Let’s be clear, while the business of business is generally commerce and thus partially transactional, the path to growth now follows a different journey – one that is first founded on discovering and deploying a brand’s Higher Purpose.
For the record, maximizing business growth and profit is not a purpose. A real, human-relevant, and unselfish purpose is a purpose – and long-term devotion to it will indeed lead to superior business performance.
The Unique Power of Purpose
People want to be inspired. Thus, brands should carry and invoke a deeper meaning that extends beyond the ingredients, recipe and packaging. Take note, the relationships people form with brands that matter to them bear resemblance to the friendships we have with other people – where trust, honesty, integrity and understanding reside.
It is in this arena of deeper meaning that businesses can build stronger and more relevant ties with the consumers they wish to serve. We already know that purchase decisions have grown more complex, but one basic truth remains a constant: we buy with our hearts not our heads.
Brands and Deeper Meaning
The great lesson here is the impact of higher purpose: on any and all forms of brand communication, on its value for the recipient, and importantly on the elusive opportunity for real engagement.
Mapping a brand or business higher purpose is not measured through investment in philanthropy, although that may be part of the equation. Instead, it is founded in a deeper understanding of the hopes, dream, aspirations and concerns of people. And subsequent translation of that insight into a platform casts the brand as an enabler and facilitator of the needs and experiences consumers care about.
Clif Bar is to adventure sports what creativity and expression is to Apple Mac users.
Here’s one expression of this sentiment in comparison to older strategic paradigms that are more transactional.
Higher Purpose, properly defined, creates the vehicle for relevance and relationship with consumers – a place where brands can become relatable to people and made more valuable due to their deeper meaning.
Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent Healthy Living. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to national food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies. Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact Bob@Emergent-Comm.com and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.