Beyond Profit Podcast: Has Purpose Failed?

Across the globe, brands are coming out of the woodwork to declare themselves purposeful and part of the solution to fix what ails humanity. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows, according to purpose pioneer Thomas Kolster. He sees a marketplace rife with broken promises and inauthentic actions from brands claiming to be purpose-driven. And that, he claims, has caused purpose to fail.

In his new book, The Hero Trap: How to Win in a Post-Purpose Market By Putting People in Charge, Kolster argues that brands tend to overstate the role they have in bringing about real change, and that they will be seen as villains if they don't put people's dreams, aspirations, and creativity first. By helping people realize themselves, he says, organizations can make meaningful change and drive growth.

In this episode of Beyond Profit, a podcast of the ANA Center for Brand Purpose, host Ken Beaulieu catches up with Kolster to discuss growing consumer cynicism toward brand claims about the good they do, the evolution of purpose, and the importance of responding to cultural movements.

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