Common rhetoric around purpose often positions it as a silver bullet. In one fell swoop it will make your business more creative, make you a more attractive employer and differentiate you from competitors, to the delight of your customers…

And it’s true. Purpose can help you achieve all of those things – so long as it’s authentic, visionary and inspirational. However, over the last 24 months, I’ve read hundreds of brand purpose statements and it’s surprising how few have really stuck in my mind.

It seems that businesses are so keen to get on the purpose bandwagon that purpose statements are being pumped out without any consideration of distinctiveness or authenticity.

The point about purpose is this: to be truly effective, it should highlight what is uniquely special about an organisation. Ideally this should be a combination of what they’re good at, what they’re passionate about and what the world needs.

Our research shows that purpose statements most commonly use phrases such as ‘making things better’, ‘improving lives’ or ‘creating value’. What they fail to offer is any inkling as to what makes the organisation distinctive and unique.

We know that crafting a purpose can be a long and painful journey. However, the right purpose is powerful, enduring and will have a positive impact on your business. So it’s definitely worth the effort to get it right.

I’ve read hundreds of brand purpose statements and it’s surprising how few have really stuck in my mind.

 

This article is part of a series of thought leadership pieces as part of our Fit For Purpose research - to learn more simply download the publication below.

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