5 must-haves for putting brand purpose into practice

There is a growing consensus about the power of purpose for organizations in today’s world. Unfortunately, there has been much more talk about the theory of purpose than there has been about how an organization can actually clarify and champion its purpose.

Through my work helping organizations clarify a purpose and bring it into the brand story, I have identified a list of 5 must-haves for helping you make your purpose relevant, meaningful, and inspiring.

This should seem obvious, but, too often, I’ve seen organizations decide that all it takes is getting the leadership team in a conference room and brainstorming ideas.

A purpose is not something you invent. It is something that is in the DNA of the organization. It is something that you uncover and clarify. Without a process, you run the risk of chasing the latest trend or being led astray by a strong personality in the room. That can lead to adopting a purpose that team members and customers have a hard time believing and embracing.

You have identified the essence of your brand purpose. There is a jolt you feel just thinking about it. Now you need the words to capture and channel that power.

It’s easy for a purpose statement to end up sounding like a bland platitude. Or being worked and reworked until it becomes vague at best. When you have a proven structure to work with, your purpose statement development process has the guardrails to keep it on track. And the guidance to help you refine the language into something meaningful.

With your purpose statement refined, you have the opportunity to turn it into something that will rally all those you hope to serve — your team members, your customers, your prospects, and more. This rallying cry is the most powerful distillation of your purpose. 5 to 7 words that capture the emotionally-charged essence of the difference your brand makes in lives, communities, and even the world. Having a proven process for building your rallying cry ensures you make the expression of your purpose everything it can be.

With your purpose clarified and voiced, now it’s time to help the organization embrace it. This means knowing how to introduce it and explain the reason the organization has pursued clarifying a purpose. Then building an effort to show everyone the relevance of the purpose to everything they do every day. There are best practices that organizations have used to successfully launch and nurture their purpose.

When you share your purpose, you share something that has the potential to connect with customers and prospects on an entirely new level. Today, people want to do more than buy a product. They want to buy in to it. They want to feel like their purchase is helping do something for those around them. When they understand your purpose and how it helps them do this, you have the opportunity to go beyond creating customers to creating advocates and even evangelists for your brand. This is why you need a methodology for bringing that purpose into the story you tell about your brand.

For the guidance, tools, and insights to accomplish everything on this list, check out Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. The book steps you through the process. From understanding where you are to clarifying and expressing your purpose to bringing it to life in your brand story.

Your purpose can be one of your organization’s most valuable assets. You don’t want to take it lightly. The good news is that pioneering purpose-driven companies have shown us the way. Now it’s time to follow the path that they have uncovered.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable, and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on November 5, 2020.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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