That is the key finding of a new report, The B2B Purpose Paradox, a collaborative effort conducted by the ANA, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, and the Harris Poll.

The study revealed that:

  • 86 percent of B2B companies embrace purpose as important to growth, but they are still on the path to implementing purpose so that it influences business and social outcomes.
  • However, only 24 percent said purpose is embedded in their business to the point of influencing innovation, operations, and their engagement with society.

This is the “B2B Purpose Paradox."

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The B2B Purpose Paradox also revealed these additional insights:

  • B2B companies are increasingly embracing purpose as a driver of business growth, contrary to the commonly accepted belief that they lag well behind their B2C counterparts.

  • The C-suite drives purpose strategy within respondent organizations, while HR, corporate strategy, and planning lead implementation.

  • Hybrid B2B/B2C companies (serving both consumers and other businesses) are more effectively integrating purpose than companies that are solely B2B.

  • The financial services, insurance, and professional services sectors lead in purpose, while manufacturing and telecommunications lag, among the eight industries surveyed.

  • B2B companies admire and do business with other companies that are purpose-centric: The majority of B2B purchasing decision-makers choose companies with purpose and are willing to pay more for their products and services.






Go to the profile of Katy Elder

Katy Elder

Vice President, Business Innovation, Points of Light

A member of the Points of Light team since November 2012, Katy serves as Vice President, Business Innovation. She brings with her nearly 20 years of experience in employee volunteerism, community affairs and internal communications. After leading Points of Light’s corporate consulting practice for six years, she is now responsible for developing content and innovative learning opportunities to advance the corporate citizenship sector.
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