Brand purpose consultancy Given appoints Jan Gooding as Chair

14 February 2020 3 min. read
More news on

Given, a brand purpose consultancy which advises some of the UK’s biggest brands on their sustainability, has appointed Jan Gooding as the firm’s new Non-Executive Chair. The firm has been in keen demand in recent years, with clients coming under pressure from customers to be more environmentally and socially responsible.

To be ‘purpose-led’, an organisation needs to stand for something it believes in, going beyond profit and looking to positively impact society – something becoming increasingly popular to consumers. The majority of consumers now expect companies to take a stand on current and broadly relevant issues such as sustainability, transparency and fair employment practices. If they are to retain their customers, purpose is therefore something businesses can no longer afford to ignore, and many have tapped expertise from the consulting world to help improve their social responsibility efforts as a result.

Launched 10 years ago, Given is a consulting firm which works with businesses to develop their environmental and social ‘purpose’ strategies. The agency has been focused on delivering brand purpose with ‘substance’ – its proprietary definition for purpose work which drives concrete, positive change for businesses, communities and the world. Their current client list straddles an impressive range of industry sectors from retail and fashion to utilities and the financial services, including household names like Aviva, IKEA, John Lewis & Partners and Virgin Media.

Brand purpose consultancy Given appoints Jan Gooding as Chair

Given celebrated its 10-year anniversary in November 2020, and as it prepares its strategy and ambitions for the new decade, the brand purpose consultancy has appointed Jan Gooding as its Non-Executive Chair. Clare Fuller had held the role since 2015, but has stepped down for health reasons this year, meaning Gooding has been called upon to join two other Non-Executive Board Advisors – Craig Wildman and Nigel Salter – in helping to fulfil Given’s growth potential.

Commenting on the challenges facing ‘purpose driven’ business in 2020, Gooding said, “There is a lot of chat about brand purpose having had its day. This is true of fake brand purpose and ‘purpose washing’. Now, thanks to pressure from both investors, consumers and the wider climate context organisations are looking to make deep, structural changes to their operations. This is what true purpose has always been about and is what Given has always been focused on. Not only are they poised for growth, organisations are now poised for advice.”

Spanning 35 years, Gooding has forged a successful, global brand and marketing career and is also known as a change agent on issues of diversity and inclusion. She has senior executive experience leading the marketing strategies of blue-chip brands, including Aviva, British Gas, BT, Diageo and Unilever. She is chair of PAMCo and President of the Market Research Society. She is also well known for championing equal parental leave during her time as Global Inclusion Director at Aviva and is chair of LGBT+ equality charity Stonewall.

Speaking on Gooding’s appointment, Given Managing Director Becky Willan said, “We are absolutely delighted Jan has joined us. We see this as an incredibly exciting time, for not only our business, but also for the wider corporate world. There is a growing realisation that brand purpose can’t be used as simply a marketing tool or an idea for advertising. Organisations must have a purpose-driven strategy at an organisational level, and they must be restless about delivering real change which is comprehensive and systemic.”