What’s A Brand Purpose & Why Do I Need One?

Last time I talked about engaging your employees, through developing the Why, How and What of your company.  This week we delve into step one of engaging your employees by creating your Brand Purpose or Mission.  Your Brand Purpose engages your employees by giving them a cause, a reason to care that isn’t about the owner’s profits or company market share.

People often get confused about the difference between Vision, Mission and Brand Purpose. The company Mission and its Brand Purpose are essentially the same thing. Brand Purpose defines the enduring, long term, unchanging fundamental reason for the company to exist – the company’s WHY.  Rather than just explaining what you do, it explains how the company will leave the world a better place.  It explains from a customer perspective what business you are really in. It expresses how the company brings it’s principals to life through its decision making, strategic direction and how it treats employees, customers and vendors.  

We won’t deal with Vision today, but its the next level down, specifically where the company will go on its way to achieving its Brand Purpose.

Great organizations have a deep and noble sense of purpose – a significant purpose – that inspires excitement, commitment and engagement.  What’s important about a Brand Purpose is it’s meaning to the people it impacts, including customers, employees and partners.  People can get excited about and work hard for a cause they believe in, but not for lining the owner’s or shareholders pockets.

Simon Sinek in his book “Start With Why” describes what he calls the Golden Circle of your company’s reason for being.

Golden circle of brand purpose

Examples of Brand Purpose or Mission:

Fannie Mae– To strengthen the social fabric by continually democratising home ownership

3M– To solve unsolved problems innovatively

Hewlett-Packard– To make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity

Pacific Theatres– To provide a place for people to flourish and to enhance the community

May Kay Cosmetics– To give unlimited opportunity to women

McKinsey & Company– To help leading corporations and governments be more successful

Merk– To preserve and improve human life

Nike  – To experience the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors

Sony – To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public

Creating Your Brand Purpose

Involve Employees in the Process: Get your leadership team or key employees involved in creating your brand purpose.  Doing so will give them ownership of the brand, increase their engagement and drive their desire to get the other employees on board.  I recommend getting a professional facilitator or coach to run the process and ensure objectivity, good teamwork and an optimal result.

Your Brand Purpose should be so clear and simple that everyone can remember it without having to read it! The Brand Purpose should proclaim what’s important and what is at stake.  Your team should feel that their  personal investment in driving towards the Brand Purpose will enable them to bring out the best in themselves and discover their potential. 

Checklist for a Powerful Brand Purpose 

          ___       Is the Brand Purpose future-oriented?

          ___       Is the Brand Purpose likely to lead to a better future for the organization?

          ___       Is the Brand Purpose consistent with the organization’s values?

          ___       Does the Brand Purpose set standards of excellence?

          ___       Does the Brand Purpose clarify purpose and direction?

          ___       Does the Brand Purpose inspire enthusiasm and encourage commitment?

          ___       Does the Brand Purpose set the company apart from the competition?

          ___       Is the Brand Purpose ambitious enough?

___       Am I excited about the Brand Purpose?

If you can check these boxes, congratulations you’ve got a great Brand Purpose on your hands!  If not, feel free to get in touch for help on developing one that does inspire you and engage your team.