Business Purpose & Why It's a Superpower
The Power of Purpose &
How It Drives Business Success
However fast the business landscape continues to evolve, one thing remains as true as it ever was: it has never been enough for companies to simply exist for profit.
If course it can work in the short term. But as a long term strategy, pile it high and sell it cheap is a non-starter.
Now, more than ever, the most successful and enduring businesses are those that have a
clear and compelling purpose beyond making money.
The question is: what does that mean to you?
The purpose-driven approach to business has always been inherently true. But as more and more businesses embark on the brand development process, it's gaining more traction: identifying purpose is the thread that runs through defining your brand to maximise stand out with your audience.
What is Business Purpose?
Business purpose goes beyond the traditional notion of profit maximisation. It's the "why" - your 'what for??' - behind a company's existence: the reason you do what you do - and ideally, the positive impact you aim to create in the world.
A well-defined business purpose is more than just a catchy slogan or a marketing gimmick; it's an authentic, meaningful and guiding principle that shapes your values, culture, and strategy.
The big ask: why do you do what you do?
Apart from making a living, why do you do this? In a world where you can be anything (including kind!), why are you making this product or providing this service? Are you solving a problem or filling a void? Serving a community? Innovating in a way that evolves an age old proposition? Are you educating, entertaining, informing or inspiring?
And that thing about positive impact: if it's part of your purpose, you can make that work on a micro (small) or macro (large) level.
At macro level, your purpose is unchanging: it overarches and underpins and feeds into your entire brand strategy.
At micro level, your purpose might change with the seasons, sales targets, specific campaign priorities or circumstance.
Business Purpose IS A SUPERPOWER
Purpose can power all kinds of things...
Purpose Powers Talent Attraction & Retention
Have you heard of The Great Resignation or The Great Reskilling?? People aren't putting up with any old shit these days. They know life is short and the days are long. Your best people, as you would hope, want more than just a pay check. They want to work for companies that have a meaningful mission (purpose) and values that align with their own. A compelling business purpose can be a magnet for talent, attracting individuals who are passionate about your company's mission and committed to your success.
Purpose Powers Customer Loyalty
If you don't know that customers are - more and more - making buying decisions based on more than just product features and price, where have you been? They want to support brands that share their values and contribute positively to society. A strong business purpose can foster customer loyalty and long-term relationships. Your clear 'what for', in terms of anything from community to the climate crisis and everything in-between, can make all the difference to their decision. All you have to do is ask yourself, what hill are you going to live (or die) on? Then go all in, Donnie Brasco!
Purpose Powers Innovation
Businesses driven by purpose have much more potential for innovation. When your people are motivated by a greater good, they are driven to go further: to exceed expectations. They're more likely to think creatively and come up with solutions that address societal challenges. Purpose-driven innovation can lead to the development of products and services that resonate with customers and have a lasting impact.
Purpose Powers Reputation
Your reputation precedes you. And if it's terrible, all the marketing spend in the world is simply throwing good money after bad. A clear and authentic business purpose can enhance - and help to manage - a company's reputation. It helps build trust with stakeholders, including customers, investors, and partners. Businesses that consistently act in alignment with their purpose are seen as more ethical and trustworthy.
Purpose Powers Overcoming Challenges
Purpose can serve as a North Star during times of uncertainty or crisis. When faced with difficult decisions, a well-defined purpose can guide your leadership team in making choices that are consistent with your company's values and long-term goals.
How many more stories about entrepreneurs who overcame all the odds to build the plane while they were flying it - and a world-changing business to boot - do we have to hear?
If you really want more inspo, you'll find some here.
Helping you to find yours.
In a world where consumers, employees, and investors are increasingly focused on values and impact, having a clear business purpose is no longer a nice-to-have; it's a strategic imperative.
Purpose-driven companies are not only more likely to thrive in the long run, but they also have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the world.
So, what's your what for?
Because here's the good news: you've got one. It's just that, like a lot of businesses, you don't know how to talk about it in a way that resonates with your punters or your people.
I work with companies who know their purpose. They just don't know how to articulate it in a way that resonates with their audience, internally or externally.
Yes. Yes I can, ma'am.
All I do is ask a few easy questions, bring a fresh perspective, and an ability to sum it all up in a way that lifts and separates your bra-nd.
For external comms, we can develop a clear purpose or value proposition - a 'what we do' that most often looks like a mission statement. Then we'll also extrapolate that into a vision - were we're going - and values - how we're going to get there.
That can all also be translated into Brand Tone of Voice guidelines and then into how we execute it all in every kind of marketing comms, from a social media post to a website to a 48 sheet or radio script, animation or annual report. Phew!
Internally, I can help you to develop everything from an Employer Value Proposition and the pillars that hold it up, to an Employer Brand that resonates with everyone from old hands to new hires and can guide creation of all employee comms, from a careers website to an employee referral campaign.
All you need to ponder on for now is your purpose and how it can be a powerful driver of progress and prosperity.