Here’s a roundup of some posts over the past months that can prove useful as you pursue or continue to evolve your purpose-driven brand. I’ve included a snippet from each post to give you a sense of the focus of each.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of organizations talk about purpose. If we’ve discovered anything, it’s that purpose comes in all shapes and sizes. Some purposes are world-changing in their scope. Some focus on the difference the brand can make in just one life. But all the purpose-driven organizations display two characteristics consistently.

1. Brands with purpose demonstrate empathy

Purpose-driven brands focus on those they hope to serve. Don’t confuse this with being customer service-focused. That’s just the price to play. …

When you get right down to it, feeling like we are helping others is the thing that has the biggest impact on our happiness. There is an interesting post on Fast Company that delves into this. Here is an excerpt:

“When people see their work as connecting to a broader purpose and helping other people to achieve their goals, they’re more satisfied with their careers. And, of course, satisfaction with your work generally lifts your overall sense of well-being.”

But what does that have to do with my brand?

At the heart of a majority of exceptional brands, you will find a dedication to serving others. To helping. The best…

I have heard all the rationales from organizations of all types:

We sell a commodity.

It’s just insurance. It’s not revolutionary.

Our customers look at our service as a necessary evil.

These are the stories they tell themselves. Rationales for why becoming something extraordinary is out of their reach.

I chose these three particular excuses because I worked with organizations that could have said the very same things. But each chose to believe that it had a larger calling. Each believed it could make a difference in a life, a community, or even the world. …

It’s not very often that we hear someone talk about the value of wonder (a.k.a. awe) inside of an organization. After all, it can feel too touchy-feely or even frivolous for many businesses.

That’s unfortunate. Because a sense of wonder can have a pretty awesome effect (see what I just did there?)

Let’s start with the people inside of those businesses. From Eric Barker, author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree:

In studies, awe makes people less selfish and more focused on the needs of the group. We become more generous. Writing about awe made people more patient and more…

There are times when it feels like things have plateaued. When you just can’t seem to move the needle. When you just feel stuck.

All too often I’ve seen sales & marketing leaders react to this by pushing messages that ‘sell harder’. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for this to have the opposite intended effect.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that selling isn’t important. It’s just that I believe the best selling is done through helping. This is where stories can become invaluable. …

I get lost still. Even after over three decades of doing this. Maybe you experience this. You’re digging into a complex challenge for the brand to address. You’re examining all the variables of your offering. Checking the competitive forces. Reviewing the market conditions. Among all this, you start to feel uncertainty about how to proceed.

The one person who can help you in this situation

When that uncertainty hits, I instinctively want to simplify things in order to work through the murkiness.

Early in my career, I tried to simplify by asking, “What are we really trying to do here?’ …

Take a good hard look at your brand. Can you concisely state what your brand stands for?

Now, look at all the products you offer. What does each of those brands stand for? Now, here is the key question. Does what your product brands stand for support what your master brand stands for?

Why is all this important for your brand?

According to one report, we take in five times as much information today than we did a mere 25 years ago. Needless to say, that’s a lot to process. …

What can you say that will stop people in their tracks? What story could you tell that would cause a heart to beat a little faster? Or maybe cause goosebumps to rise?

We all look for those ideas that have this power.

Organizations that clarify their purpose have a natural advantage here because these types of stories flow naturally from their purpose statement and rallying cry.

While there is no replacement for going through this process, there is a way to get a sense of how much more powerful your stories could be by going through an exercise I use.

Here is a collection of posts over the last quarter that I have found valuable. Each offers some interesting insight on the power of purpose as well as some useful guidance for putting purpose to work for you and your organization. I have pulled key quotes or added a short summary to illustrate the theme of each. Enjoy. And Purpose on.

Dan Salva

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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