Our post from last week touched on the reality that not every brand is born with a worldly purpose (and that’s okay!)
Many are the result of a single person realizing they are good at making something or performing a needed service.
At this moment, the purpose of most budding brands is to feed their founder – especially if said founder is ready to quit their day job.
Then over time, things get busy and teams grow to meet demand.
This is where the need for a purpose beyond scaling and making more money becomes important – since teams need common goals to rally around other than enriching their fearless founder.
This can put a lot of pressure on the leadership to come up with something – lest they risk dwindling motivation. It’s also a time where you’ll become aware of competitors who are mission-driven and are seemingly thriving because people “get” their missions.
At this moment, it can be tempting to just “pick something” because you’re busy. Who has time to get philosophical when orders need to be processed?
How about we plant a tree for each order?
Maybe we’ll donate a dollar to the local food bank with each sale?
Why don’t we sponsor the local high school volleyball team?
These are all fine, charitable acts, but by themselves, they don’t define a purpose.
Your brand’s purpose should align with what you do.
Planting a tree is great. But how does it relate to your brand and the greater mission you’re trying to achieve?
Perhaps you sell paper products (which require trees to produce). Your goal could be to become a reforestation paper company – meaning you plant more trees than you cut down.
When your purpose aligns with positive action – things start to “make sense” to both your team and your customers.
The simpler the better, really – and nothing beats an innovative product that reshapes an expectation and gets people talking.
Tesla’s mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy.” They’ve done this by designing beautiful, high-performing electric cars that people actually want to drive.
They don’t need a charity gimmick, because they are enacting meaningful change through their product.
It’s hard to live up to Tesla – but I bet there’s something you know how to do that could change the world for the better if more people did it your way.
Find a brand purpose that truly aligns with what you do and lean into it.