On May 29th and 30th, over 600 people from top brands and causes all over the world converged on Chicago for the Engage for Good conference. With sessions and talks ranging from Attracting Diverse Industries to your Cause, to How to Evolve an Activist Brand, to so many more, the conference gave us new insights and inspirations.
Our Co-Founder and President Melissa Anderson led a Keynote talk with powerhouses of purpose Unilever and Patagonia. The session, “Empowering Consumers to Take Action,” gave attendees valuable data and takeaways about how genuine social impact and purpose can increase brand loyalty and profits. Laura Fruitman discussed her decision to launch the mission before the product for The Right to Shower bath and shower products. It was a decision that really paid off with consumers and continues to help make a real difference.
Melissa also dug into Patagonia’s dedication to social impact, talking with Brooks Scott about some of their purpose initiatives. Every time Patagonia has taken a bold stance — by suing the President of the United States, or donating 100% of their profits — they’ve seen an incredible response. These brands prove that companies can do well by doing good. As Brooks put it, “Every time I’ve made the right decision for the planet I’ve made money.” It’s inspiring to know that doing the right thing and doing the profitable thing aren’t mutually exclusive.
In addition to leading keynotes, we were also able to attend some incredible sessions. During “Negotiation Tips and Tactics, Getting to Yes” we gleaned some valuable data about how a brand’s social purpose can influence consumer sentiment. Gwen Migita, Global Head of Social Impact, Equity & Sustainability with Caesars Entertainment, shared that they’ve found customers to be savvy about purpose. “Customers understand CSR efforts. Communicating those efforts led to a 21% NPS lift and $10 million in additional revenue,” she shared. That’s a great ROI on doing good! In the session “Something for Everyone: Attracting Diverse Industries to your Cause,” Kathryn Pratt, Director of Brand Engagement from L.L.Bean also discussed those savvy consumers. As consumers become more discerning about the brands they choose, they can tell genuine social impact, and it matters. She noted that “finding spaces to tell CSR stories with authenticity is key.”
And speaking of authentic impact, we have to mention keynote “Evolving an Activist Brand” by Jeff Furman of Ben & Jerry’s. He’s often called “The Ampersand” of Ben & Jerry’s because he’s been there from the beginning, even writing the original business plan. Hearing from someone who has been a part of building a successful company respected as much for its social impact as much as its (delicious!) product truly inspired us. Before companies even through about measuring their impact or what their Net Promoter Score was, Ben & Jerry’s began a business based on purpose. “All we knew was that we could run a business based on our values…we didn’t use metrics or data, we did what felt right in our hearts.” Staying true to those values through their product and through the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation has won them customers who are loyal and created an incredibly successful business.
We’re honored that we were able to talk with so many leaders of purpose-driven brands, and proud we could add to the conversation with our unique insights and data. And we’re already excited for Engage for Good next year – look out Austin!