Marketing straplines are great short-term tactics. When the market moves on, changing straplines is no big deal. But purpose is different. Purpose never alters or falters. It’s not a set destination to be reached. Purpose is an ongoing quest – the Holy Grail for a business.

“Some companies approach purpose as a marketing tool or badge. But purpose fuels the strategic engine of the organisation, not the marketing ads.”

Cass Swallow, Director of Integrated Communications & Innovation, Philips Lighting

True purpose is the reason why a business exists at all. It’s the fundamental belief that what it does matters. Purpose makes people want to come to work in the morning. It gives clarity and value to everything you do, and helps attract the best talent to do it.  

Brands often run into trouble when they create their internal purpose to boost their external marketing. Consumers, staff, and the media are already cynical enough about the commercial world.

“Our purpose is a bit like our Holy Grail, our very inner conviction as an organisation.  We can share with our people internally, but we don’t need to use it for marketing activities.”

Stephan Feldhaus, Head of Group Communications, Roche

Purpose isn’t about straplines, campaigns, or sales figures. Of course, authentic purpose may give you a competitive edge. But that’s not why it’s there. Purpose exists purely for its own sake. The right purpose will outlive any ambitious marketing plans – and often entire markets themselves.


How we can help

If you think you need some help convincing people in your company purpose is more than just a strapline, give us a ring. RY’s developed some tools that could be useful for you.

  • Leadership engagement sessions: RY will run a session planned to help leadership teams understand the value of purpose through tangible benefits, best practice and a bit of inspiration.
  • Roadmap to Purpose workshop: Making your purpose work takes time and demands action from every part of the business. RY can help you plan what to do, how and when.
  • Fit for Purpose assessment and benchmarking: RY will conduct an in-depth, yet quick, assessment to learn where you and your peers are on your purpose journey. And what you need to work on next.