Is There Something Beyond ‘Purpose?’

“Why are you here?” This is the question that Simon Sinek proposed to businesses, calling for the discovery of brand purpose to take centre stage for the very first time. From this point on, ‘purpose’ fast became the catchcry of modern business and the gospel under which we all followed – and for good reason.

‘Purpose’ in an organisation gives stakeholders something they can relate to, something to grab hold of… something to believe in. In the turbulent world of business, defining your purpose has become a powerful movement and the cornerstone of a lasting brand.

Here at Kommunal, however, our restless minds have been wondering if Purpose is indeed the end game after all. As Brand Strategy architects, we include the discovery and fine-tuning of Purpose as part of our DNA process. To this end, we have completed dozens of ‘Communication Ready’ workshops for brands and facilitated countless teams of people who have enthusiastically embraced their values and their purpose.

Now, it’s the outcome rather than the process that has got us contemplating the way forward. If your stakeholders both inside and outside your organisation don’t consistently connect with your purpose-driven DNA… what is the point? As we see time and time again, the answer is not a new marketing campaign, or by virtue-signalling on your website and in your annual report. This last-century thinking is no longer enough to make an impact and form a lasting connection with those who matter most to your brand.

To us, Purpose is about aiming for something bigger; something that should result from defining your brand DNA. We believe it’s about becoming a business and a brand with which your stakeholders and the broader public actually admire.

Here is the important part; please don’t confuse admiration with trust. We hear constantly that businesses say they want their brand to be ‘trusted’. And we usually respond by saying “… really”? If trust is something that you need to call for in your company, you have far deeper problems.

You see, admiration is all about what you accomplish as a business, as an employer and as a world citizen. Yes, it’s undoubtedly demonstrated by being profitable and sought after by your customers or consumers. But now more than ever, taking tangible action to create a more transparent, equitable and ethical world is the driving force behind cultivating a deeper sense of admiration for your brand. It’s about a commitment to showing compassion for your staff and your customers. It’s about standing up for your values and having the guts to call them out when needed.

Too many businesses are far too focused on what people say about them to visualise this end goal. In reality, however, the best investment you can make for your brand is to spend time developing programs and taking action towards accomplishments that your stakeholders actually admire. You may even find that this is a more satisfying approach for everyone involved along the way.

This is all to say that, in today’s world, to become an Admired Brand you need to attract more than just customers, better talent and capital. You need to attract respect.

For this reason, we are excited to introduce our new positioning, ‘Building Admired Brands.’ We all know what a positioning statement is meant to be, but most of your stakeholders only get to experience the summation of the statement – the positioning line. We’re here to help you go deeper than a surface level promise.

Often confused with a ‘tag line’ or a ‘slogan’ and characterised as ‘catchy’, a positioning line needs to be far more powerful. And serious. From our point of view, there should be only one thought driving your creation of a new line. For the audience to connect with it, your statement must answer one key question, “… what’s in it for me?”  Which brings us back to Kommunal.

Digging to the heart of your brand and developing an identity that commands respect and admiration may seem like a difficult beast to tame, but this is what we do best. Helping clients becoming an Admired Brand is what we love to do, and there has never been a more exciting or perfect time to embark on that journey.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you become an Admired Brand, please reach out to the Kommunal team for details.  Contact us.