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Strategist Chip Walker on Why Your Brand Needs a Purpose: The ROI Online Podcast Ep.93

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Today more than ever consumers, investors, and even business owners find themselves asking how their company can make the world a better place.

In this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Chip Walker, brand strategist and author about why it’s so important for brands to have a purpose and use movement thinking to create powerful business operations.

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Chip is a brand, business and cultural strategist, keynote speaker, and author of Activating Brand Purpose: How to Harness the Power of Movements to Transform Your Company. He has designed and developed groundbreaking market research and grown significant brand identities for some of the world's most iconic brands like PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley, & Heineken.

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Movement Thinking is centered around empathy and starts with the human. It also recognizes that the most significant change happens through cultural movements. Leaders like you can learn how this foundation can engage and mobilize the people that matter to your brand inside and out, no matter what your business enterprise may be like—even if you’re an artist working on a creative project! 

Among other things, Chip and Steve discussed:

  • Chip’s story and his role at StrawberryFrog Agency
  • His new book: Activating Brand Purpose
  • What exactly “Movement Thinking” means
  • Why your brand needs a purpose 
  • 4 reasons to set your company purpose
  • The purpose of leadership 
  • How to start a social movement

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Also available on all other podcast streaming services!

You can learn more about Chip here:

Follow Chip on LinkedIn

Send Chip an Email

Learn more about the Purpose Power Summit happening on June 15!

Purpose Power Summit 2021 — PURPOSE POWER INDEX


Read the books mentioned in this podcast:

The Golden Toilet by Steve Brown

Activating Brand Purpose by Chip Walker


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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Podcast, Business Tips

Chip Walker 0:03
We did a very large scale study of American consumers and ask them sort of point blank of a list of companies we had over 200. Which of these do you see as being driven by higher purpose Big Pharma tended to be very low? We did the first wave of the study in 2019. Well, lo and behold, the pandemic happened, we did the study again in January of 2021. And guess what happened? All the pharma companies like Pfizer are way at the top of the list, because all of a sudden, consumers started to see them as having a lot that are motives of having sort of been heroic in the way that they went to bat to try to get a vaccine fast. Some of them losing a lot of money, whatever it took, but their motives appear to have been much better. And I guess what that that said to me is that I don't think that there are any bad categories that you can be in where you know, purpose and starting a movement are out of reach for you. If Big Pharma can do a 360, I think anyone can do 360

Steve Brown 1:07
Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together.

Chip Walker, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Chip Walker 1:46
Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here.

Steve Brown 1:49
So chip, you've got this new book we're going to talk about today activate brand purpose. And it's about movement thinking it's about how leaders can transform their company with taking by connecting with humans and leading a movement. And so you guys have done a lot of study. You and Scott Goodson have done a lot of study. This is a very in depth book. I'm really excited to talk about this. Where in the world, did you When did you decide chip to plant your flag in this area?

Chip Walker 2:29
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, Scott Goodson, my business partner, and I, we've been working together for many years and had been had a philosophy that we call movement marketing. And it really about using the principles of societal movements to help companies and businesses figure out how to get people to change. So we had that philosophy for many years. But what we noticed in the last couple of years was that something was changing. And I don't know if you've noticed the same thing, Steve, is that there's been all this talk about purpose, it seems to be the number one word on everybody's mind, particularly business leaders. And we had our existing clients coming to us and a lot of new potential clients coming to us saying, help us with purpose, help us define purpose, or probably even more often, we've been working with a consultant or internal team, we've developed a purpose. Now, what do we do? Or even even worse, sometimes we developed a purpose, once we develop it twice, we develop it three times, and nobody can figure out what to do with it. So what it ends up being on the about section of your website, maybe it's a plaque on the wall, it's a coffee cup, it's a T shirt, and then six months later, it's just you know, still business as usual. So we started to see that there was a burning need to be able to activate your purpose. And it was obvious to us that the way you do that is with a movement, people cannot join a purpose, but they can join a movement inspired by the purpose. So what we were able to, I think, help clients a lot with is to reframe your purpose in movement thinking terms, and all of a sudden, it starts to become a lot more actionable. You know, higher purpose is, by its nature, very lofty, if it's going to be inspiring, it kind of needs to be way up in the stratosphere, to really inspire people. But you know that that just means that oftentimes it's it's hard to act upon movement thinking makes it actionable. So that, so we knew that that was true. And we thought, Well, you know, maybe we should write a book about it. And that's exactly what we did.

Steve Brown 4:39
Well, I'm glad you did. I know you think about that, why is it that it's coming to the forefront of these leaders? Like I want to design a culture, I'm going to be more deliberate and establish a culture but where do I start? Where do I bring it from my why is that where this purpose starts to come from, and then I start to That's a serious question that I start to giggle because of the movie, the jerk when, when Steve Martin, the character in there keeps writing home that his mom told him, he is going to figure out a special purpose at some point. And anyway, so it's a great movie. And it's a funny little part, but he calls it his special purpose. And he, he figures it out later on. But in real life, we all are struggling to figure out what our real purpose is, especially in a business when we're wanting to unite people get them on the same page.

Chip Walker 5:34
Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned culture and developing culture. And we really do feel I don't think we're alone in feeling that purpose is central to that. It gives employees kind of a reason to get up and go to work every day, it's kind of a unifying thought that gets all your stakeholders on the same page. You know, higher purpose usually involve some sort of an ethos or belief system, that the leadership of the company feels in important in the world. And hopefully one that that employees share that your concerns customers or consumers share all your stakeholders share. So all of a sudden, when you got a higher purpose, everybody starts singing out of the same choir book. Yeah. Now, the issue is, though, how do you activate it through the organization? How do you get everybody understanding it? And not being cynical about it? You know, they're always naysayers. So how you cascade it through the organization, that's kind of a different conversation. But as I said, we think purpose is central to culture building, and certainly to culture change. Well, it's

Steve Brown 6:44
very clear in every great brand, and it's this, this intangible thing that is just everybody, it either connects you with that brand, or it repels you from that brand. And it's very important. I was reading an article here, I'm going to read this quote, I think it's a beautiful quote. But this term, you guys say movement thinking, and I'm so I'm gonna read it movement thinking is centered around empathy and starts with the human. It also recognizes that most significant change happens through cultural movements, leaders can learn how this foundation can engage, and mobilize the people that matter to your brand inside and out. And despite the differences between business enterprise and art leaders can learn much from how cultural movements engage, and inspire people applying those movement principles to create powerful business operations. And it makes perfect sense, but it's probably pretty hard to do.

Chip Walker 7:51
Um, you know, maybe not as hard as you think. Let me see if I can just break down movement thinking for you, because I know it can sound abstract like purpose, let me break it down, but the way we think about it, and then maybe give you a concrete example. Okay, so So as I said, moving thinking is about taking the principles of successful social movements, like the women's equality movement, or think of any of them major successful movements of recent years. So it takes two principles behind those and these principles are well known. And it applies it to other situations where you'd like to see change. So what does that mean? all successful social movements start with agreements. So a grouse something that the starters of the movement are dissatisfied about in the world. So if you think about, you know, the what we've seen recently, the Black Lives Matter movement, or the metoo movement, you know, it's very well known what the dissatisfactions are about those it's treatment by the police or, you know, sexual harassment the workplace but but in any other movement that you know that successful you always know, there's a there's a grouse, a disagreement, there's also a desired change that you want to see in the world, the world would be a better place, if blank, the change we want to get to, that usually sets up an enemy, what's the enemy standing in the way of that change? And from there directly, you know, the stand that you have to take to overcome the enemy. So let me give you an example. And I'll give you an example in a very mundane category of banking, just because I find that people usually it's easy to get, you know, it's easy to imagine this applying to the me to movement, but what about banking? So a client of ours, or it wasn't quite at the time a prospective client came to us a few years ago, it was SunTrust bank. I don't know if you know that bank. It's a large bank in the southeast and Mid Atlantic. And they came to us sort of with a situation I was describing to you where they had developed a purpose that they were very proud of. But again, what do we do now? The purpose was called lighting the way to financial well being. Which sounds wonderful. But if you're a teller, what what what? What does that mean? If you're a, you know, a loan officer, what does that mean? I think those were those were the kind of issues if you'd if you were a consumer, really what is what does that mean? Yeah. So what we did is we went out into culture, and you mentioned culture and in describing some some language for our book to sort of see okay, thinking about the way the financial well being, what do we know what's going on in the world? What is it dissatisfaction that that we have, that are wrong, that needs to be made? Right. And this was right after the Great Recession. So it's good five or six years back. And I think what we saw and what the bank was kind of upset about was that, you know, you saw the statistic, probably that some huge portion of the United States population couldn't put together $400, in case of emergency, right? Many, many people even I mean, we're not talking about lower socio economic, only, even higher socio economic folks had not really recovered from the recession, like huge proportion had not recovered from the recession, it was a very uneven recovery, and people were stressed, they were suffering. And this seemed like something that ought not to be. So we sort of that the artist satisfaction was was the fact that this kind of stress exists out there, our enemy became financial stress caused by all of the vagaries of the the modern world. And the the stand that we decided to take was to help instill, we call it financial confidence. So that was the antidote to financial stress. So we wanted to create a movement to create greater financial confidence in the American public. And the way that we were going to do that was by financial education. So we started a movement, and we called it on up which stands for onward and upward, try to get everybody to raise up. And it's been a massive success for SunTrust. We have, at this point, over 6 million people have participated in it. And it started internally at the bank, as a program to to educate their employees, first, financial education for employees, you know, budgeting, everything you would need to know, to become more financially confident, it was a huge success with employees. All of a sudden, they started to know what leading the way to financial well, being really meant. It meant we're going to help our customers become more financially confident. And now we have the tools to do it. It was so successful that SunTrust clients, their commercial banking, clients, like Delta Airlines began to ask them if SunTrust would come and give the same education to their employees. And so we Yeah, and then, you know, we've had the program among customers. So as I said, it's been a huge success. But that's just sort of example of the way that you take movement thinking to sort of interpret this lofty purpose into something that can galvanize a bunch of people around a shared cause, like financial competence. So yeah, hopefully that example makes sense. Oh, it does.

Steve Brown 13:21
It's perfect. You explain it really well. When you think about story and every story, there has to be this villain. Otherwise, there's no emotional cost in this story. And so we're, we're disconnected in it, it must be present, or at least called out by the brand. But oftentimes, I find that brands are too close to it. And it's hard for them to identify the obvious villain that they originally started off to slay.

Chip Walker 13:54
Or more a more often, though, that they decide that the villain is the biggest competitor. Which, and I'm not trying to say that your competitor, understand your vectors isn't important. It's just a lot of times when you do that, you start to become less relevant to the ongoing, you know, problems that people have in their everyday life when your enemy is just, you know, the, as I said, Your biggest competitor, having an enemy and culture we find makes people care a lot more.

Steve Brown 14:28
Yeah, movement thinking that's an excellent, you know, I also think about there's a big segment that is unbanked. And if you ask yourself, why did these people choose not to be not to have a banking account? Is they perceive that the banks are not trustworthy?

Chip Walker 14:48
Yes, oh, well, I think it's a couple of things there. There. There's perceiving that they're not trustworthy, but increasingly among young people, there are just alternatives, you don't necessarily need to have a traditional bank. A lot of the things that you used to rely on a traditional bank for, you can get through some of the FinTech apps that are out there. You can use PayPal for payments. So it's just not necessarily a as essential as it used to be to have a big banking relationship, which is all the more reason that a bank like like SunTrust, has got to, you know, have a movement like on up. It's interesting, because SunTrust just merged with another bank called bb&t, and they become a new bank called truist tr UI St. They're going to be I think that maybe the fifth largest bank in the country at this point. But they've decided that their point of difference is that they are the purpose driven bank. And we're working with them now to help them try to say what that means. That's excellent.

Steve Brown 15:57
I love that. So this movement thinking, you know, how to leverage movement thinking to transform your organization. So we identify this villain. But then we also have to empower What are what's our solution? And how, why it matters to our customers. Talk to us about that, that exercise that you take them through.

Chip Walker 16:24
Um, well, I mean, it just again, to key off of the example I just gave you, and then maybe I can give you another example, just to make sure it's clear. But so you know, the the villain was financial stress that everyone was feeling. And it became clear that the antidote to that was financial confidence. And finding the antidote, it's got to be something that actually overcomes the, the, the dragon that we want to slay the enemy. Right, it's also got to be something in the wheelhouse of what the brand knows how to do. Exactly. That's a big pitfall for some of this movement thinking, you've probably seen examples of brands that get involved in social issues, and it has nothing to do with with what they do. Underlying. Another example I can give you that give people is usually pretty easy for people to kind of wrap their minds around was for an early client of ours, it was called Smart, the smart car. Are you familiar with that? there? They looked like almost like a little roller skate of a car. They're very, very tiny. Yeah, they're mainly just for folks in urban areas. That's what they were designed for, where there's like, no parking and, and whatnot. So they came to us, right, you know, before the car had been launched, and wanted to do, I think marketing a very different way. So with a small, very fuel efficient car like that, it would have been very easy to say, we're going to be the green eco car that saves you money, and makes makes parking easier and things like that. But I think we we sort of saw that there was an opportunity for a movement that would get people more emotionally engaged with this little car. So I think what we began to see is that there's a lot of dissatisfaction among urbanites with sort of the kind of overconsumption and waste in cities and particularly around things like people driving around giant SUVs, and giant cars that are polluting and taking up all the room and you can't find a place to park. And what's the point. And we saw that there was sort of the change in the world that that the brand wanted to see was sort of to maybe to try to restore the urban landscape to maybe a more pristine state the way it was before we had all these big SUVs. So the enemy that we came up with for smart was really kind of stupidly over consuming, or were consuming when you don't have to, why do you need an SUV that size, which we sort of shorthand at the enemy as dumb, that's what we call it stupidly over consuming. And the standard we decided to just take was, we called Smart, more conscious automotive consuming, which is exact car like smart, small, goes anywhere, fuel efficient, you can park it anywhere, etc. So the movement was called against dumb, if you want to know about it, that there's a lot on it about it on the internet. It's kind of a pretty well known case study. But that's an example of where we crafted the whole story around things having to do with automotive and a car, we didn't go out and say, Oh, we want to make this brand culturally relevant. So why don't we attach ourselves to I don't know, women's pay issues or something. And not that that's a bad issue or something, but it doesn't really relate to what they do. So anyway, to get back to answering your question, it's, it's important that it be culturally relevant. But it's also important that it ties to a brand's like core competency.

Steve Brown 19:50
Hey, I wanted to pause right here and tell you about a book that you need to get today. It's the funniest book on marketing. It's called the Golden toy. Let's start flushing your marketing budget into your website and build a system that grows your business. And guess who wrote it? That's right. I wrote it. And I wrote it just for you. Because I want to help you get past the last hurdles of setting up your business and getting it squared away. I wrote it so that you can avoid time wasting time wasting money, wasting frustration, get the book on Audible, you can get it on Kindle. You can get it on Amazon, but get the book take advantage of the insights in there. And let me know what you think. And now back to this excellent episode. Yeah, when the wheelhouse so why is it just that you think that that the creative culture part of our society gets these these concepts so fast? And why is it struggle to make that application work in the business world? For most people? Why does it take someone like you to help merge this creative idea into a business application?

Chip Walker 21:09
Um, I just wanna make sure I understand following you. So when you say is it? You mean? I don't know. Could you could you maybe reset?

Steve Brown 21:16
Well, I just don't Sure. I always see the artsy fartsy. Guys, they they get this stuff, how to create a movement and use art and culture and really lead the way and then then us business, folks, you know, it takes us a while to catch on before. Oh, there's an actual application from that domain, that would work in the business domain.

Chip Walker 21:39
Right, right. Um, well, I guess I, I don't know if this was your question. I hope it will. But I guess I see us. us in our agency. And I don't know if you feel the same way. As a little bit of translators.

Steve Brown 21:53
Yes. Because

Chip Walker 21:54
there there are kind of the you need the highly creative folks who are different thinkers, you absolutely need them. And a lot of times they're very separate from the business. But sometimes they can see things that people close to business do not. Right. So you need that you also obviously, you have clients and brands out there with really practical issues. And so I think one of the values, and one of the reasons I don't think agencies like ours, or yours will go away is as I said, I think you need that translator, sometimes somebody to sort of make the concentric circles of creativity and practical use kind of come together, you know,

Steve Brown 22:34
yeah, so that's what I love about your book, it has all this, the studies and examples that helped translate it for the business mind on how to take advantage of the concepts that that culture, and that are in that great leaders naturally get and implement in their messaging, and their their movements.

Chip Walker 22:58
One of the things I wanted to point out to about the book that we tried really hard to do, is that if you were any of your viewers or listeners have read any books about purpose or mission or anything like that, you'll probably start to note that you see the same examples over and over and over again, it's like dove is, you know, you know, this the usual suspects around purpose. And we wanted to not simply reference those, we have a couple of reference to brands like Rei that are talked a lot about, but we wanted to use very, very different examples and also companies of different sizes. So we talked about some giant companies, some you wouldn't expect like Verizon, which has become quite purpose driven. A lot of people don't don't realize. We talk companies you never heard of probably United States, like Mahindra is a big Indian conglomerate. That is a great case study. Again, probably not an expected case to read about in a book with a lot of American readers. We also talked to smaller companies Boleyn branch is an example. I don't know if you've ever heard of them. They're a small maker of sort of luxury linens. That is founder driven and very, very, very purpose driven. So all sizes, different stripes, different industries, but sort of not the usual suspects. We thought that was important.

Steve Brown 24:27
Excellent. So we're you're listening or you're watching, we're talking with chip Walker. He's one of the co authors of activate brand purpose. He co authored it with Scott Goodson and now chip always like to ask I get asked common questions all the time. And so, these are important questions. They may seem General, but I would love to know your answers for these, okay. And so, how to start a social move. But it's an important question.

Chip Walker 25:04
Yeah, I'd say it's really three things. I'm understanding what is the wrong out there in the world that needs to be made right? concerning you and your either your enterprise or your organization? Is there a wrong out there in the world that needs to be made? Right? What is the change you want to see in the world as a result, and then what is it your brand is against, if you know those three things in culture and society, not simply in your category, if you know those three things that will tell you what stands you need to take. And and with that in hand, you're, you're ready to go. It's as simple as that.

Steve Brown 25:44
It is. And it's amazing what a competitive advantage it gives you immediately, because most, most brands don't really sit and think about that, do they?

Chip Walker 25:53
Well, I don't even think of it as a competitive advantage. I mean, one of the things that we talk a lot about is that you've got to get out of category think all together to do a movement. One of the advantages of doing a movement for a company or a brand, is that it takes you into a different world than your competitors. So so you're you're not just getting out of the box, you're getting out of this side of the box, you're you're dealing in a competing a culture, rather than just a category, which is something that I don't know, we find is better than competitive differentiation.

Steve Brown 26:30
I love that. That's excellent. And see, that was a great example of business think competitive advantage. And when you're, you're saying you need to move into the culture think as well. I love that. Great. Great. I love that. So how to write a brand purpose. So we we need to sit down and we need to define what our special purpose is. chipo hell.

Chip Walker 26:56
Um, so, you know, so luckily, there are reams of books on this subject. Sometimes I feel like they may be overcomplicate things, I do think one of the best ones is for by Simon Sinek. It's called start with why you may have heard of it, it's very famous, very famous TED Talk, he has some sort of a formula that I find often works, which is sort of the purpose formula sort of to blank. So that blank

Unknown Speaker 27:26

Chip Walker 27:30
start a an automotive revolution, so we restore the, the urban landscape, smart car. So that that's one way to do it. Having said that, I really encourage people not to get too too stuck in formulas, but rather think about just the higher order reason that they exist. Verizon is a great example. We build the world's networks, I'm sorry, we build the networks that move the world forward. So that kind of a purpose sort of says what it is that we do in the world that's important and gives meaning to our work. So I think if you think about that, why do we exist? You know, what, what gives meaning to the stuff that we do every day? and put it in whatever format? It makes you happy? I think that that's really it. I would worry less about format and more about substance.

Steve Brown 28:23
Excellent. Excellent. So here's one's like, what are the four reasons to set a company purpose?

Chip Walker 28:33
Yeah, I'd say it is four things. One is that it gets all of your stakeholders on the same page. So often, you've got employees, customers, consumers, could be shareholders. If you have a shared purpose, all the arrows are moving in the same direction. So that's one, two, it can make your employees more engaged, it can give them a meaningful reason to want to get up and go to work every day, it can give you three more engaged consumers, more and more consumers are saying they want to do business and give their money to a company that is giving back and helping make society better not just taking from society. Last one is not really well known. But it's that purpose can actually have substantial financial payoffs. And this has been pretty well documented. There's, there's a Harvard Business Review article, I think it was 2019. Couple of sort of very well known professors from Harvard Business School did an in depth analysis of purpose driven companies and found that there was not not all kinds of purpose driven companies, but there was a certain kind of them that whose financial results, their financial pounds for them was dramatically better. And so I think there's more and more evidence to say that it's not just good for society, it can also be very good for Bottom line.

Steve Brown 30:01
Excellent answer. So just when we think of leadership, there's a reason for leadership, what's the purpose of leadership?

Chip Walker 30:13
What is the purpose of leadership? I have never? That's a good question. I don't think I've ever been asked that before. Um, do you mean like in a company and in a nonprofit and in any organization?

Steve Brown 30:26
Well, if we're if we're implementing movement thinking, it takes someone to lead this movement, it takes someone to get folks to buy in. But it's always kind of assumed a leadership value there. But I think it needs to be stated. And I'm your I know, you have this excellent answer for this tip.

Chip Walker 30:50
No pressure, right? Um, well, I guess I can just tell you, the way I think of leadership for my self, is that on a day to day basis, I'm there to help take care of my people so that we take care of our clients. And on a larger level, I guess I'm here to try to make a difference in communities. And if I do my job, right, I'm hoping for make people's lives a little bit better. So I guess that's how kind of how I think about it. I

Steve Brown 31:24
don't know if that answers your question. It seems like an obvious answer. But I think it's excellent. You stated excellent. And it's like, you need to decide why you're here. And what what change you're you're making in the world and how you apply it in your everyday activities with your business or your organization.

Chip Walker 31:42
Yeah, I think that's a big change that we see with, you know, millennial managers coming up, is that that's very important to them to think that I'm not just coming to work. And being a leader to make better widgets. Yes, I'm making better widgets, but it's in service of something, hopefully, bigger than that.

Steve Brown 32:04
Yeah. Well said. So you were listening to chip Walker, or you're watching chip Walker, he's a co author of activate brand purpose, it's a book you need to read. I think it's a great book that helps you be a better leader, lead change in an organization, change the world in some way. So tip I always like to ask is, you know, we have these conversations. What's one question you'd love to answer that I didn't ask you? Or you never get asked?

Unknown Speaker 32:36

Chip Walker 32:39
gosh, somebody asked me this the other day, and I throw, I threw? Um, maybe?

Unknown Speaker 32:50
Are there

Chip Walker 32:53
some companies or industries where purpose and movement really can't make a difference? Right, quite. Nobody ever asked me that. But it's something I think I've thought about.

Steve Brown 33:08
Well, I want to hear that. What is the answer? Chip?

Unknown Speaker 33:12

Chip Walker 33:17
yeah. So the and the reason I think that's an interesting question is that we did a very large scale study of American consumers and ask them sort of point blank of a list of companies, and we had over 200, which of these do you see as being driven by higher purpose? And we started to see that, you know, there are some companies at the top, some in the middle, and some at the bottom and some industries and categories. Banking, for instance, tends to be low. Yeah. Big Pharma tended to be very low. We did the first wave of the study in 2019. And there were a lot of people who said, and we had, we've been in talks with pharmaceutical clients, who said, Look, it's just inherent in our category, you know, this kind of purpose stuff does not work for us. We just we need to talk to you about symptoms and indications and all that kind of stuff. Well, lo and behold, the pandemic happened. We did the study again in January of 2021. And guess what happened? All the pharma companies like Pfizer are way at the top of the list, because all of a sudden, consumers started to see them as having a lot better motives of having sort of been heroic in the way that they went to bat to try to get a vaccine fast. Some of them losing a lot of money, whatever it took, but they their motives appear to have been much better. And I guess what that that said to me is that I don't think that there are any bad categories that you can be in. Where we're, you know, purpose and starting a movement are out of reach for you. Big Pharma can do a 360. I think anyone can do 360.

Steve Brown 35:07
Exactly. Do you find that certain companies have to be a certain place in their life cycle before they really start to think deeply to consider this and how they can improve? Their standing in a way? I mean,

Chip Walker 35:27
well, yeah, yes or no, I mean, I, I say yes, in the sense that, you know, sometimes companies are facing existential issues, their supply chain has collapsed, or, you know, the various kind of disaster scenarios that can help. I mean, in retail right now, I mean, there, there are many major retailers struggling just to survive. In these instances, higher purpose may not be the number one thing on your list that you're thinking about, you've got to certainly, you know, survival first, right. But having said that, I think one of the things that we've seen it and the research, I decided it was interesting, in 2019, when we did this study, a lot of the brands that rose to the top were sort of smaller, often purpose born brands, brands, like seventh generation, or method or allbirds, everlane. So these are brands that sort of came out of the womb with a higher calling, and a lot of them smaller. And all the questions we got were like, what about bigger companies? We never thought about purpose, but we are now do we not? Did you know are we sort of out. And lo and behold, this year, we see many, much bigger companies, including things companies like Big Pharma, but companies like Clorox companies like zoom, companies like Microsoft, that are bigger, and that were not started as purpose driven companies, but have really taken purpose to heart. We've seen that they get credit for it. So all that was to say that I don't, I don't think you have to be purpose born. And as long as you're not, you know, fighting for existential survival. I think that purpose and starting a movement can can be of use wherever you are kind of in your your growth cycle.

Steve Brown 37:19
You know, this past year and a half for us, chip has been a difficult year, it required that our team come together as a team, kind of watch each other's back and make it through this downturn without losing one of the team or having to let them go. And I believe that having a purpose about what we do was inherent in the success of the bond. If you think about when when things are burning down around you, you have a fight or flight reaction. And I think you stay in fight when it's clear what your purpose for fighting is about.

Chip Walker 38:03
Right. Now, I agree. It's that whole thing about when you feel like there is a meaningful reason that you're getting up and going to work every day. I mean, sure, we all want to make a paycheck. But you know, at some point, you know, if work can just be drudgery, but when you feel a solidarity with your colleagues, and the leadership of your company around trying to do something more meaningful. There, there's research from Gallup, that proves that it increases employee engagement, retention, loyalty, all of those things.

Steve Brown 38:39
Excellent. This been a great conversation. Chip. what's what's the future hold for you guys?

Chip Walker 38:48
The I'll tell you what the immediate future holds is that and I hope you don't mind, I'll do a little bit of a commercial. We're, we're holding a virtual event. We're calling it the purpose power summit. You know, I mentioned this large scale study we did that was in January, q1 of 2021. We're announcing the results. I mean, what are the most purpose driven brands out there? We're going to be announced that, but I think more importantly, we've got a wide range of speakers and panelists who are joining us. We've got the CEO of horizon, Hans westberg, who's going to speak we've got Arianna Huffington. I don't know if you know her. She's the Huffington Post. She's going to speak. She's the CEO of Thrive global. We have the chief marketing officers of some major companies like next door and Prudential who are speaking. So a really stellar lineup that we were so pleased to be able to get get this lineup. I think there are a lot of people who are interested in talking about purpose right now, just as we're kind of coming out of the pandemic. So stellar lineup of speakers, if anybody's interested, if they just go to WWW dot purpose power summit.com. You can find out more about it. If you want to know more from me, just shoot me a note at chip at strawberry frog calm,

Steve Brown 40:05
strawberry for frog. What's the thinking behind the name? Strawberry frog? Where does that come from?

Unknown Speaker 40:12

Chip Walker 40:15
I think when the agency was formed, I think the notion was that the the dominant agencies were these gigantic holding companies and to a URI still, that still is like the norm, which a lot of clients have a lot of issues with, but there weren't a lot of other options. So we had this notion of the dinosaur, which is kind of how we thought of the the large holding companies. And we thought, Well, what is the antithesis of that? And we thought, well, frogs, the kind of frogs that can leap around from problem to problem is agile is fast. And it turns out that there actually is a frog called the strawberry frog. It is from the Amazon. It is red and green. And it is actually poisonous, believe it or not, but it's so it's very powerful. But for that reason, you know, we have this whole lore of like, you know, dinosaur versus frog and all the reasons you'd rather you'd rather go with the frog than the dinosaur. So that's kind of the origin of the name.

Steve Brown 41:18
Yeah, I love the origin story. So you've been listening to a great conversation with chip Walker, strawberry frog is their agency. He co authored a book with Scott Goodson, activate brand, purpose, Chip, any other place, they should connect you and get to book on Amazon, Kindle, Audible, anything like that?

Chip Walker 41:40
Yes, you can buy it on any of the major book retailer websites right now. I mean, Amazon is probably the one that most people know. If you want to go directly to the art books website. It's just activate brand purpose calm. Yeah, we're through it through our publisher. It's called Kogan page. You can buy it there too. But I think Amazon is, you know, really where most people are probably buying it.

Steve Brown 42:06
All right, and the name of the conference again, that they can sign up for.

Chip Walker 42:11
It's called the purpose power summit, and it's taking place in June 15. Registration is free. As I said, if you are interested in more either just shoot me an email, probably the easiest thing get a chip at strawberry frog calm.

Steve Brown 42:25
All right, Chip. Thanks for being an awesome guest on the ROI online podcast.

Chip Walker 42:31
Thank you so much, Steve, for having me. It's

Steve Brown 42:33
been a lot of fun. All right, and that's a wrap. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat, and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better. Be sure to pick up your copy of my book, The Golden toilet add, surprise, that golden toilet.com I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai