Winner of the Bronze 2021 AXIOM Business Book Award in the category of Philanthropy / Nonprofit / Sustainability.

Brands on a Mission explores the importance of creating a performance culture that is built on driving impact through purpose, and the type of talent required to drive these transformational changes within companies – from CEO to brand developers.

Using evidence from interviews and stories from over 100 CEOs, thought leaders and brand managers, the book presents an emergent model that organisations can follow to build purpose into their growth strategy – and shows how to bridge the gap between Brand Say and Brand Do. Readers will learn from the real experts in the field: how Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, built purpose into the DNA of his company; what keeps Alan Jope (new CEO, Unilever) and Emmanuel Faber (CEO, Danone) awake at night; and how brand developers from Durex, Dove, Discovery and LIXIL have made choices and the reasons behind them. In this book you will learn how a soap brand Lifebuoy taught one billion people about hygiene, how a beer is tackling gender-based violence, and how a toothpaste is tackling school absenteeism amongst many others. Renowned experts like Peter Piot (Director, London School of Health and Tropical Medicine), Michael Porter (Professor, Harvard School of Business), Jane Nelson (Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School) and Susie Orbach (leading feminist and formerly professor, London School of Economics) also share examples, data and their everyday experiences of helping corporates create a culture of purpose. And leading NGOs and UN experts like Lawrence Haddad (Executive Director, GAIN) and Natalia Kanem (Executive Director of UNFPA) will recount how the public and private sector have worked together to create an accelerated path to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The book provides a clear pathway of how to take brands through the journey of developing impactful social missions and driving business growth, and is an essential guide for both managers and students alike.

chapter |11 pages


An intrapreneur 1 born for social purpose

chapter 1|19 pages

Why brands need a social mission

chapter 2|15 pages

Dove and the impact of body image

chapter 3|17 pages

Driving mass behavioural change

chapter 4|14 pages


How a global condom brand helps reduce HIV infections

chapter 5|19 pages

Collaborating with outside partners

How do strange bedfellows get along?

chapter 7|14 pages

Brand advocacy

Can brands drive social movements?

chapter 9|12 pages

Carling Black Label #NoExcuse

An alcohol brand counters violence against women

chapter 10|13 pages

What do numbers really mean?

The challenge of measurement and accountability for brands on a mission

chapter 12|10 pages

Winning support within the corporation

chapter 13|11 pages

How processed food brands can gain a social purpose

The public health challenge of this century and the biggest opportunity for brands

chapter |3 pages

Concluding thoughts

chapter |1 pages