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What’s the Real Point of Brand Purpose? A Perspective on Purpose Alignment and Activation.

Having spent the last 16 years working with a cornucopia of legacy brand and marketing organizations helping them connect with their customers and develop truly relevant innovations and communications, I’ve seen the business mindset evolve in so many positive ways.

At some point in recent business history, there was a demonstrative shift in consumer brand (and B2B) corporate culture. Affirmed by studies and books like Grow by Jim Stengle – the humans that drive the performance of brand and marketing organizations have been realizing the imperative of integrating not just business performance, but also purpose, into their success metrics.

But why is “purpose” so important (and what exactly does it mean) when it comes to the business of marketing and consumer products?

Humans perform at their best when they are motivated from a purpose-driven mindset.

Purpose is what allows people to love what they do.

Love is the force that compels us to belong to one another and relentlessly work towards collective success, fueling:

  • Business performance and sustainable growth
  • Social impact and positive influence on humanity
  • Personal wellbeing of employees and a thriving workplace family

A mindset is a set of values and principles that shape our day-to-day behavior and routines.

A company or brand’s true purpose is that articulation of love as it is brought to life by the mindset of its most engaged employees.

That means it is the embodiment of the shared values and principles that determine how they engage with the world and why they devote mind, body and soul to your company every single day.

The path to purpose alignment and activation starts by asking a few very big questions:

  • Does your company or brand have an articulated purpose or set of values written into its charter / mission / vision?
  • Was the process of arriving at that purpose inclusive? Did it engage employees and stakeholders?
  • Is that purpose being activated to its fullest potential?
    • Does it drive employee / stakeholder morale, culture and engagement?
    • Is purpose integrated into performance metrics?
    • How is that purpose translated into business operations and supply chain strategy?
    • Does your brand’s purpose drive customer  facing communication and engagement?
    • Do the values brought to life in your purpose align with the shared values of your best customers?
    • Are innovation and strategic growth initiatives fueled by a commitment to your brand’s purpose?
    • Can you connect purpose metrics and KPIs to a measurable impact on business performance?
  • Where is there room for improvement and how might that affect your business?

If you are one of the amazing companies or brands (like Patagonia, for example) who is already authentically checking off most or all the purpose criteria above, then I take my hat off to you.

If you’re not – the good news is it only gets better from here. And the team here at Culture can help.   We know a thing or two about how to understand the values that motivate people and put them into action that drives business growth and builds brand love.

One thing we know about purpose in particular is that people support businesses that share their values.

Corporations and brands are collections of people whom, when working from a purpose-driven mindset, create businesses people love.

So to all my family of marketers and brand warriors who are putting their heart and soul in to their  work every day, what are the ways you see the love in  your company or brand’s engagement with the world and what are the possibilities if that purpose was truly leveraged to its fullest potential?

Your brand does have the power to change the world – and thrive in the process.

What is your highest order vision for the future?

Let’s make it happen.

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