Purpose is a word that is often talked about. But what does it mean and how does it impact your business?

Purpose is not just about what you sell, but the value you bring. Not just about the products and services you produce, but your company ethos. The impact of what you sell, how you make it and the effect your company has on the wider community.

Purpose impacts everything from buying decisions to employee productivity. Purpose, therefore, drives not only what you do but how you do it.

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A purpose gets to the why of the company. Why do your products or services exist? What value does your company bring? Beyond making a profit, what are you providing?

But why does this matter?

Customers are not just concerned with the performance of the products they buy, but who is providing them. Interest in things like a company’s carbon footprint, the working conditions of employees, even the charities a company donates to influence a customer’s decision to buy.

What you stand for is impacting if people buy from you. So you need to ensure you can demonstrate the value you bring. What your “purpose” is.

Your brand purpose is also important for your employees.

It helps build strategy and focus goals. Helps with decision making. It needs to be more than a PR statement — an ethos that can help drive the company. Something that an employee can look to and ask, does the work I am doing contribute to our purpose?

It promotes an aligned and connected organisation that delivers value. Purpose enhances performance and creates value.

Brand purpose is an important keystone for any business. Brand purpose should influence everything from your strategy to messaging to recruitment.

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Your company may already have a brand purpose. If you do, it’s good to revisit it and see if it still reflects the ethos and goals of your business.

There are key questions that you should be asking when thinking about your business that your purpose should answer.

Questions to ask when looking at brand purpose:

  • What does our business help people achieve?
  • How does our business impact the societies we operate in?
  • What value(s) do we have while building our products and services?

Customers are becoming more concerned about what a brand stands for. More likely to check whether your business is doing what you say it does. Performative actions without substance (such as greenwashing) will not go down well with potential customers. Purpose can be aspirational, but it must be honest.

Examples from major companies:

  • Coca-Cola. Our purpose: Refresh the world. Make a difference.
  • HP. We are a technology company born of the belief that companies should do more than just make a profit. They should make the world a better place. Our efforts in climate action, human rights and digital equity prove that we are doing everything in our power to make it so.
  • Nike. Our mission: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

Purpose goes beyond a slogan.

Purpose should tell whoever encounters it what your company stands for and what it provides.

Purpose is a factor in a business’ reach and awareness within a market. It can determine whether a customer buys from you, or not. A driver for success.

Act with purpose.


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