The purpose of purpose
It’s ironic there’s one purpose that won’t boost profit — and that’s making profit your purpose.
Your brand’s purpose should simply be what it stands for, what it believes in and what truths it holds dear. Think of it as having an individual soul, which sets it apart from the rest of the market. This will attract the best of both like-minded employees and customers.
Former Havas Media Group chair and founding CEO, Mike Wilson, says Havas employs a market research tool called Meaningful Brands to judge a brand’s value. Each year, the research spans 375,000 people, 31 markets, 22 industries and 1,800 brands world-wide. Wilson talks further on this topic in AXED: Who Killed Australian Magazines? — authored by our very own Being, Phil Barker.
“Our hypothesis was a meaningful brand is made of three factors: functional, personal and collective benefits. So, if a brand’s function is to deliver food in 30 minutes, like Uber Eats, it had better do what it says it’s going to do. The personal benefits are around how a brand makes me feel and how it reflects my own values. Am I a Rolex person? Am I an ALDI person? The collective benefits are: what does a brand do for good in the community? Is it ethical? Is it sustainable?”
“Those are the three things you need to do well, in order to have a meaningful brand. And the brands that do these things well perform the best in terms of stock market value, sales and consumer perception.”
Making meaningful brands
Havas’ study has run for more than 12 years and some big changes have shown up over time.
“Until just a few years ago, the functional benefits were far and away the main thing that made a brand important. Now, the collective benefits are going up massively as what matters,” Wilson says.
The study shows 75% of brands could disappear and no-one would care. On top of that, 84% of consumers think companies and brands should communicate honestly about their commitments and promises.
According to Forbes, purposeful brands grow twice as fast as their competition. That’s great in theory, but to be truly effective, your purpose needs to be authentic and alive in every part of your organisation, right where everybody — employees and customers — can see it every day.
Living the dream
At The Being Group, our purpose is to help clients achieve and communicate the remarkable. That means we exist to do our part to make the world a better place. Our purpose also encompasses an expressed commitment to making the lives of our employees as good as possible, by behaving with empathy, ethics, compassion, care and honesty.
We work with clients with purpose, who are looking to make the world a better place for us all. It’s a high standard that requires constant care and attention to maintain, and it would be painfully obvious if there was a slip. But if your brand really believes in something, everyone will believe in your brand.
Living your purpose is hard work. If your people can see it, so can your clients and customers. Once they believe your purpose is true and consistent, they’ll come back — again and again.