Reputation Institute, StrawberryFrog release Purpose Power Index

Many brands you may expect to top the list did surprisingly poorly.

Brand purpose is all the rage in adland, but how do consumers actually feel about the subject? Which companies are living out their mission in society?

The Reputation Institute and StrawberryFrog teamed up on a study to answer these questions, and the results are in.

According to the their online research, which includes more than 17,500 individual ratings from 7,500 U.S. consumers, a new generation of big, small and disruptive brands are leading the way on brand purpose.

"In the Purpose Power Index, the biggest surprise was actually who was not on the list of top purpose-driven brands," said Scott Goodson, CEO of Strawberry Frog. "We were shocked that some brands that are at the top of every brand list, (e.g., Apple, Amazon, Patagonia) are not seen as driven by higher purpose. The same holds true for several brands that have taken hugely controversial societal stands (e.g., Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike.)."

The brands in the top 10 include: 7th Generation, Toms, Method, REI, Wegmans Food Markets, Stonyfield Organic, USAA, Allbirds, Chick-fil-A and Ben & Jerry’s.

Others at the top of the list are: The North Face, Kellogg Company, UPS, Etsy, Burt’s Bees, Microsoft, Hobby Lobby, Warby Parker, Canon and Kimberly Clark.

"The strongest purpose brands are seen as having acted their purpose - through everything from how they compensate their employees to how they behave in society – not just talk about it," added Goodson. "These brands are also sparking and participating in societal movements such as REI, SunTrust Bank, and Toms Shoes."

Marketers, Goodson told Campaign US, should make sure they’re using everything in their power to share the good they’re doing in the world, which includes having a cohesive marketing plan in place.

"The days of being modest are over because consumers want to know what a brand stands for and how they are putting what they believe into practice," he said.

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