Purchasing with purpose: The retail trend you can’t ignore

The pandemic has cast purchasing with purpose into the spotlight. As a result, it has become so much more than a marketing tactic. Rather, it has become an undeniable retail trend.

Consumers are no longer just making decisions based on price or brand recognition. They’re now sitting up and taking notice of what a brand does and what it stands for. And this marked  shift in consumer demands and preferences is showing no signs of slowing. 

But, what does the rise of purchasing with purpose mean for business owners?  In our post-Covid realities,  customers believe that brands they choose to engage with must reflect their values. Therefore, a lack of genuine purpose can negatively impact your bottom line and seriously threaten your organisation’s relevance.

Global consumers align with purpose

A study by Zeno found 94% of global consumers say it is important that the companies they engage with have a strong purpose. The research also found that consumers are four to six times more likely to purchase from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong purpose. 

Similarly, an Accenture study, found 63% of global consumers would rather purchase from companies that have a purpose and similar values to their own.  While IBM found over 70% of consumers  would pay a premium for brands that are sustainable.

What does purchasing with purpose mean for your brand?

The pandemic highlighted the importance of a strong brand purpose. In addition, it exposed the gaps in those brands  whose purpose was either undefined, or not genuine. Today’s customers expect action, not just talk. This has made purchasing with purpose an essential in our post-Covid realities. It’s essential to step back and figure out where you and your brand fit in. After all, every company has goals and objectives, but not every brand has a purpose. 

A study by public relations firm Porter Novelli found a clear association between purpose-driven brands and words like “transparent” or “trustworthy,” which matter when consumers have to make purchasing decisions. The study also revealed more than 71% of people would prefer to buy from a purpose-driven company over the alternative, if quality and cost were equal.

Authenticity is key to purchasing with purpose

Holding brands accountable has never been easier thanks to social media. Your customers don’t just want to hear what you plan to do, they want to actively see it. Therefore, it’s vital for your brand to set actionable goals to enact tangible change.

As a result, you need to ensure you come across as genuine and authentic. This can be achieved by  being transparent about your values and practices. In addition, you need to ensure you fully align with the cause you choose to support.


Purchasing with purpose has become a core differentiator. As such, you can no longer afford to overlook the value of purpose. This is echoed by research published in the Harvard Business Review. The research found 64% of consumers who have established a relationship with a brand cite “shared values” as the main reason for that relationship.

Therefore, there’s no question that a robust purpose-driven strategy will strengthen your brand’s authority and credibility and boost your bottom line. In addition, it will attract a new audience and enable you to create deeper connections.

However, it’s important to note a purpose-led strategy can’t be created overnight. It will take time, commitment, and consistency across every channel and consumer touchpoint. But, the increased loyalty, engagement, and profits will make it worth your while. Bottom line, if your brand doesn’t have a clear purpose yet, it’s going to fall behind.