To B or not to B Corp: the shift towards profit and purpose

Richard Eyre, veteran CEO and business leader, discusses the increased need for diversity in the boardroom, the growing trend by businesses towards purpose over profit, and why the attitude towards risk should change.

With an illustrious career at the likes of ITV and Capital FM, now consultant and NED, Richard Eyre sat down with Agent3’s Paul Mackender as part of our Agents of Change series to discuss what he believes has changed the most with boardrooms and the topic of growth during the pandemic.  

One topic Richard focused on in particular was the shift from businesses towards purpose, over simply that of profit. With social media usage connecting so many people, word of mouth is now the largest advertising medium. As a result of this, Richard discussed the idea that businesses have no place left to hide from their consumers. Coupled with large financial institutions and businesses putting their weight behind companies who do focus on bringing a purpose to their company efforts, in his view, each of these factors are a big catalyst for change, and contribute to why businesses pursuing purpose is a good thing and vital if they want people to stay in touch with their brand.  

Richard also covered how, in his role as a non-executive director, it is really up to him to make sure companies don’t simply pay lip service to these so-called ‘B Corp’ companies  – companies who mix profit and purpose – and to actually enact real, and tangible change. 

When asked about how this change would affect boardrooms Richard explained how, in his role as a non-executive director, he saw that it had thrown a difficult hand towards those on boards. Whilst historically risk averse, this growing push for change accelerated by the pandemic means that much still needs to be addressed in regards to diversity in the boardroom going forwards. 

Finally, Richard had a word of advice for B2B marketers moving forwards: with an increasing interest by consumers to engage with  experiences over words, he believes the future of marketing lies in storytelling with substance at its core, rather than in sales pitches and slogans. 

Thank you Richard for what was a truly insightful conversation about what we might expect from businesses and their behaviour moving forwards. Click here to listen to the video in full.

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