Why you should care about stating your brand purpose

Written by Dan Salva

It can seem like a lot of hokum. You know, getting an organization to ask, “What is our higher purpose?” Especially for an operationally-driven senior leadership team. It feels like the equivalent of saying, “Let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.”

The truth is, defining your brand purpose opens the door to some practical business building opportunities – both internally and externally.

Internally

  • It’s motivating. It infuses a sense of higher purpose in the day-to-day activities of your team members.
  • It can be empowering. Team members feel like their work is making a difference. That can foster a sense of responsibility for the quality of day-to-day work.
  • It can trigger that sense of, “We’re all in this together.” That can improve teamwork.

Externally

  • It creates a deeper connection with prospects. At the very least, we want to feel like the companies we are doing business with are doing no harm. And we feel especially connected to companies that help us understand how they are benefitting the world.
  • It can pull you up out of a commoditized offering where prospects evaluate you solely on price. You now have something that prospects attach value to beyond your offering.
  • It helps turn customers into advocates. When people feel like you care about something beyond selling them a service, you improve your chances of them spreading the word about you.
  • It builds a connection with the communities you serve. You’re no longer a faceless, cold-hearted corporation. You are people from the community with a larger purpose that benefits everyone.

How to define your brand purpose

I suggest starting with writing a manifesto. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, a more concise manifesto has a better chance of being remembered.

Break it into three sections by answering each of these questions:

  1. What is it that you believe (your company’s larger purpose in the world)?
  2. Why is it credible (real proof of what your company does to support this)?
  3. What impact will it have on the world?

So there it is. A case for getting to your higher purpose. For more on the value of defining this, check out Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk. Also, check out this post on manifestos.

 

Dan Salva is a co-founder of Will & Grail, with more than three decades of experience in brand marketing and developing and implementing go-to-market strategies. He can be reached at dsalva@willgrail.com.