How to Activate Your Brand’s Purpose

If your company doesn’t have a clear purpose, it is very likely going to fall behind. That was the main consensus of two dozen executives and business experts who spoke at Inc.’s Purpose Power Summit 2021 in early June.

Coming out of the Covid pandemic, one of the things we have done as a society is that we’ve put companies on a higher moral pedestal.  We have created greater expectations for what we expect a brand to deliver.

Speakers at the virtual event discussed how the pandemic has changed brand purpose, how it’s defined, how consumers view it, and thus how companies can turn it into meaningful action.

Every brand’s purpose will be different

When outlining your company’s purpose, target issues where you can have the greatest impact.  While your focus might differ depending on your industry, you should always think big.  Purpose transcends categories and every category needs to be doing its part to address these critical issues, like climate change and food insecurity.  These are collective issues and massive problems.

Talk to employees to get them onboard

It is important to discuss your purpose internally. At Zoom for example, leaders reiterate the company’s core values at biweekly all-hands meetings.  They also encourage employees to share examples of how the company’s work affects users’ daily lives.  UPS motivated its essential workers during the pandemic by asking about their concerns and how their personal stories align with the company’s mission.

State your purpose clearly, and then follow through

More than ever, people want to buy from purpose-driven brands.  Clarity is important, but a simple statement isn’t always enough.  Clients are waiting for you to not actually mean what you say, and so actions are what matters.

Your purpose can evolve

Even if your brand becomes associated with a particular issue, its purpose can change as your company grows.  Your model can change, and flexibility allows your company to expand its reach to take on other issues that become important to you.

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