Why do B2B companies need a sense of purpose?
Paul Cash, CEO at Rooster Punk, urges brands to get a much clearer sense of their own values and why they matter
The best and most successful companies of our generation put purpose at the heart of their business. Research from Harvard Business Review (HBR), states that companies with a strong sense of purpose out-perform other companies in their sector (financially) by at least 10 times.
This is pretty powerful stuff. Whether you’re a start-up, or a giant global corporation, finding your true sense of purpose is a strategic imperative. The problem is 90 per cent of B2B companies do not
This column is therefore fundamental in trying to ignite the spark that will allow you and your company to re-engineer itself towards a future that is more purposeful, authentic, meaningful and also profitable. I use the word re-engineer with great intent, as I truly believe just like engineering has core principles so too does marketing.
What is purpose?
Purpose is often defined as the reason why a company exists – above and beyond making a profit. It forms a key part of the purpose, mission, vision (PMV) framework. When it’s articulated well and executed with authenticity and integrity it becomes the wind in your company’s sails.
When articulating your company’s purpose it’s best to try and frame it by answering the question: what meaningful change or difference do you want to see in the world? To give this question some context, think about the changes you want to see in your category, sector, community and country, as well as the wider world.
What is mission?
When you have articulated your purpose; your mission then becomes the strategy you need to action in order to fulfill your purpose i.e. the what and how.
While your purpose should never change, your mission should be a fluid concept that bends according to market and economic factors.
What is vision?
The final link in the PMV framework is articulating your vision. Your vision should answer the question: how will the world look/be different if we have successfully executed against our sense of purpose?
Vision is normally given an extended timeline of 15-20 years, especially if your purpose is truly world changing. Along the way companies create a series of financial goals and milestones to make sure they stay on-track.
The power of a story
As business buyers and consumers we are faced on a daily basis with mind-boggling amounts of messages, adverts, information, emails, tweets and posts. More than ever we are looking for ways to shortcut our decision-making challenges. By having a clear and compelling purpose you are creating a powerful storytelling platform and narrative for your business that helps not only galvanise your employees, but also gives an emotional context to your business and creates a plethora of conversation opportunities across social spaces.
The conscious business
As part of re-thinking your business using the PMV framework, many companies get a much clearer
sense of their own values and why they matter. The PMV framework is often the catalyst for leadership teams to re-invent their business around a more profitable, purposeful and compassionate way of doing business.
For those interested in this topic why not get your agency or strategic advisors to run a workshop to help you put purpose at the heart of your business?