People know they have to spend their money, but what is more and more prevalent is that they want to spend it with “the good guys.” This is something we, as an agency, have been saying for quite some time, but now it’s starting to become as mainstream as we felt it should be years ago. Because given the choice between two companies with seemingly exchangeable products and services, the only thing that will put one in front of the other is an explicit, differentiating purpose.
Think of a company’s purpose as its most fundamental driver — why it exists. Acting on this is what makes them, as we call it at Trumpet, a Believable Brand. (Oh, and if why you exist is just “to generate a profit” you can stop reading this post now because we’ll probably disagree on more than a few things).
Consumers have more choices than ever before. Legitimate choices, all of which will satisfy their practical needs. What they are asking for today is help in making the choice that goes beyond that. They want to know their money is doing good beyond the transaction. That’s why they’re more likely than not to invest in brands they feel align with their values. But it’s not just consumers, it’s potential and current employees, vendors, influencers, investors and more. It’s the people that can take your business from nothing to something just by believing in it and wanting to share its purpose.
In the Forbes article Millennials Work For Purpose, Not Paycheck, Professor at McGill University teaching graduate courses in globalization and leadership, Karl Moore, states “I have coffee with a couple hundred students and alumni every year and discuss their careers. Over the past 14 years of my doing this, I’ve noticed the drastic change in these conversations. Many more of the undergrads and MBAs today are looking into working for NGOs, or at least for corporations which have serious Corporate Social Responsibility programs. This search for meaning and purpose is on the agendas of most Millennials in the Western World and increasingly in the developing economies.” He continues, “Organizations who wish to prosper will focus more time on meaning at work, have an organizational purpose and contribution which gives people a sense of satisfaction and a genuine feeling that they are making the world a better place.”
What’s more interesting is how investment firms are starting to follow the purpose-driven rule as well. Not just because it’s for the greater good (we’re talking about investment firms here), but because being purpose-driven has proven to be why the most successful companies have become as profitable as they are - and that is not something to be ignored. Also, this isn’t just our observation, this is fact. See visual below from a Raj Sisodia talk about how Firms of Endearment or "FoE" have profited immensely from passion and purpose.
In another recent article written by Karan Rai, CEO of ASGARD Partners & Co., an investment and advisory firm, Rai states, “At our firm, we have a non-negotiable rule, we do not take on an advisory client or make a principal investment unless the leadership of said company can clearly articulate their 'Why.'” You could say that ASGARD’s purpose is supporting the success of companies that understand their own purpose.
It is basically a requirement in 2018 to have a strong purpose, know what you stand for, and align all facets of your brand with that purpose. In other words, in 2018 it is essential to be a Believable Brand. If don’t know what your brand’s purpose is, it doesn’t mean you don’t have one. It’s likely that it’s somewhere within your organization, just waiting to be teased out, fine-tuned, and clearly articulated for all the world to hear. And if you’re thinking “It’s not that easy,” trust us, we know. Which is why we would be happy to do the heavy lifting for you as we’ve done for many clients in the past. Interested? Serious purpose-driven inquires only here.