Discovering your purpose, your why, in this respect, isn’t some big existential question about the meaning of life (we all know that’s 42 anyway), it’s the reason you started your business, the reason you still do it and the reason why it isn’t just the money that motivates you.
Discovering your purpose is a key component in building an aligned, powerful brand.
“Purpose led business” has become a bit of a buzz phrase and, as with many things within building a brand, often gets given this grand status and grand wording without ever really looking into what the why of the business actually is. It’s become a bit of a new values exercise where people and businesses will give a purpose for their business that sounds good but isn’t the real heart of the business. They haven’t looked at it properly, just used a phrase they think sounds good and people would like to hear. I see it all the time and probably so do you. You can see a mile off a purpose that’s just words with no substance. It’s just surface level.
What’s the point of your why then?
When we get to the real heart of why your business exists this is valuable information for your brand but also your audience. A great business and brand is always aligned with their audience and especially their ideal client – they have common values and interests that bring them together in the first place, but that’s only the start of it.
If an advert you saw said “You need a business coach because everyone else has one and if you have one the outside world thinks you must be successful” you would probably say no way, I don’t need a business coach. But if the advert said “ Stop feeling like an imposter and get the clients you really want to work with” that might make you stop and think, it might resonate with you, speak to you. The second advert was produced for a business coach who knew their why. They knew their why was to help women feel more confident in themselves and their abilities.
My why is to give a voice to the voiceless. It runs through everything I do in life. I advocate for animals. I give vegan and eco brands personality. I coach business owners in finding their true voice.
So you see discovering your purpose is a deep, powerful and very important part of branding as without it you cannot discover your mission.
So what is the difference between purpose and mission?
Purpose is why you are doing what you do, it’s the reason you are who you are, the reason you started your business. Your mission is the things you do day to day to achieve that purpose – work with vegan businesses and give their brands personality, coach women to overcome imposter syndrome etc.
Both purpose and mission are important in building a successful and coherent brand and should not be glossed over or skipped. One of the best ways to discover your why is ask yourself a series of questions – what is it that I do/make/deliver? Then ask yourself why doing that is important. Then just keep asking yourself why until you get to a deep and meaningful level
So let’s go back to our business coach who coaches women in business. Why that is important might be because women need to level out the playing field with men in business. Why is that important? Because for too long women have been underachieving and underemployed. Why is changing that important? Because women deserve to be on a level footing with men. Why? Because it’s a woman’s right to work and earn the same as men. Why? So women can feel empowered and confident in their roles and achieve more for themselves. We could go even further but five whys is a good place to end, it’s usually deep enough and specific enough to be your why. So give it a go yourself and see what you find.
Your why is a strong marketing tool but only if delivered correctly, it’s not about splashing your purpose all over your website and social media, it’s about creating meaningful straplines and advertisements from that purpose. Ultimately it’s like a lot of things within branding, it’s about showing rather than telling, that’s where the brand magic happens.
If you want to discover more about finding your purpose my FREE course Build a Thriving Brand helps you do just that