What is Your Brand’s Purpose?
Never before has a brand’s purpose meant so much to businesses, employees and clients. It’s as if we’ve awoken to the importance of meaning and rationale, where we now question our thought processes on from whom and why we buy – personally and professionally. That’s not to say that all brands lacked this focus in the past: Apple’s success was built on the notion of “why,” and other brands like Toms have gone to extreme lengths demonstrating their purpose of creating a more equitable world, but the reality is that many businesses skipped this part. In fact, I did the same with Media Frenzy Global.
When I began my business in the US in 2013, it was built on the notion of loving what I do and wanting to do more of it. Pretty simple, really. I thought that if I loved telling stories for innovative brands, I’d find others that felt the same, and we’d rally on together enjoying what we do and doing great work. Fa la la la! The problem with this approach is that it was really all about me and my own endeavors – and that’s not enough if you want to attract great talent and clients alike.
I recently sought counsel from my mentor at the Entrepreneurs Organization about the topic of purpose. He pushed me to gain clarity about our agency’s “why”. I read Simon Sineck’s ‘Start with Why’ and challenged our leadership team to really consider our purpose, and after lengthy retreats, workshops and consideration.,we thought we’d come up with a resolution. Bingo! And while in many ways we made headway, it still felt like marketing fluff.
It wasn’t until I actually took a step back and considered our stakeholders and their needs thatI got to the crux of our “why”.
Here is how I uncovered and built our brand’s purpose:
- Start with your employees, the most important element of any service business. Ask them why they chose to work for you? What excites them about coming to work each day? What do they believe they provide to your clients? Listen, absorb and don’t try to alter their views. What they say is fact.
- Ask your clients. Call, email, send a survey: whatever is best received by your clients. Ask them why they first chose your business and what value you bring to them every day. They will tell you just about everything you need to know – and more!
- Take action. It’s imperative to truly absorb what you heard and consider how you can apply this purpose in your business processes. For example, if an employee says they chose to work with you because you seem to support personal and professional growth, then implement and play out this important attribute. This might mean quarterly KPI metrics, leadership training, mentorship opportunities, and defined growth paths. The same applies to clients. In fact, Media Frenzy learned from our clients that our everyday value to them was our valuable insight and knowledge on how to tell their story and grow their brand’s influence. This was incredibly enlightening as it completely sharpened our focus and became the barometer of how we judge our success.
- Pursue enrichment. I love this part as it’s about the action of improving or enhancing something’s quality or value: enriching soil leads to more plant growth, and enriching people increases their wealth. It’s when we go beyond insular actions and dive deeper into meaningful purpose. If your brand’s purpose is to grow influence like ours, think beyond surface levels and unpack what it means to be influential. For our cancer care client, GenesisCare, we are accomplishing this by building their campaigns around real clients who speak earnestly about the life changing treatment they have received and the quality of life they have gained from being treated by GenesisCare. Placed at the heart of the brand, these patients have become brand advocates, whose stories influence other people’s decisions. Because they believe in the purpose of GenesisCare, they will do whatever it takes and appear on TV, in print, and on podcasts.
Until we find our purpose, we risk creating plans and approaches that are vague and confusing, leading us down roads that end in a cul de sac. I encourage you to reflect on why you are in business, ask your team and your clients why they chose you and what value you provide, and then go full throttle on implementing and enriching your purpose.