Three steps to power your purpose

This article is the fourth and final in the series about Gen Z and how to harness the power of brand purpose for this new generation. Discover more insights and read the whole content series here.

Now you’ve got the insight and more stats than you can shake a stick it, all that is left to do is put it to some good use. Below, I’ve outlined the 3 key steps you need to identify your purpose, then how take it to the next level.

1 Define

What’s your brand’s story? You need to know this to truly define your brand’s purpose. Ask yourself why you are here and what you stand for; two seemingly simple questions, but ones that can make or break the process.

You’ll need to talk to your internal stakeholders, as many of them as you can, at all levels; the more thorough your research is now, the more genuine your purpose will be later.  And getting key stakeholders involved, engaged, and ultimately bought in to the process will help bucket loads later on when you need to get everyone in the business on board. Interviews, group workshops and surveys are ideal for gaining the valuable info you’ll need.

Speak to your customers too. Understand why you matter to them as an organisation and what place your brand occupies in their world. We did precisely that when we rebranded our businesses and the output was invaluable – you can watch a short video about that here.

It’s vital to be honest and authentic here, based on an undeniable truth, not something that you think your customers want to hear. Customers will see right through this. Remember when Starbucks stated (and still do) that they’re an ‘ethical company’ and also remember when that massively backfired over those tax revelations? Disparity between your purpose and actions are always found out.

You might already have this down, so skip to step 2 for what to do next.

2 Unite

A shared goal and purpose can bring whole organisations together with a singular rally cry. But in order to empower and motivate people they need to understand it, be inspired by it and know what their part to play is.

The key here is to inform, inspire, and celebrate. In order for your purpose to seep into every pore of the business, you’ve got to make sure that it is present and accounted for in everything from team meetings to having it as a tangible KPI in appraisals. Use it as a measure of success and reward employees accordingly.

This is how you create genuine and loyal advocates of your business. People will be genuinely proud to say who they work for and why, as they feel they are important to the organisation and also a part of something bigger than just their role.

Lush is a prime example of this. You only need to take one step into any store in the country and you’ll receive the same enthusiastic and knowledgeable service from the employees that work there. Their ethical and inclusive approach to their product offering also seeps into their treatment of their employees, or ‘Lush People’, as the organisation affectionately refers to them.  Lush have committed to paying employees the same wages irrespective of nationality, religion, sex or age as well as being paid a minimum of 20p above statutory minimum wage. This is a company that cares about its supply chain as much as its people.

3 Project

The last step is a culmination of the previous 2 and, in a nutshell, involves the projection of consistent messages and experiences by weaving your purpose through everything you do. Whilst this may seem an obvious point to make, a lack of care here deems the work you’ve done to get to this point redundant.

Now you have your employees on board, you need to take a step back and evaluate whether your purpose is present at every step of your day-to-day running of the business. Have another look at your supply chain, does its practices adhere to your company’s purpose? For example: if your company’s purpose is focused around sustainability and other planet-saving initiatives you must follow this through from a ban on printing all non-essential items to the types of cleaning products it uses. Remember, purpose is about the small, hidden stuff as well as the big, obvious things.

Take Apple for example; yes it may be an often-trotted out brand example, however, they have it bang on here where their purpose is seamlessly amalgamated through their product offering, their existing employees and even their customers, in order to attract new talent:

This is where some of the world’s smartest, most passionate people create the world’s most innovative products and experiences. Join us and you’ll do the best work of your life – and make a difference in other people’s lives

The above sentences seem to make it annoyingly simple to sum up Apple’s purpose, whilst including everyone and everything relevant to its business in them. But just think: if you’re living that purpose all day, every day, articulation of it becomes the easy part.

Now that the trifecta of stats, facts and tips are complete the only thing left to do is drop us a line to get the conversation started.