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Words Nicola Phillips
3 min read
Defining and articulating purpose can propel a company forward. Having purpose as part of a long-term business strategy can also help create a competitive advantage. It can inspire innovation, increase brand loyalty and help a company stand the test of time.
What is your business's purpose? Have you ever taken the time to consider this? It’s actually easier said than done. When we discuss purpose with businesses we often receive an answer that lists their services or their virtues but this is not a purpose. Often businesses that have failed to clarify their purpose struggle with business growth. It can help if we break things down.
Definition of Purpose
The intention, aim, or function of something; the thing that something is supposed to achieve.
“Success demands singleness of purpose.” - Vince Lombardi
Have this quote in mind and then ask yourself – Why was my business created and what does the business want to achieve? What challenges do we solve? Dissect why your business exists and distill this down until you have one clear definition. Aim to keep within 6-8 words. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” You can get your point across and stay focussed with 6 words!
Here’s a couple of purpose definitions from well-known brands. Can you guess who they are? (answers at the bottom)
It’s not only the preserve of big brands to have a purpose. So what does purpose look like for SME’s?
A craft store may suggest their purpose is ‘Inspiring the joy of creativity’. A travel may suggest they ‘Unlock the wonders of the world’. An accountant may present the idea they ‘Optimise the potential in business’.
So why is it important to consider your purpose in relation to your website? Your website sits at the heart of your marketing and forms the foundation for your stories. It helps you to build trust with your audience and signposts how you can help them achieve their goals. So if you’re unclear about your purpose it will be also unclear to your customers, making it difficult for them to engage with you.
We work with clients to help them tease out their purpose and provide them with a structure for storytelling. Our most successful projects are with clients that acknowledge their purpose as the focus of their story.
“The secret of success is constancy of purpose!” - Napoleon Hill
Here at Canvass our purpose is ‘To bring ideas to life online’. We consider our purpose in everything we do. It supports the relationships we build, the work we undertake and the stories we share.
So, what’s your purpose?
Answer – Who are the brands?