Key points on this page:
- Purpose-driven companies are more than profit-focused; they bring meaning to employees' work and influence customer decision making.
- Align your purpose with your business strategy to create a positive impact.
- Purpose-driven organisations experience increased stability, resilience and growth.
Being purpose-driven goes beyond marketing buzzwords and means integrating purpose into the core of your organisation.
You’ve probably heard more and more companies talk about being ‘purpose-driven’, but what does it actually mean to put purpose at the centre of your business?
It can be easy to adopt buzzwords for your marketing, but finding your purpose and creating real, positive change is a much larger initiative that should involve everyone at all levels of your organisation.
In this article, we dive into how we define a ‘purpose-driven’ organisation and share some practical examples of how other brands have implemented purpose into their organisational strategy.
What is a purpose-driven organisation?
In Simon Sinek’s famous TedX Talk, he comments, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Purpose is intrinsically connected to the way people consume. It also plays a key role in bringing people together for a cohesive mission – one that unites employees and companies alike.
It goes beyond simply selling products and services and instead, aims to solve problems and make a difference through decisions and strategies that align with the organisation’s higher purpose.
For example, if you are a rural healthcare organisation, your purpose could be improving the standards of care and support for rural residents.
Searching for one’s purpose is often dismissed as a waste of time, but it is one of the most important tools you have to bring people together to achieve great things, remain competitive, and earn the trust of your customers.
As Sinek says, “There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people.”
What are the tangible benefits of being a purpose-driven company?
In studies conducted by PwC, 79% of business leaders believe that purpose is central to business success and to an organisation’s existence, in the way it motivates consumers, partners and employees.
These days, it’s no longer enough to be purely focused on profit margins. A truly lived purpose doesn’t just influence customer decision making, it’s also an important way of bringing meaning to the work of your employees.
Purpose-driven companies stand for and take action on something bigger than what the services or products that they offer. For Dux, this means being driven by something more than just delivering websites and marketing – it’s delivering high quality websites and marketing services for other organisations with values like us. Helping them do good, better.
When you’re driven by something more than money, your business will inherently be more stable and resilient as it is focused on solving a problem in a meaningful and useful way.
The result? On average, purpose-driven companies have been proven to grow three times faster than competitors.
How can I implement purpose into my organisation? A look at some real-life examples
Make it part of your business strategy
It’s one thing to say that you’ve got a purpose, but if it doesn’t align with your business strategy, it’s all just words.
Using your purpose to guide business strategy has been proven to have a positive impact on organisational growth. Not just from a dollars and cents point of view, but from directing your business activities to create a positive impact.
American brand CVS Health made the decision in 2014 to rebrand from CVS Pharmacy to a health services company. As part of this change, they made the decision to stop selling tobacco products as it was inconsistent with their purpose. At the same time, they introduced several initiatives to help people stop smoking.
The decision had an immediate negative impact and saw them lose over $2 billion dollars of revenue in the first year. However, this decision to live by the purpose helped them engage with customers and health providers who shared their purpose.
Over time, this has led to an overall increase in revenue of 10% and has become recognised as a leading example of how purpose can drive a successful business strategy.
Zero Co is a relatively new company that started with a very clear purpose: to “untrash the planet”.
They set about disrupting the cleaning and body products industries by creating a business model that didn’t rely on single use plastic, and instead they built their business around reusable plastic bottles that they source from ocean plastic.
To do this, they had to innovate on two fronts:
1) Firstly, they worked with locals in Jakarta, Indonesia to remove plastic from heavily polluted waterways and turn it into reusable plastic bottles.
2) Secondly, they pitched these bottles as “lifetime” bottles that you keep and refill via pouches that are mailed to you, and sent back to Zero Co to be reused again and again.
By innovating, they’re delivering on their mission of “stopping a total of 1.5 million water bottles worth of plastic going to landfill” and “removing a total of 1.5 million water bottles worth of rubbish from the ocean” by 2022.
Take a stand
Specialized Bicycles uses its purpose to drive changes in their supply chain.
On their ‘Responsible Manufacturing’ page, they say, “Specialized is committed to working with business partners who share our commitment to social and environmental responsibility.”
Operating under their own Code of Conduct, and together with global initiatives, they audit their supply chain to ensure occupational health and safety, labour law compliance, as well as compliance with environmental regulations.
Let us help you do good, better
At Dux Digital, our purpose is to help you good, better. We help healthcare, not-for-profit, and educational organisations simplify their marketing and expand their impact by making accessible websites and campaigns that serve people better.
Defining our purpose has driven our strategy. It has given us the ability to politely say no if we don’t think we’re a match for you – specifically, if your business doesn’t align with our purpose.
How are we putting purpose first?
We’re taking a stand and using our skills to help. We’re in the process of creating a custom website for the amazing team at WA Wildlife pro-bono and using our resources to assist the environment by planting trees through Carbon Neutral’s Plant A Tree Foundation.
Much like CVS Health, implementing a purpose doesn’t grant overnight success. These things take time – but with continued growth, meaningful work and excellent results, business becomes a lot clearer.
If you’re an organisation driven by purpose and looking for a digital agency to help you create an exceptional website or marketing campaign, get in touch with us here.