How To Define And Articulate Your Company’s Purpose

How To Define & Articulate Your Company's Purpose

Delivering an amazing, “WOW!” level customer experience is not just about having a solid process in place for the delivery of that experience, it also requires an unwavering commitment to your company’s purpose. Purpose can be defined as an attitude—a mindset; but not just yours. It should be the attitude and mindset of your entire team. as well. It is an unmistakable reflection of your company culture.

Disney Delivers Happiness.

I’m a huge fan of the Disney brand. The Disney purpose statement reads “We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere.” I like it because it’s simple, succinct and is the foundation on which everything they do is built, especially the guest experience they provide.

When you watch a commercial for the Disney Theme Parks, what do you see?  You see happy guests and families spending time together. There’s no mention of what Disney “sells” in the way of thrill rides, attractions or entertainment.

When someone mentions the “The Happiest Place On Earth,” where does your mind go? The happiness guests enjoy is the experience Disney provides. And, guests pay $125 plus per day for that happy experience even though they could pay less to ride a roller coaster at Six Flags.

Disney’s commitment to their purpose of delivering happiness is not only a direct reflection of the company’s purpose; it is their answer as to “why” the company exists and it drives the inner culture and positive, top down attitude of every cast member.

Apple Invites Customers To Think Differently.

How To Define And Articulate Your Company’s Purpose: Apple-StoreApple is another great example of delivering an amazing, “WOW!” customer experience. Apple’s purpose is to “Think Different as a computer manufacturer and in turn change the way people think about and use computing devices. Do Apple customers stand in line for hours on end to buy a phone? No. they stand in line to purchase the experience of using whatever innovative device Apple has created. They want to get their hands on the next big thing because it provides a feeling of stature and they feel good using it.

Those customers will also pay more for that experience even though they can easily purchase a competitor’s phone or PC with many of the same features at a cheaper price.

Dave The Mechanic Keeps Lives Running. 

Even my long-time mechanic, Dave, of Dave’s Service in Blue Springs, MO understands the need to define and articulate a purpose for his small business.How To Define And Articulate Your Company’s Purpose: Dave's Service Blue Springs, MO Dave’s purpose reads, “We’re not just keeping our customer’s cars running, we’re keeping their lives running.”

Without a car, Dave feels his large and loyal customer base won’t be able to get where they need to be at what could be the most important times of their daily lives. That’s why he meticulously screens the mechanics he hires, makes certain they remain enrolled in on-going training and only have quality tools to work with. That commitment to purpose and internal culture is what allows Dave’s business to thrive.

If the day were to come when he is less particular about his mechanic’s knowledge or tools or caring about the well being of his customers, his business will most definitely suffer.

What Is Your Purpose?

Ask most business owners “Why are you in business? What is your purpose?” the typical response would be something akin to “I’m in business to make money, of course.” That’s nice but as can be learned from companies like Disney, Apple and even Dave’s Service, making money is actually the end result of your purpose.

And, the more focused your business is on committing to your purpose, the greater the rewards in returns will be.

So, what is your purpose? What is your attitude? What is your “why?” What do you want your customers to feel when doing business with you? What emotional connection do you want to make that will set you apart from the competition? The answer to those questions will become the foundation on which you’ll produce an amazing, “WOW!” experience for your customers.

Your purpose is a direct and unmistakable reflection of whatever beliefs you hold close to your heart.

It is your conviction and attitude. As an example, if part of your purpose is like Disney, to provide the finest in whatever product or service you provide to your customers, then everything you do within your business must be with the intent of fulfilling that purpose of providing the finest—first and foremost—no exceptions!

Your purpose is all encompassing and affects every decision you make from the equipment you purchase to the suppliers you choose to work with to the employees your hire to the continuing education you receive to the customers you serve.

Your purpose is your moral compass and a non-negotiable belief system that must be adhered to by everyone on your team from upper management to the most novice new hire.

That level of conviction means that you are ready and willing to take a pass any time anyone wants you to do anything that goes against your purpose. Remember, it is the foundation on which the customer experience you provide will be built. If you take shortcuts that weaken that foundation, everything above it will be in jeopardy and could come tumbling down. Yes, it’s that important.

So how do you define and articulate a meaningful purpose statement for your company? Your purpose is not a road map to making a profit. As Simon Sinek states in his “Start With Why” TED Talk,

“Making a profit is a result. It’s always a result.”

Besides, how many staff members and customers will rally around a purpose statement that reads, “We believe in making money.” That is a far cry from a statement of purpose that defines your company’s culture and core values.

Start By Defining Your “Why.”

What is your belief? Why do you do what you do? What is the unwavering promise you’re making to your customers? Is it to make people happy, to create memories, to change lives or to do something even more valiant? What needs are you fulfilling for your customers? Try asking yourself the following questions. Do a “mind dump” onto a blank piece of paper when answering these questions.

Write down anything and everything that comes to mind, no matter how silly it may seem.

Above all, don’t sensor yourself.

  • What is the end emotion delivered by the product or service we sell? (i.e.: happiness, security, memories)
  • Through what means is that emotion achieved? (i.e.: focus on details, entertainment, experiences)
  • Who or what, specifically, will be most likely to enjoy the end result? (i.e.: young people, seniors, pets)
  • Why do we serve our customers in the way that we do?
  • Why are we in this industry?
  • Why did we start this business?
  • What image of our business do we want to convey?

Don’t rely solely on your responses.

Ask people close to you or past customers who enjoyed what you did for them to answer some of these questions and compare them to yours.  If you see some similarities…that’s exciting. You may also see some things you missed or hadn’t thought of.

An outside perspective can be so valuable! The answers will help you write and refine your purpose statement, so it lines up with the needs and desires of your customers.

Your purpose statement should be unique to your business and it will take time to perfect. Don’t be in a rush just to throw something together. Make it short (no more than a sentence or two), engaging and concise.

Over the years your purpose statement will evolve with your business, its essence will become your identity; who you are as a person, a business and as a brand. It is your non-negotiable. It also defines the experience customers and customers can expect to have in your care.

To quote Simon Sinek again,

The best marketing messages don’t say what we do or even how we do it, but why we do it.”

Whether you deliver happiness, help customers think differently or keep their lives running, your purpose is a promise to make a difference in the lives of your customers.

Please share why you do what you do in the comments. Or, feel free to reach out to me and, together, we’ll help you find your purpose.

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Ron Ruth is a proud member of the National Speakers Association and is an eSpeaker Certified Virtual PresenterThis article authored by: Ron Ruth  |  Keynote Speaker, Customer Experience Design Consultant & Coach, Founder of the Inspiramaginativity™ Institute.

Ron Ruth, Keynote Speaker, Customer Experience Design Specialist and Creative Brainstorming Facilitator.

Ron is the author of “How To Speak Fluent “WOW!”—The Language of High-Spending, Loyal, Raving Customers.”

Contact Ron to speak at your upcoming event, either in-person or on-screen (virtually), or to provide a special, Customer Experience training session for you and your team – email or call (816) 224-4487.

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