“For a company like SAP to pursue purpose might seem unexpected to many, given the nature of our business – enterprise software. But it now allows us to appeal to a much wider audience than just our traditional customer base. It allows us to be more approachable and less transactional, and we can talk in more human terms about what we do and what we stand for in a way that everyone can understand.”

Julie Barrier, VP Purpose-driven Marketing, SAP

Today, many start-ups and new ventures begin life with a clear purpose. That purpose informs all of their thinking and doing from the outset. But what about businesses and brands that have been around awhile?

It’s true that existing organisations can’t start with a clean slate. But they can draw on their brand equity and positive relationships. They can use these assets to inform their future attitudes and behaviours. At the same time, they can encourage stakeholders to come forward with ideas about making the business more purposeful. By taking this approach, businesses can quickly embed and grow their purpose.

“With an established organisation like Pearson, you don’t have the blank sheet of paper like a start-up would have. Instead you have historical assets, and you have to make choices about what you pull from the past, whilst also remaining forward-looking at the same time.” 

Karen Starns, Former SVP Global Marketing, at Pearson

Having great purpose allows a business to nurture a thriving internal culture. Purpose allows businesses to define vision and values that resonate deeply with staff. It informs recruitment and training, and highlights how much they respect their people. In doing so, purpose enables a business to develop a diverse and inclusive culture.

“Your brand, in terms of its architecture, style and tone of voice, has to be reflected back up into the purpose, its values and commitment from leadership. Your story is your narrative of the company, about where you’ve come from, where you are and where you’re going.”

Mark Titterington, Global Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta

Purpose makes work more enjoyable and meaningful. It aligns an organisation’s beliefs with those of the individuals it employs. Purpose gives you the talent, the tools, and the desire to delight your clients. And that’s true however old – or young – your business is.


How we can help

Do you think you’re ready to become a purpose-led organisation? Give us a ring. RY has developed some tools to get you going

  • Fit for Purpose assessment and benchmarking: An in-depth yet quick assessment to learn where you and your peers are on your purpose journey. And what to work on next.

  • Business case for purpose: A one-day session in which we’ll work with you to identify the strongest metrics and successful case studies to convince your wider teams.
  • Materiality analysis: We’ll work with you to identify the critical issues for your stakeholders and your business which may serve as the basis to identify the right purpose for you.