CEO Insider

The Ins and Outs of Creating a Purpose-Driven Company

If you’re hoping to make your brand more purpose-driven in 2023 and beyond, you don’t have to go so far as donating your company to charity. However, it’s important to state your purpose upfront, get employee buy-in, and partner with the right people. With the right purpose and actions, you can build brand loyalty that resonates in 2023 and beyond.

If someone told you 10 years ago that your organization should be more purpose-driven, you probably would have briefly reevaluated your company’s mission statement, made a few adjustments, and called it a day. Now, as companies brace for 2023 and beyond, creating a purpose-driven organization has a more profound meaning. Millennials and Gen Z are watching the way society is moving, and they are demanding more from the companies and brands they work with or make purchases from.

Take, for example, a brand that recently pledged 98% of its profits to help fight the climate crisis. The pledge was a generous, selfless gesture that spoke on behalf of the entire brand. It said, “We care about you, and we want to do good.” While your organization doesn’t need to donate its future profits to charitable or environmental causes, it’s essential to recognize that being purpose-driven in 2023 has a whole new meaning.

Today, purpose-driven brands can’t just say they are purpose-driven; they have to walk the walk. To truly live a purpose-driven mission, companies have to galvanize their workforce around something. There has to be an obvious sacrifice of time and resources to show your audience that you practice what you preach and align with their values.

Ten years ago, many companies prioritized profit and allocated a very small amount of time and resources to developing purpose. Back then, this was sufficient enough to be called a purpose-driven organization. In short, the bar was low. Now, the bar is incredibly high, and if you call your organization purpose-driven, people expect to see action.

Practical Tips for Purpose-Driven Companies

If you are making purpose a part of your brand identity in 2023 and beyond, here are a few important things to consider to become authentically purpose-driven:

  1. Be intentional and preemptive with your purpose.
    It’s crucial to articulate your brand’s purpose before bad things happen and react appropriately when they do. Hesitation can cost the company brand trust and reputation. To characterize your company as purpose-driven, it’s essential to highlight your values upfront in situations in which they are put in question. Don’t wait for a crisis to figure out who you are.

    To best articulate your brand’s purpose, it pays to establish the basics. For example, what is the higher purpose your brand is serving? Why do you do what you do, and why should others care about those goals and values? If you can establish a definable and intentional purpose, you will be more impactful and create a greater sense of belonging than other organizations without these calculated characteristics.

    Additionally, when presenting your brand purpose to outside parties, it should be authentic. You could give a voice and heart to your brand purpose by sharing it as an inspirational statement of intent or a vision for a new, better reality. No matter how you present it, it’s essential to include the strategy behind your vision and a narrative that outlines the problem, the opportunity, and how your brand is doing its part to present a solution.

  2. Ensure alignment throughout the organization.
    The only way your brand can show it is purpose-driven is if everyone is on board. People in your company should be working toward the same goals in the same way. When everyone in the company understands the company’s purpose and becomes a brand ambassador, the company doesn’t have to scramble to respond appropriately in an emergency.

    To ensure this is a reality, your brand must practice increased internal communication between all teams and titles. This means you might have to reinforce core principles across your brand, so everyone is clear on the intent. It also means you must actively showcase exactly what you want your brand to exemplify. If your brand boasts charitable giving, for example, your example goes a long way toward ensuring others follow suit. Additionally, to drive home the effectiveness of your brand purpose, provide evidence of your principles in action and relate examples of people using your principles to the best effect.

  3. Make sure your partnerships reflect your internal brand.
    If you leverage influencers to promote your products and services, don’t simply work with them because they have a large following or produce fun content. Being a purpose-driven organization means partnering with people who can best represent your brand and what you are trying to achieve, especially if you are doing things for the common good. Avoid partnering with wild card influencers who risk tarnishing your brand’s reputation. It takes time to build trust and only seconds to lose it.

    Before signing on the dotted line with a potential partner, be on the lookout for these potential red flags: a lack of self-control, impulsive or reactive behavior, immature content, ignorance of important issues, or misalignment of values.

    Fortunately, there are several green flags to search for as well. If your potential partner has shared values and behavior or opinions that align well with your business, brand, and employees, they will likely be a good fit moving forward. Furthermore, ensure you are working with a consistent and levelheaded partner by doing prior research on previous projects and determining their commitment to your brand purpose overall.

Final Thoughts

If you are hoping to make your brand more purpose-driven in 2023 and beyond, you don’t have to go so far as donating your company to charity. However, it’s important to state your purpose upfront, get employee buy-in, and partner with the right people. With the right purpose and actions, you can build brand loyalty that resonates in 2023 and beyond.

Written by Bryan Adams.
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Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams is the CEO and founder of Ph.Creative, a global employer branding agency. He is a prominent employer brand thought leader as well as an author, podcaster, and speaker.

Bryan Adams is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.