Johan Ekelin
Co-founder and Partner

I always aim to be a visionary and vocal evangelist about the need for companies to embrace purpose as a key commercial strategy. If done right and with honest intent, living by a powerful purpose delivers sustainable results for companies, consumers and society. Frankly I think that companies that do not embrace this philosophy will struggle for relevance moving forward.

I co-founded Lynxeye consultants in 1999 with Christian Ihre, after we both had spent close to 7 years managing brands within Procter & Gamble Nordic and Europe.

My experience spans across brands, categories and geographies. The majority of my work has been in tech, retail, food & beverages, consumer goods, financial services and media. Through the years, I’ve advised some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Samsung, Absolut, H&M, Volvo, Nokia, Sony and Telenor.

—There is a misconception that purpose is about CSR, and as such odds are that the impact it creates is smaller. The more a purpose is connected to the business the higher the positive impact for all stakeholders. It’s a matter of creating win, win, win, win. Johan Ekelin

What does purpose for companies mean to you?

It means the future of healthy corporations. It’s as easy as that. Over the last few years it has become clear that more and more brands and companies become obsolete because they don’t play a meaningful role in people’s lives or in society at large. The winners that attract more customers manage to do both. And who wants to work for a company that affects the world negatively in the future?

What do companies get wrong about purpose?

I feel passionate about realizing purpose as a way of creating progress for companies and societies. There is a misconception that purpose is about CSR, and as such odds are that the impact it creates is smaller. The more a purpose is connected to the business the higher the positive impact for all stakeholders. It’s a matter of creating win, win, win, win, happy customers rewarding the company with their loyalty, engaged employees, positive contributions to society and as a result also happy shareholders.

—Over the last few years it has become clear that more and more brands and companies become obsolete because they don’t play a meaningful role in people’s lives or in society at large. The winners that attract more customers manage to do both. Johan Ekelin

Do you have a favorite purposeful company?

Tesla. They make a more sustainable option the cool option too. It’s a win for both customers, shareholders and society. So there it is, my favorite brand if I have to choose. Ask me again tomorrow and I’m sure that another favorite will come to mind.