What Purpose is.
Per definition in common dictionaries purpose is „the reason for which something exists or is done, made etc.“, „an individual’s [or company’s/ brand’s] sense of determination. Adding my five cents to these definitions: purpose is what makes you breathe. What makes your company whole and the people working in it (if you’re self-employed YOU are the people :)) give their best due to a feeling of belonging to something bigger than themselves. Purpose is the continuous spark keeping the (entrepreneurial) fire burning.
Companies with purpose are more successful.
First of all, before we dive into some of the delicious qualitative benefits that purpose can give your business, something for the facts and figures warriors and quantitative results lovers among us: the 2015 research ‘The business case for purpose’* from the E.Y. Beacon Institute and Harvard Business School shows that 89% of executives say that purpose drives employee satisfaction. Companies that lead with purpose are more likely to be profitable: 58% of organizations with a clearly articulated and understood purpose experienced a growth of +10%. 42% of non-purpose led companies showed a drop in revenue. Let’s hop over to the qualitative side of things.
Purpose gives direction and builds bridges to the people you want to reach.
Having a defined company purpose that is clearly visible and accessible for your potential future customers, gives the viewer’s mind direction. Assuming a purpose (or mission) statement is written in a hooking, authentic and relatable fashion, it is the piece that people emotionally connect to. The reason for this is that the moment someone gets in touch with your purpose, they automatically run an (emotional) check, if your believes match their own believes. If your worldview matches theirs. If this is the case, the more the individual’s calling is aligned with your company’s purpose, the more energy develops and the stronger the relationship bridge is built on genuine trust. Trust portrays the basis of every healthy relationship. Trust usually goes hand in hand with a feeling of safety. Your potential customer or client feels safe interacting with you and your company as you share the same driving force and you strive to achieve the same goal. And the more fractal purpose is, meaning the more it shows up in all different areas and customer touchpoints of your company, the more guiding power it will unfold. And the more you will see the results in your business.
Purpose builds community.
As herd animals, by nature we humans long for connection with each other. Purpose unites the people interested in your company and service, gives a feeling of belonging and allegiance. You know that fancy concept called ‘friendship’ in your private life, right – well, it is the same idea — just taken from the private area to the business world. When several people come together, knowing that they share the same intentions and beliefs, they connect among each other. Every participant of the community knows that the person to the (virtual) right and left is a fellow passionist on the same things. Hello herd.
Purpose differentiates your company from other companies.
Purpose, lived every day as a company or brand, is a huge differentiator to competitive companies and offers in your niche. In today’s versatile and noisy world more and more people do not only buy a product or brand because of their features and promises. They buy because they believe in the company behind the product and brand. Now, if the believe(s) of your company, packaged well into its purpose and mission, are unique (which they definitely, surely, 100% certainly are, when done the right way) – it makes your company stand out from other companies. Unique. It makes your company as unique as doing business with your company makes your clients unique. What is the reason people stand in lines, hundreds of meters long, at 4am in the morning in front of a store to buy technical devices carrying the monogram of a bitten off fruit from Cupertino, US? (‘Apple’ for the-non apple disciples). Because carrying and showcasing an apple device indicates to others you are passionate about design. You are different. Creative. Apple achieved to connect its company purpose in an enriched, emotional way to its customers’ purpose and self-identification. THAT is the power of purpose. That power is not reserved to bigger companies or product-selling companies only. It works every bit as amazingly well for self-employed, hard working entrepreneurs like you. So, what’s your purpose?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What are your experiences? Maybe you have a completely different perspective? Connect with me on LinkedIn or via Email via the buttons below – happy to hear from you soon:).