Purpose: Why It Matters and Who It Matters To
Why Are You Here?
It’s our natural human nature to question the world around us and to seek purpose. Questions of existentialism follow us throughout each stage of life, and the answers we discover influence the choices we make on a large scale of subjects. In the realm of consumer behavior, we are seeing heightened trends of purposeful purchasing. In the workforce, employees want to represent a company with defined purpose, and in turn, companies seek employees who align with theirs. The “why” of a company’s mission has gained significant importance within the last ten years, and it’s becoming critical to make their purpose known.
So what’s yours?
When planning your quarterly and annual strategy, you should consistently keep your objectives aligned with the reason behind your mission. If your sole purpose as a business is to make money, chances are, you won’t make it very long. Today we’ll touch on the four areas that having purpose enhances.
Strengthen your purpose, strengthen your:
- Sales and Customer Loyalty
- Culture and Employee Retention
- Strategic Partnerships
- Public Relations and Brand Reputation
Sales and Customer Loyalty
According to a study done by Google in 2014:
“Consumers choose the brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than they do those that simply urge them to buy the product being advertised. As a result, their path to purchase is actually their path to purpose.”
When your business behaviors match your brand promise, you build trust with your customers. Consumers are given an endless amount of options of where to spend money for similar items, and feelings towards a brand often leads the ultimate purchasing decision. However there is an adverse effect if your company’s behavior does not support its purpose, so make sure you’re paying attention to your execution.
So what’s the magic trick to getting those customers to see your purpose? Find them as they’re looking for theirs. Be active within your purpose, whether it be on a large or small scale. Make your reason for existence known.
Culture and Employee Retention
The emphasis on culture is a trend we’ve seen trickle from the startups of Silicon Valley to maturing companies reinventing their game plan. Not only does having a rich company culture make you attractive to incoming talent, but it also keeps your current team strong. The best way to build a culture, like the ones we’ve admired at Google and Facebook, is…(surprise!) advocate your purpose within the organization. When your team is aware (and supports) the purpose you are collectively striving for, their levels of engagement go up. You can expect less sick days, more productivity, and less turnover.
It pays to have friends. Sharing your passion with companies who are similarly focused can open a variety of doors, boosting your credibility, reputation, referrals, and ultimately, profit. Seek partnerships with those who are already engaging with their cause, and make sure you learn from how they’ve formed their execution plans around their “calling,” and take advantage of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Public Relations Benefits
What do Costco, Nordstrom, and Rolls Royce have in common? They don’t rely on advertising to attract their customers. They have gained their loyalty and admiration from upholding their brand promise and serving their stated purposes, despite the temptation for short term gains. Employees, vendors, and partners are held to the mission statements, and cohesively work to portray them to consumers daily. From a public relations standpoint, purpose is gold when it comes to the evolving methods of word-of-mouth advertising. Positive reviews are read by millions of consumer daily that describe personal experiences. Negative reviews are often responded to, and when alignment is off, a purposeful company works to make things right again. Be proactive with your purpose, attract an audience.