Last week’s PR Moment ‘brand purpose’ event brought together speakers from M&S, BMW, Lexis Agency and Ladbrokes Coral to share how and why brands develop their purpose and how this impacts communications.
So, what did the PR pros have to say on this topic? Here’s my top three quotes from the evening:
- Purpose helps you ‘say no more’ ~ Tania Littlehales, M&S (@tanialmns)
Brand purpose defines why you do what you do and what you stand for.
It allows you to be more strategic by providing a framework for business decision-making.
It will help you to put the customer at heart of everything you do, be more selective about what you do, and confidently say no to initiatives that don’t fit your purpose.
Case in point, this one from M&S, when CEO Steve Rowe felt the brand was losing clarity on what it stood for:
2. ‘Our brand purpose doesn’t mention cars’ ~ Graham Biggs, BMW @biggs3008
BMW’s purpose doesn’t mention cars. Starbucks’ purpose doesn’t mention coffee.
Why? Because it’s not about what you do or what you make, it’s about how you make the world a better place (credit for this quote: @chonners)
And in a highly-competitive world that purpose is your differentiator. It’s what sets you apart and influences customer and investor loyalty.
‘The power of purpose’ will also be a key driver for employee engagement. It’s much more inspirational and motivational than any of your products and services.
3. Brand purpose ‘is not a comms thing’ ~ Toby Conlon, Lexis Agency @chonners
It’s no good having a purpose that simply sits on a some documents within the comms team. Brand purpose must be backed up by action.
That means helping employees demonstrate the right values and behaviours, recruiting the right people for your purpose and ensuring leaders demonstrate integrity that’s consistent with the purpose too.
At the sharp end, leaders must be willing to ‘take the hit’ on revenue if opportunities come along which don’t align with the organisation’s purpose.
Take outdoor clothing company Patagonia – its Black Friday promotion told people ‘Don’t buy this jacket’. Why? Because Patagonia believes in sustainability and the company wanted its customers to think twice before they bought new items.
Thanks to all the speakers and also everyone at PR Moment for an interesting and useful evening; I really enjoyed hearing about how brand purpose has impacted all of these companies.