Purpose serves as a north star for companies, guiding social impact initiatives, product expansion, hiring, key partnerships, and more. It’s important to be able to both identify and clearly articulate your brand purpose to ensure that your business is truly driven by its purpose.
- Purpose vs. Mission
- Finding your Mission
- What is purpose?
- Desired Result
- Another Strategy
- Tying Together Mission, Purpose, and Value Proposition
Purpose vs. Mission
People mix these two terms up all the time. If you remember anything about their distinction, let it be this: purpose is the why, mission is the what. Let’s elaborate on that a bit.
Purpose is the reason for your organization’s existence. What are you looking to accomplish?
Mission is the tactic used to achieve your purpose. What will your business actually do?
Here’s an example: a sneaker company’s purpose may be to help people walk safely. Their mission may be to create the most durable sneakers in the world. Get it?
Durable sneakers mean safe walking. Mission à Purpose.
Finding your Mission
Before creating your purpose statement, identify your mission.
To do this, start with your value proposition. What is your unique offering? Why are you taking that route?
At Supur, we had the opportunity to work with a professional training company on creating their purpose. We found that our client’s competitive advantage was their in-person offerings in the landscape of online coursework.
Noble Desktop believes that in-person learning is the most effective method and therefore uses this to help people thrive professionally. Their mission - cultivate hands-on learning experiences.
Now – crafting your purpose.
What is purpose?
We’ll start with the dictionary definition here. According to Dictionary.com purpose is defined as
- the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
- an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
For this article, we’ll run with the reason and desired result. Reason is the value proposition of a brand – touching upon the needs it solves, the product it offers, and its competitive advantage. Desired result is the core of what your trying to accomplish by selling your product or service.
We’ll define reason as the inherent value your business adds to those it serves.
To uncover your true reason for being, ask these questions:
- What need are we solving?
- How are we solving it?
- What if we did not exist?
Taking this one step further, let’s delve into how your reason for being achieves your desired result.
To uncover your desired result, ask these questions:
- Why is our reason for being important?
- If we ultimately serve our customers the way we intend to, how will they be impacted?
- How will this make a difference in the world?
Let’s take a basic paint company as an example.
- People need paint to brighten up their homes.
- We provide colorful paint at affordable prices.
- If we did not exist, our colorful paint would not be as accessible to people with lower budgets.
But why is this colorful paint so important? That, we’ll cover in the next part.
- Our colorful paint is important because it brightens up our homes, bringing uniqueness and energy.
- Our customers will ultimately appreciate and enjoy their homes.
- At a larger scale, we are helping people enjoy their homes in their own unique ways.
To sum it all up – what was just a paint company now helps people enjoy the spaces they live in. Way more powerful.
Another, perhaps simpler method of uncovering purpose is asking What do we do? (mission) followed by Why is that important? 3-5 times.
Here’s an example:
- We make colorful, affordable paint.
- That’s because paint adds vibrance to people’s homes.
- That’s important because vibrance makes people happy.
- That’s important because it can help people enjoy their homes even more.
- That’s important because we spend lots of time inside our homes.
Tying Together Mission, Purpose, and Value Proposition
Now, let’s bring it all together.
Here is a very simple framework to use to breakdown your mission, purpose, and value proposition.
- Our purpose is:
- We believe:
- That’s why:
That’s it! Here’s what it looks like in action for Clickd, an SEO consultancy.
- Our purpose is to help small businesses grow.
- We believe that search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are effective tools for business growth. (this can always be elaborated)
- That’s why we offer the most hands-on and thorough SEO consulting services to our clients.
Now, for a business-to-consumer (B2C) company. We’ll use Twice Toothpaste as an example.
- Our purpose is to help everyone discover the power of their smile.
- We believe that access to toothpaste and a structured dental routine have the power to brighten smiles.
- That’s why we create safe, effective toothpaste using the best ingredients.
Remember the key distinction between mission and purpose. Start with your mission by identifying your value proposition, and then dive into to purpose where you can weave the two concepts.
The most important part about brand purpose is sticking to it. Stay authentic in your operations, whether it be hiring new talent or expanding your line of products. You’d be missing all the benefits if you don’t!