“The biggest challenge lies not in defining a purpose, but in living it consistently across the whole organization, ensuring that it remains elevated and a guide to all business activities, not just an element of brand communications or marketing mix. Ultimately, purpose should be the foundation of all strategic choices and decisions and used to create a movement for employees and customers, a movement that has an emotional and societal impact.”
Step #3: engage all your stakeholders in your purpose. As my colleague Barry Chandler wrote in his reflections on cause washing, “The fish can also rot from the head, so purpose-driven brands are driven from the boardroom to the mail room. There is no shortcut to aligning a company around a cause or a purpose. It requires research, discovery, clarity and alignment that is felt at every level and every department.”
From awareness campaigns to engagement activities, from sustaining internal communications strategies to recognition and performance management systems, each one aligned with purpose … all people within your organization and your partners/vendors should understand they help the company fulfill its purpose. Then, and only then, are you ready to share your purpose with your customers, your community, and the world.
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Haley Boehning is the co-founder of Storyforge, a brand strategy company helping ambitious companies change the world by discovering their singular purpose, forging their story, and aligning their positioning, people, products and profits with it. Haley leverages 20+ years of brand and strategic communications experience, including 16 years as L Brands Vice President of Internal Communications, to create relevant, consistent and emotionally compelling messages that help brand and culture triumph in times of great change.